Project Name:
Restoration and Enrichment of Migratory Bird Habitat in Biocultural Landscapes of the Eastern Sierra Madre, Mexico

Veracruz, Mexico

Key Activities:

  • Planting 40,000 native trees across 180 acres
  • Restoring cloud forest and shade-grown coffee plantation
  • Connecting 1,200 acres of fragmented cloud forest to improve wildlife corridors for migratory birds
  • Increasing public awareness and tree maintenance by local communities

Project Description:
American Forests and Pronatura Veracruz are reforesting 180 acres of Eastern Sierra Madre, Mexico, with 40,000 trees to restore and connect a fragmented cloud forest that serves as a habitat for migratory birds.

Why This Project:
Most of the forests in Veracruz, Mexico, have been destroyed, mainly for agriculture and grazing purposes, and only 10 percent of the original vegetation remains in the state. This deforestation has affected habitat and migratory corridors for a variety of animals.

Out of the 314 migratory bird species identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 67 percent pass through or reside in Veracruz during their annual journeys. The area is recognized as one of the principal corridors for neotropical migratory birds. In addition, Mexico itself houses 12 percent of the world’s remaining species and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, making forest restoration a priority to protect the endangered species that make their home there.

Why Cloud Forests:
Although various types of forests are under threat from deforestation in Mexico, cloud forests are especially vulnerable. Also called “fog forests,” cloud forests are rich in biodiversity and maintain frequent cloud cover and moisture. Although cloud forests cover less than one percent of the land in Mexico, they contain 10 percent of the country’s flora and are responsible for capturing large amounts of freshwater which can be used by local communities.

Coffee farmers are also dependent on these forests to provide shade for their crops. But while Mexico’s coffee industry needs these forests to thrive, cloud forests are being threatened by agricultural development. A balance between environmental protection and development is necessary for both cloud forests and coffee farmers to benefit from their intrinsically linked relationship.

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