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Resumen en: Inglés |
Resumen en inglés

Wildlife in Latin America is subject to enormous pressures and, as in most countries, has been negatively impacted in Mexico. In 1997, the Mexican government implemented a policy of conservation and sustainable use of wildlife units (called UMAs, by their Spanish acronym) that comprises intensive and free-living management. Since then, no national or regional assessments have been conducted to estimate impacts and benefits even with 5529 registered UMAs now covering almost 20% of the national territory. The objective of this study was to characterize the SUMA (UMAs System) in a regional context in three states of southeastern Mexico. The impact of UMAs was studied in depth through a selection of representative case studies: three species of mangrove (Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle), ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), red cedar (Cedrela odorata) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and a connectivity analysis, in order to evaluate the contribution of the UMAs to the conservation of species and ecosystems. The number of active UMAs at regional scale was 834, managing 273 species; 7.1% of the UMAs manage nationally-prioritized species, while 8.3% and 94.3% manage endemic and native species, respectively. Conservation of ecosystems has been successfully achieved through the UMAs that manage mangrove and white-tailed deer. We propose to promote the establishment of free-living UMAs that would contribute to increase the conservation areas. Finally, we highlight the relevance of regional-scale spatial analysis as an important tool for improving environmental policy and conservation strategies.