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In Mexico there are various types of protected areas: federal, state, municipal, community, ejido and private.

Protected natural areas. These are the areas under the administration of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP). Among the most well known are the National Park Desert of Los Leones and the Biosphere Reserve of the Monarch Butterfly.

Their areas range from 84 hectares in the Chamela Bay Island sanctuary, Jalisco, to 2,493,091 ha in the Biosphere Reserve El Vizcaino, in Southern Baja California. Of the 166 protected areas, 58 are part of the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) for bringing together those protected areas with biodiversity and ecological characteristics of particular relevance to the country.
  • Federal
  • State
  • Community
  • Private

There are seven categories of federal protected areas.

Category

Number

 Area (km2)

Biosphere reserves

39

119,924.50

National Parks

68

15,056.43

Natural Monuments

4

140.93

Protected areas of natural resources

7

34,673.86

Protected areas of Fauna y Flora

34

65,654.17

Sanctuaries

18

1,462.54

Sanctuaries

1

1,867.34

 

171

238,779.77



State-protected natural areas. At least 22 states have decrees of protected areas at the state level under the administration of environmental secretaries or institutes of the state governments. Some states have a State System of Natural Areas such as Oaxaca and Jalisco. Some municipalities have also established municipal protected areas.



Community Protected Areas
Ejidos and communities have long kept areas with a low intensity of use for various reasons. Some have been protected to maintain water sources, others for religious purposes, others to conserve populations of particular species. Over the past 10 years, several indigenous communities and ejidos have specified their community areas protected by community territorial orders. Currently there are over 150 community or ejido protected areas ranging from less than 10 hectares to 100,000 hectares in the case of El Ejido Largo in Chihuahua. Average areas are around 3 to 5 hectares. The largest number of community protected areas is in the state of Oaxaca.


Private protected areas. Private protected areas have also been created in Mexico. Like the ejido and community areas, private areas are also of relatively small size and are present in much smaller numbers than those of public ownership. A variety of legal tools support the creation of private protected areas.

 
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