Mexico - Pronatura

BirdLife Affiliate

Staff: 244
1 Calle Pedro Moreno esq. Benito Juárez, Barrio Santa Lucia, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, MX, 29200

Mission of the organisation

  • Participate in national and international initiatives of conservation plans and policies, in order to guarantee viability for bird populations and habitats.
  • Support definition of priorities and strategies for bird conservation on different scales, participating in and promoting national and international processes.
  • Contribute to the development of scientific knowledge on biodiversity, and the state of bird populations in Mexico.
  • Strengthen and promote the participation of society in bird and habitat conservation.
  • Promote and support capacity building for research, monitoring and conservation.
  • Implement land conservation strategies for maintaining bird populations and habitats.
  • Strengthen Pronatura’s institutional capacity in service of bird species and habitat conservation.

Key Activities

Currently, Pronatura spearheads conservation projects and activities in 56 areas of importance for bird conservation in Mexico (IBAs), as well as in other areas of conservation priority as defined by CONABIO.

Conservation Planning

Through Pronatura’s conservation information centers (CEPIC), and in collaboration with communities and institutions, conservation planning takes place. This includes ecoregional planning, land use planning and site management plans.

Some examples of this are plans for grassland management in the northeastern regions of Mexico, the conservation plan for  Dendorica chrysoparia, and the plan for conservation of pine and oak forests of Central America (where we are working in close collaboration with organizations in six nations), or the regional conservation plan for tropical rainforests of northern Veracruz, among others. Information on critical bird species distribution is a priority indicator in these processes.

Land Conservation Mechanisms

Pronatura is a leading organization in the development of legal resources for conservation which are accessible to landowners, be they communal, ejidos, or private owners. These resources include figures in Mexican Law such as ecological service, land trusts, and the acquisition of land for conservation purposes, among others. To date, Pronatura has registered 642,473.99 acres through these mechanisms, in priority regions such as the grasslands of northeastern Mexico, wetlands in the Pacific Northwest or mangroves and cloud forests of oak and pine in the southern state of Chiapas, guaranteeing the restoration and protection of these environments for important bird species.

Scientific Knowledge

Field data and scientific information is of vital importance in identifying the situation of critical species, tendencies and habitat conditions. Investigation and monitoring allow for better planning, resource management, site adaptation and protection. Some examples along these lines are the Raptors River Project, with systematic monitoring of migration patterns during 13  years along the coast of Veracruz, or the northeastern monitoring of ralid species in Mexico for 4 years on a regional scale, defining distribution areas for several species. In collaboration with other partners, distribution of pistacids has been studied in the Mexican pacific, among other efforts.  Pronatura maintains several MOSI stations throughout the country, and participates in Mexico’s Annual Christmas Bird Counts. To date, 32 monitoring efforts are being undertaken throughout the country.

Peoples Participation and Environmental Education

80% of Mexican national territory is socially owned, and many areas of important for conservation belong to communities and ejidos. The need for social and economic development, on the other hand (urban growth, agro industrial development, fishing industry, etc.) is a factor of transformation which impacts the natural environment. For this reason, it is important to work with communities and increase the general population’s awareness and participation in conservation programs. Strategies aimed at achieving this include action in environmental education, communication campaigns, bird festivals, and the establishment of bird watching clubs. Around 50,000 children participate in environmental education programs throughout the country.

Strategies for Sustainable Development and Bird conservation

Pronatura works towards developing production alternatives which are compatible with conservation of migratory and resident bird habitats. In recent years, we have promoted shade grown coffee, collaborating with the foundation of the Civil Council for Sustainable Coffee Production, as well as working with Rainforest Alliance within the Network for sustainable Agriculture. On the other hand, a methodology aimed at training community bird tourism guides has been developed, thus promoting eco-tourist alternatives, and general knowledge and appreciation for birds in rural communities. Currently, we are collaborating with the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, in order to generate strategies for peasant monitoring, including birds within coffee plantations, and evaluating hurricane impact.

Habitat restoration and management

Habitat restoration and management in Mexico is an issue that cannot be sidestepped. The degree of deterioration of critical ecosystems requires concerted efforts in order to revert the current trend, and in some cases it is necessary to come to consensus with landowners and local actors in order to empower these actions. Along these lines, Pronatura Works on the restoration of grassland habitats in northeastern Mexico, as well as in wetlands along the pacific and gulf coasts. With The Nature Conservancy, we have been able to integrate biodiversity indicators within forestry management strategies. One important aspect is the impact of forest fires on bird habitats and populations.  

Promotion and Public Policy

Information generated through our projects allows for contribution to political decisions on various levels, within municipal environments as well as at state or federal levels. We also intervene on developmental policies that may have an impact on critical bird populations. Pronatura fells it is important to achieve a greater integration with development policy, bringing our biodiversity criteria to it. Bird conservation offers a unique opportunity to direct political decisions that may affect major ecosystems and habitats.

Alliances and Partnerships

Pronatura recognizes that conservation efforts are made possible only through the coordination, collaboration and participation of a great variety of actors. For this reason, we actively participate in several conservation initiatives, both national and international, in order to contribute to wider conservation campaigns. Here we mention a few: the RAMSAR Agreement for the protection of important bird habitats; the Pacific Seabird Group; California Current System; Sonora Joint Venture; Desert Bird Conservation Plan; the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI); the Western Hemisphere Seabird Network (WHSRN); the Aquatic Bird Conservation Council; Peers in Flight (PIF); the Alliance for the Pine-Oak Eco region of central America, and the Association of Migratory Hawks.