Conservation of Critical Mammalian Habitats of the Trans-Mexican Neovolcanic Belt

WHEREAS, the American Society of Mammalogists wishes to recognize the efforts of the Mexican Federal Government to conserve and to protect its unique mammalian fauna, especially including the designation of a National Park encompassing critical breeding habitats for California Gray Whales at Ojo de Liebre in Baja California; and

WHEREAS, the Society also wishes to emphasize the exceptional importance of Mexico's terrestrial mammalian fauna, particularly in the Trans-Mexican Neovolcanic Belt Region (TNB) of South-Central Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the TNB is a transition zone between the Nearctic and Neotropical realms, providing an enormous diversity of arid, semi-arid, temperate forest, and tropical forest habitats for mammals and other wildlife; and

WHEREAS, this region has one of the highest levels of diversity of mammalian species of any region in North and South America, and supports almost half of Mexico's 435 known species of insectivores, bats, rodents, lagomorphs, carnivores, and artiodactyles; and

WHEREAS, the endemism and uniqueness of the TNB mammalian fauna is unparalleled in North America, and includes 52% of Mexico's endemic mammalian species and all of Mexico's endemic mammalian genera; and

WHEREAS, many of these endemic species have extremely restricted distributions, often occurring on a single mountain peak or upland area, and are therefore particularly prone to extinction; and

WHEREAS, this region also supports diverse assemblages of other plant and animal species within its rich array of biological communities;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists: (1) commends the Mexican Federal Government, its Agencies, and other Mexican Scientific Organizations for their efforts to protect Mexico's unique and biologically-important wildlife heritage, and (2) urges the aforementioned parties to ensure the conservation of critical wildlife habitats of the Trans-Mexican Neovolcanic Belt, especially for centers of endemism at higher elevations in the Colima, Tancitaro, Toluca-Sierra Nevada, Cofre de Perote, and Pico de Orizaba regions.