With the arrival of the rainy season, we were able to stop worrying about forest fires and focus our efforts on monitoring and protecting the reserves. We are working on the maintenance of our fences in the most distant parts of the reserve and interacting with our neighboring landowners. After an initial shaky start to the rainy season, this September brought abundant rain, ending the dry spell that persisted in 2018 and 2019. The rivers and streams and waterfalls are following which means fauna in the various reserves have ample access to water. Vegetation is also recuperating from the long drought. This is especially evident in the area affected by the great fire of 2019, of the Hoya Verde reserve where we are seeing abundant regeneration of oaks and pines.
New growth can also represent additional combustible material in the next fire season (in 2021) which is why we are planning and coordinating to have a strong unified front with the same members of the firefighting brigade this coming year. We project having them operational during the 4 most critical months of the dry season.
Fortunately, despite the pandemic, the monitoring and the protection of the reserves have not been interrupted. This is because in many cases the monitoring is undertaken by individuals, alone, or by a group of park rangers, who can easily maintain a safe distance from one another.
Our hidden cameras caught captures of pumas, pacas, brocket deer, and collared peccary since our last report when we sent images caught on tape of a black bear and a jaguar.
We have the honor of announcing that in one of the reserves we found a healthy and robust population of two species new to science, the cactus Mammillaria rzewdowskiana (with a highly restricted distribution), a true daughter of our limestone mountains, and a new agave, Agave muxii. It never ceases to amaze us year after year, we keep finding new species in the Sierra Gorda. We see clearly that our reserves are islands of biodiversity of the highest value. That we have an enormous responsibility to protect them at all costs. In the Sierra Gorda, we say NO to the massive wave of extinction that is decimating life on our planet. We thank you on behalf of this vast voiceless biodiverse community for your support and generosity.