Bolson Tortoise, Mexican Giant Tortoise, Yellow-bordered Tortoise
Tortuga del Desierto
The above photos were taken in Tlahualilo, Durango (June 11,
2013) at the 340,000 hectare Mapimi Biosphere Reserve. Through programs
of payments for environmental services (PES, CONAFOR) we’re conserving
this beautiful species and restoring natural resources that provide
Occurs restricted to a series of disjunct isolated basins collectively
known as the Bolson de Mapimi of south-eastern Chihuahua, western
Coahuila and northern Durango, Mexico (Aguirre in Groombridge 1982,
Morafka et al. 1989, Iverson 1992).
The Bolson de Mapimi covers about 40,000 sq. km; the total geographic range of G. flavomarginatus measures about 150 km across, and the area of occupancy is about 7,000 sq. km (Morafka 1982, Morafka et al. 1989).
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has experienced a
population decline of up to 50% over the past 3 generations. It faced
catastrophic levels of exploitation during the middle of the 20th
century, with subsequent lower levels of exploitation. At present the
species is protected from direct exploitation and part of its extent of
occurrence is protected, but some subsistence collection and habitat
degradation impacts likely still occur. With the worst impacts over, it
is rated Vulnerable (under A1) rather than Endangered (under A2).
About six separate subpopulations exist, comprising some 7,000 to 10,000 adults, collectively occurring over about 7,000 sq. km.
The species is protected under Mexican law and is included in CITES
Appendix I. A substantial part of the southern area of occurrence of the
species is effectively protected by the Mapimi Biosphere Reserve (3,424
sq. km., IUCN Category VI) in Durango.
Local awareness projects combined with enforcement of legal protection have had very positive local effect.
Photographer: Denise Escárzaga.