The Interior Highlands of Mexico region consists of the Mexican Plateau which slopes gradually from less than 3,000 feet in the north to 5,000-6,500 feet in the south. Sustainable land uses in watersheds are critical, such as the planned development of forestry and agriculture around key wetlands. DU's goal is to strengthen partnerships with state and federal governments and with local and national non-government organizations to support wetland conservation initiatives in the region. DU also serves as a source of information to support decision-making on programs that influence wetlands conservation.
Importance to waterfowl
- Surveys show that seven key wetlands in the Interior Highlands - Sayula, Chapala, Cuitzeo, Santiaguillo, Mexicanos, Bustillos and Babicora - accounted for 10.7 percent of the waterfowl wintering in Mexico.
- The Interior Highlands have large concentrations of natural depressions used by waterfowl.
- The original wetlands of the Northern and Central Highlands have been substantially altered or destroyed.
- Marshland has been diked and drained to increase cropland or to allow urban expansion.
- Permanent remaining wetlands have been seriously degraded by overgrazing, pollution and siltation, due to the progressive erosion of the surrounding watershed.
DU's conservation focus
- Strengthen partnerships with state and federal governments and with local and national nongovernmental organizations to support wetland conservation initiatives.
- Provide other partners with GIS map products to support their conservation initiatives.
- Work with universities and research institutions to develop information needed to support wetland and waterfowl conservation.
- Develop a public awareness program to support wetland conservation efforts.