The federal government officially registered the creation of a 2,258-hectare nature reserve in the northeastern part of the municipality of Tulum in Quintana Roo on Tuesday.
The Park of the Jaguar, whose development plan was announced last December, is part of an attempt by the national government to curb the urban expansion and development taking place near the city of Tulum. New development and population centers will now be forbidden within the park’s boundaries as well as any activities that contaminate the area or disrupt, divert, or contaminate water sources there.
Mexico’s newest natural protected area is home to 928 species, many of them endemic, and some in danger of extinction. One of those, the jaguar, is the park’s namesake. While the states that make up the Yucatán peninsula have the highest concentrations of jaguar populations in Mexico, the species is still in danger of extinction from loss of habitat.
In an attempt to safeguard the plants and animals in the park, the new decree makes it illegal to introduce genetically modified organisms or invasive species, and forbids the extraction of plants, animals, or the area’s soil or ground cover. Any destruction of habitat can now be punished and future mining or extraction activities within the protected area are forbidden.
Instead, officials hope to take advantage of the park as a source of sustainable tourism, and using for studying the ecosystem for scientific and educational purposes, and to measure future environmental impacts on local flora and fauna. Officials will now begin the process of building a boundary wall that will surround the new park.
With reports from Noticaribe