Protecting the coastal dunes of Mexico

Goat's Foot Convolvulus (Ipomoea pes-caprae)

Goat's Foot Convolvulus (Ipomoea pes-caprae) by Claudio Cantú Muñiz via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The combination of urban development and rising sea levels is a threat to coastal ecosystems. In Mexico, coastal dunes represent one per cent of the national territory, but is home to seven per cent of the country’s seed plants. This study focuses on the Atlantic coast of Mexico and identifies areas of high diversity and potential targets for conservation efforts. Using GBIF-mediated occurrences, researchers modelled the distribution of 23 species of herbaceous plants and perennial shrubs and find the highest number of typical and endemic species in areas ranging from southern Tamaulipas to central Veracruz and the northern and eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. Although being close to protected areas, a great deal of areas identified have no direct coastal protection. The study suggests that increased conservation efforts are needed and should takes priority over other activities, such as tourism.

Citation information 

Mendoza-González G, Martínez ML, Rojas-Soto O, Téllez-Valdés O and Arias-Del Razo I (2016) Priority areas for conservation of beach and dune vegetation of the Mexican Atlantic coast. Journal for Nature Conservation. Elsevier BV 33: 25–34. Available at doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2016.04.007.