Search By:


Administrative Units


Ecological Units

Biodiversity Hotspots

Bio-geographic Zones


Coastal & Marine Eco-systems


Conservation Units

World Natural Heritage Sites

Biosphere Reserves

Tiger Conservation Units

Project Tiger

Project Elephant

Important Bird Areas

Ramsar Sites

The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Hotspot

The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands hotspot extends over the main mountain ranges of Mexico and into small parts of Baja California. Covering an area of 461,265 sq km, pine and oak forests form the primary vegetation of this region.

The hotspot has 5,300 plant, 328 mammal, 524 bird, 384 reptile, 200 amphibian and 84 freshwater fish species. The diversity of pines and oaks in this hotspot is high and it includes endemic oak species like Madre Occidental (Quercus carmenensis) and Q. deliquescens. Species of birds unique to the region include the short-crested coquette (Lophornis brachylopha), blue-capped hummingbird (Eupherusa cyanophrys), white-tailed hummingbird (E. poliocerca), white-throated jay (Cyanolyca mirabilis), bearded wood-partridge (Dendrotyx barbatus) and the dwarf jay (Cyanolyca nana).

Mammalian inhabitants include one of the world's smallest rabbits, the endemic volcano rabbit (Romerolagus diazi), that makes high pitched penetrating sounds. Among reptiles the endemic graceful gliding snake (Rhadinophanes monticola) is also found in this hotspot. Invertebrates most notable are the nearly 160-200 species of butterflies. This mountain chain in Mexico with its pine and fir forests attracts millions of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) every September presenting a truly spectacular sight.

Logging, intentional fires to foster regeneration and use of forest plants for food and ornamental purposes are posing a sever threat to the habitat. About 27,361 sq km or 6% of the hotspot is under some form of legal protection. One of the most important protected areas in the region is the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacn. Conservation organisations active in the region include Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacian de la Naturaleza, Sierra Madre Alliance PRONATURA NOREST and CEMEX.

[The information has been sourced from the Conservation International website on biodiversity hotspots ( Accessed in February 2008.]

ATREE, Tel: 91-80-23530069, 91-80-23533942