From jaguars in Mexico to snow leopards in Bhutan, wilderness beckons

1. Mexico

Mexico created 16 new Protected Natural Areas, expanding the country’s list of federally safeguarded places to 203. The recently added space, distributed among eight coastal states, equals more than three Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, or 651,265 hectares (2,515 square miles). Federal protections generally allow some tourism and sustainable development but promote wildlife and habitat conservation.

In Campeche state, which now includes the greatest amount of protected area in Mexico, the expansion of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve includes seven Areas Voluntarily Destined for Conservation. That designation means that landowners and farmers of ejidos – communally managed federal lands typically used for agriculture – agree to sustainable uses of the land in cooperation with the government. Campeche’s protected areas include an important wildlife corridor used by jaguars and provide habitat for endangered Yucatán black howler monkeys and 350 species of birds. The smallest Protected Natural Area recently designated is Playa Delfines, a popular 10-acre beach in Cancún.

Why We Wrote This

In our progress roundup, space is a precious commodity, and humans ceding room to animals helps them to thrive. People also benefit from being able to choose where they call home – which is why Britain is funding more home remodeling for older and disabled individuals.

Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with 10% to 12% of the world’s species calling it home.
Sources: Mongabay, National Commission of Protected Natural Areas

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