Saving a Mountain in Mexico

The Turtle Conservancy has acquired 1,000 acres of Tropical Deciduous Forest in southern Sonora, Mexico, for the protection of the newly described Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise. This preserve is made possible in large part thanks to our on-the-ground partners, Nature and Culture International who have included the land into the management of La Reserva Monte Mojino. The habitat of the tortoise will also help save an incredible amount of biodiversity. Over a 4 day bioblitz conducted on the reserve by an international group of researchers, the team captured or observed 28 species of reptiles, 10 amphibians, six fish, two mountain lions and two jaguars. Over the 4 day expedition 23 camera traps revealed numerous mammal species including collared peccary, white tailed deer, antelope jackrabbit, coyote, and white nosed coati. Additionally, three of the five species of turtles and tortoises known to exist in the area were found. The biosphere reserve is uniquely located where the tropical deciduous forest meets the Sonoran Desert, so you can find Military Macaws and Desert Tortoises, Mountain Lions and Jaguars, Etcho Cactus and Ficus Trees all living together in the same habitat. This was a truly cooperative effort and a big thank you to all our supporters, partners and donors!

List of Biodiversity:

  • 226 bird species at last known count
  • Five species of cats: Jaguar, Margay, Ocelot, Bobcat, Mountain Lion
  • Five species of turtles: Painted Wood Turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima rogerbarbouri), Spotted Box Turtle (Terrapene nelsoni), Alamos Mud Turtle (Kinosternon alamosae), Mexican Mud Turtle (Kinosternon integrum), Goode's Thornscrub Tortoise (Gopherus evgoodei)
  • 21 species of snakes
  • 10 species of lizards were observed, including the Mexican Beaded Lizard
  • Six species of bats were known to live here before the BioBlitz; after four days of sampling 22 species of bats were captured
  • Also captured / observed were 10 amphibians, six fish, and seven small mammals in Sherman traps (also never done in the area before, identification of these is not complete)