Feature image el carmen

El Carmen Nature Reserve
Santiago Gibert

June 6, 2016.

El Carmen celebrates 15 years of biodiversity conservation and restoration

El Carmen Conservation Program is celebrating 15 years of continued scientific research, habitat preservation and species restoration


With over 140,000 hectares, this cross-border private conservation region between Mexico and the United States is one of the most biodiversity rich areas in North America and one of the five great wilderness ecosystems in the world.

Located in northern Coahuila, Mexico, and southern Texas, United States, El Carmen represents an extensive key biological corridor for wildlife migration and distribution. This territory is home to more than 1,500 plant species, 289 avian species, 80 types of reptiles and amphibians, and 78 mammal species. Among the highlights of its protection efforts is the reintroduction of extinct species in the region, such as the desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn, which currently number approximately 400 specimens. Other species with considerably increased populations include the desert mule deer, the white-tailed deer, and the black bear, which is the largest population of this species of bear in Mexico.

Over the past 15 years, El Carmen Nature Reserve has provided research and educational opportunities to more than 900 students and academicians, who monitor the region’s biodiversity and contribute to its conservation. It has also served as the scene for 16 Master’s and PhD Thesis projects of candidates from prestigious universities across Mexico and the United States, including ITESM, UANL, UCLA, Yale, and Texas A&M. Among other institutions, their study of El Carmen has resulted in the publication of 60 scientific and popular papers.

El Carmen holds active cooperation agreements with several conservation NGOs such as Cuenca Los Ojos A.C., The Texas Bighorn Society, and The Wild Sheep Foundation, as well as orientation partnerships with such institutions as Agrupacion Sierra Madre, Unidos Para La Conservacion, Birdlife International, Conservation International, and The Wild Foundation. The Mexican and U.S. Governments are also participants in this conservation initiative through agencies comprising SEMARNAT, CONANP, CONAFOR, and SEMA, in Mexico, and the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the United States.