14 Sep 2016

Pronatura wins Mexico's Ecological Merit Awards

Thick-billed Parrot © Josh More
Thick-billed Parrot © Josh More
By Pronatura Noroeste

Last week the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) announced the winners of the 2016 Ecological Merit Awards. Pronatura (BirdLife Mexico) was awarded for the social impact of its environmental work, winning the award in the 'Community' category. Read how their impact goes beyond saving birds.

As a leading conservation organization in the northwest of the country, Pronatura Noroeste has been working in the region for over 25 years. Its presence effectively covers eight Mexican states, 22 protected natural areas, more than 25 watersheds and more than 300,000 hectares of protected land.

Among other achievements, they have been awarded in recognition for their leadership during the creation of the Biosphere Reserve Bahía de los Ángeles y Canales de Ballenas in 2007 and for its scientific leadership, community and institutional management to restore wildlife in another Biosphere Reserve, the Delta of the River Colorado (Baja California).

"The award acknowledges a history of more than two decades, promoting more than 150 projects in eight Mexican States, its leadership, its achievements in conservation and recovery of endangered species, its collaboration in the negotiation between Mexico and the United States for the sustainable management of the Colorado River, and its information and environmental education actions dedicated to a wide range of audiences," said the Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico.

On land, Pronatura is leading the efforts to recover some of the most emblematic species of Mexico such as the Jaguar Panthera oncaGolden Eagle Aquila chrysaetosThick-billed Parrot Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha and Mexican Wolf Canis lupus baileyi. In addition, Pronatura is currently preserving the National Wetlands of Nayarit, the largest mangrove forest in the northwest of Mexico, home of over 200 bird species such as Rufous-bellied Chachalaca Ortalis wagleri, Lilac-crowned Amazon Amazona finschi, Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix and Mexican Parrotlet Forpus cyanopygius.

In terms of marine work, the organization watches over the Sea of ​​Cortez by protecting its extraordinary biodiversity – ensuring this diver’s paradise will stay intact for years to come. It’s also worth mentioning their recovery work in Cabo Pulmo reef in Baja California Sur, involving fishermen to tackle the problems that affect marine wildlife. Their membership and commitment to being a guardian of the Gray Whale Sanctuary El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the state of Baja California Sur just adds to the incredible variety and success of their work.

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''On behalf of the Board of Directors of Pronatura Noroeste, its staff and associates, I want to thank you for so many years of partnership and valuable support to our conservation efforts in Northwest Mexico. They are now recognized by this very important award,'' said Gustavo Danemann, CEO of Pronatura Noroeste.

Today we welcome the governments’ response to Pronatura’s valuable contribution to society. Join us in congratulating them on Twitter by tagging @PronaturaMexico.