Sierra de Vallejo-Río Ameca Declared as Protected Natural Area

Jorge Chávez
Jan. 11, 2024

On January 8th, 2024, in an important step towards environmental protection, a decree was issued declaring the Sierra de Vallejo-Río Ameca biosphere as a Protected Natural Area (PNA). This designation aims to protect and preserve the diverse ecosystem that surrounds this natural gem.

The Sierra de Vallejo covers an area of approximately 225,000 hectares and includes the municipalities of Bahía de Banderas and Compostela (Nayarit), as well as the municipalities of Mixtlán, Mascota, San Sebastián del Oeste and Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco). This PNA is divided into 13 core zones and two buffer zones, ensuring comprehensive protection for wildlife and native flora.

Biologists and civil associations have highlighted the rich biodiversity that characterizes the Sierra de Vallejo, emphasizing its importance as a habitat for the jaguar, an endangered species. Currently, it is estimated that there are between six and ten jaguars per 100 square kilometers of this region.

In addition to its ecological value, the Sierra de Vallejo-Río Ameca is a cultural jewel in western Mexico, home to some 337 archaeological sites. This unique environment seamlessly blends natural wealth with historical remains from ancient times.

As a complementary measure, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) has declared 20 new areas as Protected Natural Areas, covering a total of 2,335,000 hectares in 16 states of Mexico. Of these, seven were designated as Sanctuaries, four as National Parks, four as Protected Flora and Fauna Areas, three as Protected Natural Resource Areas, and two as Biosphere Reserves.

Photo by Molnár Tamás.

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