Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

Located in the heart of Mexico, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is a natural protected area that covers a third of Querétaro state. Its inhabitants include various species which are in danger of extinction, such as the jaguar, green macaws, and magnolias. It is the seventh largest Reserve in Mexico and the most diverse in terms of ecosystems.

The Sierra Gorda Reserve fuses its cultural richness with the flora and fauna of its climates. Due to the 18 th century Franciscan missions which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts natural wealth, the Sierra Gorda is considered the most ecosystem-diverse Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

Thanks to our initiatives and innovations in GESGIAP, in 1997 the Sierra Gorda was recognized as a protected natural area by the Environmental and Natural Resource Ministry (SEMARNAT). Since then, the region has transformed into a role model of sustainable development for Mexico and the world.


Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
Querétaro, Mexico

Member of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere program. (MaB)

Surface Area of the Biosphere Reserve
383,567 hectares, 32.02% of the territory of the State of Querétaro
70% private property, 27% communal or common land
95,000 inhabitants in 638 communities, 5 municipalities
Sierra Gorda is a green jewel in the heart of Mexico whose cultural and biological diversity are managed by local citizens with support of the public and private sectors.

Elevation Range
200-3160 meters above sea level
Precipitation Range
350-2000mm per year

The most diverse ecosystem protected area in the country, with the largest social participation in actions for conservation.

  • Vegetation Types:
  • Tropical Evergreen Forest
  • Tropical Sub-Deciduous forest
  • Tropical Deciduous forest
  • Xerophyllous Shrub
  • Oak Forest
  • Conifer Forest
  • Pine-Oak Forest
  • Cloud Forest
  • Riparian Forest
  • Aquatic Vegetation


2308 species of vascular plants

  • 8 types of coniferous trees
  • 32 species of oak.

Fungi Kingdom
224 species of fungi in the State of Querétaro, 127 in the SGBR

  • 42.5% are edible species
  • 41.7% are mycorrhizal species
  • 5 species are under protection

800 species of Lepidoptera (butterflies)

  • 650 species in the Reserve. The second largest figure in Mexico, only after the RBMA in Chiapas.
  • Richer than the states of Sonora (355 species), Quintana Roo (384), and the Huasteca Potosina (556 species)
  • The Reserve is home to almost 30% of Mexico’s butterflies
  • The Tancuilín ravine is the richest location within the state, harboring 469 species

Ichthyofauna (Fish)

  • 27 species of freshwater fish
  • 4 species with protected status
  • Moctezuma River Basin leading to the Pánuco River, serves as an ecological corridor between the Nearctic and Neotropical Bioregions

Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians)

  • 134 species
  • 34 species with protected status
  • 2nd place in Herpetofauna at the national level

97 species of reptiles, 34 of which are in a state of protection


339 species of avifauna (birds)

  • 41 of which are protected species
  • 27 endemic to Mexico
  • 94 neotropical migrators


110 species

  • All 6 species of feline present in national territory
  • 1 of which is endemic to the Reserve
  • Second richest national protected area.


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