CEMEX together with AES Mexico, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN), the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) through the General Wildlife Direction, and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), announced the successful reintroduction of 19 American bison specimens in El Carmen Nature Reserve in Coahuila, Mexico.
This establishes the second conservation herd of the species in Mexico.
“For almost two decades, we have carried out different alliances with companies and conservation organizations to protect and increase biodiversity in El Carmen. Examples of this include the reintroduction of the American bison, the bighorn sheep, and the pronghorn, as well as the increase in the populations of desert mule deer, white-tailed deer, and black bear,” Vicente Saisó, director of sustainability at CEMEX, said.
El Carmen Nature Reserve is a private cross-border conservation area in Mexico and the United States that contains five different ecosystems and habitats to diverse species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians over more than 140,000 hectares. It is one of the five largest wildlife areas in the world, and within its main objectives, is the recovery of native fauna through the management and protection of populations and their habitats, as well as the reintroduction of extinct species in the region.
The American bison is the largest land mammal on the continent and was present in the plains of Canada, the United States and Mexico. In Mexico, American bison lived in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Durango; however, the species’ population dwindled in the second half of the 19th century. It is currently in danger of extinction in Mexico.
Prior to this collaboration, the only herd of bison considered genetically pure was at Rancho El Uno, owned by FMCN, located within the Janos Biosphere Reserve, Chihuahua. Of this herd, 19 specimens were translocated to El Carmen, located in Maderas del Carmen Flora and Fauna Protection Area by a team of wildlife management specialists. The specimens were selected with the technical support of the General Wildlife Direction of SEMARNAT.
The plan to reintroduce the American bison in El Carmen was launched in April 2019, and it will continue over the next two years with the translocation of additional specimens, which will gradually consolidate and grow the Bisons’ population in a sustainable way.