DUMAC Takes Wing
DUMAC's first conservation project was the Lerma Project. The Lerma Marshes encompassed about 15,000 acres in a low-lying area along the Lerma River. The local people earned additional money by leasing blinds for waterfowl hunting in the area, which was rich in wintering pintails; blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon teal; and many other waterfowl. Unfortunately, the marshes were being lost and degraded due to habitat conversion and industrial and domestic pollution.
DUMAC's politically astute leaders also recognized that its strategic location halfway between the large urban centers of Mexico City and Toluca (the capital of the state of Mexico) would help elevate the profile of this fledgling conservation organization and what it was doing to conserve Mexico's natural resources and benefit its citizens' economic well-being. Despite the project's challenges and complexity, the 9,600-acre Lerma Project was launched in April 1976.
Since then, DUMAC has compiled an impressive portfolio of conservation achievements. Through the completion of over 250 projects, DUMAC has contributed to the conservation of more than 1.9 million acres across Mexico—an impressive achievement by any standard. Furthermore, DUMAC accomplishes all of this with a very lean but highly effective organization of fewer than 20 staff members.
"CEO Eduardo Carrera and his staff are truly amazing when it comes to delivering habitat," said DUMAC President Rogers Hoyt. "They manage to take a relatively small budget and turn it into huge gains for waterfowl."
Mexican Wetland Facts
- Mexico contains over 16.5 million acres of wetlands, or about .6 percent of the world's total.
- Mexico contains 1.86 million acres of mangrove wetlands, more than any other North or Central American nation.
- Mexico's Pacific coast typically winters about 38 percent of the nation's waterfowl. The Gulf coast supports another 35 percent and the Central Highlands region hosts 11 percent.
- Most of the continental population of redheads winters on Mexico's Laguna Madre, where the birds feed largely on shoal grass.