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Securing Ajos-Bavispe Reserve in Northern Mexico

Only 24 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border in the Sky Islands region of Sonora, the Ajos-Bavispe National Forest Reserve and Wildlife Refuge shelters a rich diversity of habitats and wildlife, from black bears and beavers to golden eagles, prairie dogs, and the rare jaguar and ocelot. But for years, Ajos-Bavispe lay in bureaucratic limbo, with its uncertain legal standing threatening its long-term prospects as the largest protected area in northern Mexico. In 2017, due to the leadership efforts of Wildlands Network’s Mexico Program in partnership with the Mexican office of the Center for Biological Diversity, Ajos-Bavispe was officially recategorized as an “Area for the Protection of Flora and Fauna”—a status accompanied by clearly defined conservation objectives and regulations. Today, Wildlands Network is working to ensure that the reserve is adequately funded so that its ecological wealth can be preserved in perpetuity.

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