New WHSRN Site in Mexico: Pastizales de Janos y Ascensi??n

Written by Meredith Gutowski/WHSRN

The WHSRN Hemispheric Council approved the nomination of Pastizales de Janos y Ascensión [Grasslands of Janos and Ascensión] as a WHSRN Site of Regional Importance in late August 2010. This site, located in the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, supports 2.4% of the world population of Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus), and up to 5.5% of the estimated population of Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus). Both are “Species of High Concern” in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan. Additional shorebird species of conservation concern that rely on these grasslands are Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda).

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Pastizales de Janos y Ascensión, located in Chihuahua, Mexico, is WHSRN’s 83rd site.

Pastizales de Janos y Ascensión was declared a Biosphere Reserve in December 2009, bringing the site’s more than 544,000 hectares (1,300,000 million acres) of critical grassland habitats under federal protection. The area is also recognized as an Important Bird Area (AICA Janos–Nuevo Casas Grandes, in Spanish) because of the significant number and diversity of migratory birds it supports.

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Long-billed Curlew. © Steve Emmons

There are now 83 WHSRN sites in 13 countries, with partners conserving more than 31 million acres (12 million hectares) of shorebird habitat.It is our pleasure to congratulate and give a warm welcome to our partners at the Pastizales de Janos y Ascensión WHSRN Site, including Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym), Pronatura Noroeste, The Nature Conservancy, Ejido Asensción, Ejido Ignacio Zaragoza, and private ranch owner Alfonso de Andar Armendáriz.

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