“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.“ John Muir Biodiversity is the variety of life It considers the diversity of species of plants and animals that live in one place, their genetic variability, the landscapes It also includes the ecological and evolutionary processes.
There are more than 170 countries in the World. Out of these 12 alone harbor in between 60 and 70% of the total biodiversity of the planet and thus earn the privilege to be called megadiverse. Mexico is one of them.You can find Mexico, together with Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia, on the very top of the list taking up the first place in reptile diversity, second in mammals, fourth in amphibians and vascular plants and tenth in birds. In general terms, it is estimated that more than 10% of all world's species live in this country. Up to date around 65.000 species have been described, although more than 200.000 are believed to exist here.
Whatis a mega diverse country ? Mega diversecountryshaveoneor more of thefollowingcharacteristics Geographical position: many are found in tropical regions where there is a greater diversity of species. The Tropic of Cancer (23º 26 '22'' North) crosses Mexico and extends from 32º North (Northern Baja California) to 14º North (Chiapas). Landscapediversity: the complexity of mountain landscapes provides a diversity of environments, soils and climates. Mexico is a predominantly mountainous country. In addition, it is almost surrounded by seas. Isolation: Separation of islands and continents has allowed the development of unique flora and fauna. Mexico combines the fauna and flora of two continents that have long been isolated (North and South America).
Size: The larger the area, the greater the diversity of landscapes and species. Mexico is ranked number 14 globally in terms of area (1,972,550 km2). Evolutionary history: Some countries are located in contact zones between two biogeographic regions in which flora and fauna with different histories are mixed. In Mexico, the confluence is between the Nearctic and Neotropical areas. Culture: Although the development of culture is relatively recent, the domestication of plants and animals has contributed to natural richness. In Mexico, 66 indigenous languages are spoken, in addition to many variations, and it is one of the main centres of domestication in the world
Causes of Megadiversity in México The most important causes of megadiversity in Mexico are its topography, its variety of climates and its complex geological, biological and cultural history. All these important factors have contributed to the formation of a mosaic of environmental conditions that enabled evolution of a large variety of habitats and lifeforms. The biogeographical are the most important among the biological factors. Nowadays, the transition zone dividing two of the world's major biogeographical zones runs through Mexico forming a bridge in between the Nearctical (North American) and Neotropical (Central and South American) realms (FIG.1). This transition zone appeared approximately 6 million years ago, when the land masses of North and South America first made contact.Due to this past Mexico represents a compound biogeographical area, where the contact in between two rich ancestral zones have given origin to a rich mixture of fauna and flora with different biogeographical histories.
The country's natural wealth is a privilege and has an enormous potential for development, but also presents a great social responsibility before the world.
“How beautiful the mountains of Mexico! Those peaks with perpetual snow are the most beautiful of the world; those mountain tops with majestic snow that raise among the brilliant vegetation of the tropics. Is there something more beautiful? Alexander Humboldt