Category Archives: September & October 2016

Mexico—Amazing Biodiversity. Protection? Not So Much.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.00.31 PMBy Deborah Van Hoewyk

Mexico, with its 761,600 square miles, extremely varied climate conditions, and complex topography that provides varied habitats, is in the top dozen of the world’s most “megadiverse” countries, with one count putting it sixth and another third.   Mexico is first for herpetofauna (717 reptiles and 290 amphibians); second, third, or fourth for mammal species (502), depending on who’s counting; 15th for bird species (290, 1,150 subspecies), and it has just oodles of fresh- and salt-water fish species, never mind the insects and invertebrates. In all, Mexico is home to about 12% of all animal species on earth. Continue reading Mexico—Amazing Biodiversity. Protection? Not So Much.

Supporting Girls’ Education

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.00.06 PMBy Jane Bauer

Fifteen is a magical age – in Mexico it is the time of quinceañeras and celebration as girls teeter on the brink of womanhood. It is also the age of high teen pregnancy rates – especially in lower income areas. A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy (Maternidad en la niñez) revealed that Mexico is the leading nation in teen pregnancies, with the alarming rate of 64.2 teen pregnancies per thousand births. Generally speaking, teen pregnancies are associated with poorer living conditions and girls receiving lower levels of education. Girls with a higher education level, with a dream for the future and with a hope of success, are much less likely to get pregnant. Continue reading Supporting Girls’ Education

Jaguarundi

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 1.59.48 PMBy Julie Etra

The jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) is a small jaguar that generally ranges from northern Mexico to southern Argentina. There have been confirmed sightings from as far north as New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, with unconfirmed sightings in southern Florida (one road-killed kitten carcass). And yes, they occur along the Oaxacan coast where they are also rare; our neighbors spotted one in Conejos a few years ago, albeit briefly, as they are fast and are considered threatened in Mexico. Although diurnal (active during the day), they are still difficult to observe or study. Continue reading Jaguarundi