Protected areas of Mexico

December 22, 2011, 12:16 pm
Source: WDPA
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Protected area highlights for Mexico (January 31, 2008):


of Areas



Total Area of nationally recognized protected areas (% of Mexico's Territorial Area)




- Terrestrial (% of Mexico's Terrestrial Territorial Area)




- Marine and Littoral Protected Areas




Note that some protected areas include both terrestrial area and marine area




Nationally recognized protected areas greater than 1,000 km2




Nationally recognized protected areas greater than 10,000 km2




Wetlands of International importance (Ramsar Sites)




UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserves




There are 124 internationally recognized areas of environmental significance in Mexico including 85 wetlands in recognized as important under the the Convention on Wetlands Ramsar Convention and 34 Biosphere reserves.

The latest World Database on Protected Areas reports 195 nationally recognized protected areas in Mexico (four more than in the sumary above):

Site NameIUCN

Marine or
Alto Golfo de Calif. y Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaBoth166,361103,027
Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere ReserveVIBoth936,406541,636
Archipielago de Revillagigedo Biosphere ReserveVIBoth636,685620,902
Archipielago de Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaBoth39,727188,844
Archipielago de San Lorenzo National ParkIIMarine58,44245
Arrecife Alacranes National ParkIIMarine333,769333,769
Arrecife Alacranes National Park - Core ZoneIIMarine19,60231,560
Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National ParkIIMarine9,0679,067
Arrecifes de Cozumel National ParkIIMarine11,98811,988
Arrecifes de Sian Ka'An Biosphere ReserveVIBoth34,92733,566
Arrecifes de Xcalak National ParkIIBoth17,94913,428
Bahía de Loreto National ParkIIBoth206,581183,711
Balaan Kaax Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial128,390 
Banco Chinchorro Biosphere ReserveVIBoth144,360140,329
Barranca de Metztitlan Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial96,043 
Barranca de Metztitlan Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial8,962 
Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park-Terrestrial362 
Benito Juarez National ParkIITerrestrial2,737 
Bonampak Natural MonumentIIITerrestrial4,357 
Bosencheve National ParkIITerrestrial14,008 
Cabo Pulmo National ParkIIMarine7,1117,111
Cabo San Lucas Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVIBoth3,9963,788
Calakmul Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial723,185 
Calakmul Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial99,833 
Campo Verde Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial108,069 
Canon de Santa Elena Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial277,210 
Cañón de Usumacinta State Park-Marine45,567 
Canon del Rio Blanco National ParkIITerrestrial55,690 
Canon del Sumidero National ParkIITerrestrial21,789 
Cascada de Agua Azul Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial2,580 
Cascada de Bassaseachic National ParkIITerrestrial5,803 
Cerro de Garnica National ParkIITerrestrial968 
Cerro de La Estrella National Park-Terrestrial1,100 
Cerro de La Silla Natural MonumentIIITerrestrial6,039 
Cerro de Las Campanas National Park-Terrestrial58 
Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial13,142 
Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial6,289 
Chan-Kin Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial12,185 
Cienegas del Lerma Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial3,024 
Cobio Chichinautzin Core zone Flora and Fauna Protection AreaIaTerrestrial783 
Cobio Chichinautzin Fraccion I Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial37,302 
Cofre de Perote National ParkIITerrestrial11,700 
Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre Biosphere ReserveVIBoth60,34348,052
Constitucion de 1857 National ParkIITerrestrial5,009 
Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun y Punta Nizuc National ParkIIMarine8,6738,673
Cuatrocienegas Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial84,347 
Cuenca Hidrografica del Rio Necaxa Natural Resources Protection AreaVITerrestrial39,557 
Cumbres de Majalca National ParkIITerrestrial4,772 
Cumbres de Monterrey National ParkIITerrestrial177,396 
Cumbres del Ajusco National ParkIITerrestrial920 
Desierto de los Leones National ParkIITerrestrial1,529 
Desierto del Carmen O de Nixcongo National ParkIITerrestrial529 
Dzibilchantun National ParkIIITerrestrial539 
El Chico National ParkIITerrestrial2,739 
El Cimatario National Park-Terrestrial2,448 
El Jabali Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial5,179 
El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial714,557 
El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial41,843 
El Potosi National ParkIITerrestrial2,000 
El Sabinal National Park-Terrestrial8 
El Tepeyac National Park-Terrestrial1,500 
El Tepozteco National ParkIITerrestrial23,259 
El Triunfo Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial119,177 
El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial6,707 
El Veladero National ParkIIBoth3,617 
El Vizcaino Biosphere ReserveVIBoth2546,790317,128
El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial15,165 
Fuentes Brotantes de Tlalpan National Park-Terrestrial129 
General Juan N. Alvarez National ParkIITerrestrial528 
Gogorron National ParkIITerrestrial25,000 
Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National ParkIITerrestrial1,600 
Historico de Coyoacan National Park-Terrestrial584 
Huatulco National ParkIIBoth11,8914,677
I. Chamela Isla Colorada SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Isla La Pajarera SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Isla Mamut SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Isla Negrita SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Isla San Agustin SanctuaryIaBoth841,518
I. Chamela Isla San Andres SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Isla San Pedro SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Islas Cocinas SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Islote Mosca SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Islote Novillas SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Islote Submarino SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
I. Chamela Islotes Los Anegados SanctuaryIaTerrestrial84 
Insurgente Jose Maria Morelos National ParkIITerrestrial4,325 
Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla National ParkIITerrestrial1,580 
Isla Contoy National ParkIIBoth5,1264,678
Isla Guadeloupe Biosphere ReserveVIMarine476,971 
Isla Isabel National ParkIIBoth19480
