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Title: Current threats to the Lake Texcoco globally important bird area

Author: Alcantara, Jose L.; Pliego, Patricia Escalante;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1143-1150

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Lake Texcoco was reported as almost dry in the late 1960s, and as a consequence the aquatic life has been considered gone since then. However, the government undertook a reclamation/restoration project in the area beginning in 1971 to help alleviate some of the environmental problems of Mexico City. Although Lake Texcoco was not completely dry in that period, the basin containing the lake had already lost the local forms of the Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris), American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) and Black-polled Yellowthroat (Geothlypis speciosa). With the restoration project an artificial lake was created (called Nabor Carrillo) with an area of 1,000 ha. The wetlands in total occupy approximately 8,000 ha in the wet season, and half that in the dry season. Both government agencies and students have studied the avifauna of this area for decades but the results are not available. We compiled data from theses and government agencies to establish the importance of the current avifauna of Lake Texcoco and provide an accurate picture of the effect of restoration to the bird populations. This information is of prime importance to evaluate the consequences of constructing a new airport within the boundaries of this area, both in terms of conservation and in terms of the security concerns for the airport operations. With the data presented, we will show that Lake Texcoco deserves to be considered as a Globally Important Bird Area because it maintains approximately 100,000 birds that occupy this area every year, among them significant populations of Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), Blacknecked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria).

Keywords: airport, IBA, Lake Texcoco, multi-species conservation, restoration, waterfowl

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Alcantara, Jose L.; Pliego, Patricia Escalante 2005. Current threats to the Lake Texcoco globally important bird area. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1143-1150

 


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