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Biosphere Reserve Information - General Description


General DescriptionThe arrival of mountain rains


Jornada Biosphere Reserve is one of three biosphere reserves representing the Chihuahuan Desert (among Big Bend Biosphere Reserve in western Texas and Mapimí Biosphere Reserve in Mexico). The area extends from the crest of the San Andres Mountains, which are dominated by shrub woodlands, to the Jornada Plains characterized by semi-desert grasslands.
All three biosphere reserves in the Chihuahuan Desert are located in areas traditionally dominated by a livestock raising economy. Today, they face a variety of resource management issues relating to the sustainable development in desert ecosystems. Problems are associated with grazing of livestock, air pollution, and water quality, poaching of plants and animals, and loss of habitats.
Jornada Biosphere Reserve, while in a rural area, is becoming more and more influenced by the urban economies of Las Cruces (New Mexico) and El Paso (Texas). It focuses on long-term experimental research directed toward range management and maintenance of healthy desert ecosystems.
In nominating three biosphere reserves in the Chihuahuan Desert it was expected that cooperation would develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage the ecosystems of the Chihuahuan Desert for conservation and sustainable economic uses. Today, mainly research and environmental education projects characterize this cooperation.



Last updated: 06/27/2005

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