Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve


Located in the heart of Mexico, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is a natural protected area that covers a third of Querétaro state. Its inhabitants include various species which are in danger of extinction, such as the jaguar, green macaws, and magnolias. It is the seventh largest Reserve in Mexico and the most diverse in terms of ecosystems.

The Sierra Gorda Reserve is rich in more than flora and fauna. It is also rich in culture and history, due to the five 18th century Franciscan missions located within the reserve, which are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thanks to the initiatives and innovations of GESGIAP, in 1997 the Sierra Gorda was recognized as a protected natural area by the Environmental and Natural Resource Ministry (SEMARNAT). Since then, the region has transformed into a role model of sustainable development for Mexico and the world.


Member of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere program (MaB)


Surface Area of the Reserve: 383,567 hectares, 32.02% of the territory of the State of Querétaro.
70% private property, 27% communal or common land. 100,000 inhabitants in 638 communities, 5 municipalities.

Sierra Gorda is a green jewel in the heart of Mexico whose cultural and biological diversity are managed by local citizens with support of the public and private sectors.

Elevation Range: 200-3160 meters above sea level.

Precipitation Range: 350-2000mm per year.

The most diverse ecosystem protected area in the country, with the largest social participation in actions for conservation.

Vegetation Types:
Tropical Evergreen Forest
Tropical Sub-Deciduous forest
Tropical Deciduous forest
Xerophyllous Shrub
Oak Forest
Conifer Forest
Pine-Oak Forest
Cloud Forest
Riparian Forest
Aquatic Vegetation

2308 species of vascular plants: 8 types of coniferous trees and 32 species of oak.

127 species of fungi: 42.5% are edible species, 41.7% are mycorrhizal species. 5 species are under protection.

800 species of Lepidoptera (butterflies). 650 species in the Reserve. The second largest figure in Mexico, only after the RBMA in Chiapas. Richer than the states of Sonora (355 species), Quintana Roo (384), and the Huasteca Potosina (556 species). The Reserve is home to almost 30% of Mexico’s butterflies. The Tancuilín ravine is the richest location within the state, harboring 469 species

Ichthyofauna (Fish): 27 species of freshwater fish. 4 species with protected status.

Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians): 134 species, second place in Herpetofauna at the national level. 34 species, 7 with protected status. 97 species of reptiles, 34 of which are in a state of protection. 

339 species of avifauna (birds): 41 of which are protected species. 27 endemic to Mexico. 94 neotropical migrators. 

110 species of mammals: All 6 species of feline present in national territory. 1 of which is endemic to the Reserve Second richest national protected area.