Isla San Pedro Martir Biosphere ReserveVIBoth30,16529,876
Isla San Pedro Martir Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaBoth1,1111,121
Islas del Golfo de California Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial358,000 
Islas Marias Biosphere ReserveVIBoth641,285317,257
Islas Marias Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaBoth1,7322,273
Iztaccihuatl-Popocatepetl National ParkIITerrestrial90,284 
La Encrucijada Biosphere ReserveVIBoth144,86829,216
La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial7,109 
La Michilia Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial9,325 
La Primavera Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial30,500 
La Sepultura Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial167,310 
La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial1,821 
Lacan-Tun Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial61,874 
Lago de Camecuaro National Park-Terrestrial10 
Laguna de Terminos Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVIBoth706,148157,982
Laguna Madre y Delta del Río Bravo Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVIBoth572,808 
Lagunas de Chacahua National ParkIITerrestrial14,187 
Lagunas de Montebello National ParkIITerrestrial6,022 
Lagunas de Zempoala National ParkIITerrestrial4,790 
Las Huertas Natural Resources Protection Area-Terrestrial167 
Lomas de Padierna National Park-Terrestrial670 
Los Marmoles National ParkIITerrestrial23,150 
Los Novillos National Park-Terrestrial42 
Los Petenes Biosphere ReserveVIBoth282,858181,919
Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial63,722 
Los Remedios National Park-Terrestrial400 
Los Tuxtlas Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial155,122 
Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial9,754 
Maderas del Carmen Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial208,381 
Malinche O Matlalcueyatl National ParkIITerrestrial45,711 
Mapimi Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial342,388 
Mapimi Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial13,402 
Mariposa Monarca Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial56,259 
Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial585 
Meseta de Cacaxtla Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial50,862 
Metzabok Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial3,368 
Molino de Flores Netzahualcoyotl National Park-Terrestrial49 
Montes Azules Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial331,200 
Naha Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial3,847 
Nevado de Colima National ParkIITerrestrial9,600 
Nevado de Toluca National ParkIITerrestrial46,784 
Otoch Ma_Ax yetel Kooh Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial5,367 
Palenque National ParkIIITerrestrial1,772 
Pantanos de Centla Biosphere ReserveVIBoth302,70717
Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial75,681 
Papigochic Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial243,643 
Pico de Orizaba National ParkIITerrestrial19,750 
Pico de Tancitaro National ParkIITerrestrial23,154 
Playa Ceuta SanctuaryIaTerrestrial77 
Playa Cuitzmala SanctuaryIaTerrestrial12 
Playa de Escobilla SanctuaryIaTerrestrial30 
Playa de La Bahia de Chacahua SanctuaryIaTerrestrial32 
Playa de La Isla Contoy SanctuaryIaMarine14 
Playa de Maruata y Colola SanctuaryIaTerrestrial33 
Playa de Mismaloya SanctuaryIaTerrestrial168 
Playa de Puerto Arista SanctuaryIaTerrestrial63 
Playa de Rancho Nuevo SanctuaryIaTerrestrial30 
Playa de Tierra Colorada SanctuaryIaTerrestrial54 
Playa El Tecuan SanctuaryIaTerrestrial17 
Playa El Verde Camacho SanctuaryIaTerrestrial63 
Playa Mexiquillo SanctuaryIaTerrestrial25 
Playa Piedra de Tlacoyunque SanctuaryIaTerrestrial29 
Playa Ria Lagartos SanctuaryIaTerrestrial131 
Playa Teopa SanctuaryIaTerrestrial12 
Predios El Bastonal, Los Chaneques y Agua Caliente-
Rayon National Park-Terrestrial25 
Ria Celestun Biosphere ReserveVIBoth81,48219,346
Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial6,967 
Ria Lagartos Biosphere ReserveVIBoth60,3486,417
Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial1,666 
Sacromonte National Park-Terrestrial45
Santa Felicitas Natural Reserve-Marine4,292 
Selva El Ocote Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial101,288 
Selva El Ocote Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial30,728 
Sian Ka'An Biosphere ReserveVIBoth528,148153,192
Sian Ka'An Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaBoth33,210 
Sierra de Ajos/Bavispe Flora and Fauna Protection Area-Terrestrial184,908 
Sierra de Alamos-Rio Cuchujaqui Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial92,890 
Sierra de Alvarez Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial16,900 
Sierra de Huautla Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial59,031 
Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial139,577 
Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial3,366 
Sierra de Organos National ParkIITerrestrial1,125 
Sierra de Quila Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial15,193 
Sierra de San Pedro MartirIITerrestrial72,911 
Sierra de Vallejo-Terrestrial64,510 
Sierra del Abra Tanchipa Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial21,464 
Sierra del Abra Tanchipa Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial16,598 
Sierra Gorda Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial383,567 
Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial4,786 
Sierra La Laguna Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial112,437 
Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve Core ZoneIaTerrestrial31,073 
Sierra La Mojonera Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial9,362 
Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano National ParkIIMarine52,23952,239
Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial490,187 
Tula National Park-Terrestrial100 
Tulum National ParkIIIBoth664 
Tutuaca Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial365,000 
Uaymil Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial89,118 
Valle de Los Cirios Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVITerrestrial2,521,776 
Volcan Tacana Biosphere ReserveVITerrestrial6,378 
Xicotencatl National Park-Terrestrial680 
Yagul Natural MonumentIIITerrestrial1,076 
Yaxchilan Natural MonumentIIITerrestrial2,621 
Yum Belem Flora and Fauna Protection AreaVIBoth154,052100,152

caption Map of Mexico. Source: CIA, The World Factbook

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Further Reading:

  1. World Resources Institute(accessed May 26, 2009)
  2. World Database on Protected Areas (accessed May 26, 2009)



(2011). Protected areas of Mexico. Retrieved from


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