Posted by sparks on August 27, 2007, 9:18 am
Eliza Barclay in Mexico City |
for National Geographic News
August 24, 2007
Jaguars, sea turtles, and other species in the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve in northwestern Jalisco state may face a dire water shortage if developers move forward with their golf-oriented projects, warn researchers at Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM).
In fact, the work may irreversibly damage the area's rare tropical dry forest ecosystem, according to the experts. Unlike their rainy cousins, tropical dry forests have a sub-humid climate, limited water availability, and a dry season that lasts five to eight months.
"Every species in the reserve is sensitive to water availability, and if it becomes less accessible then the balance will be upset," said Alicia Castillo, a researcher with UNAM's Ecosystem Research Center.
"This is not a place where golf courses should go," added Castillo, who is also a member of a technical panel that analyzed the proposed development projects.
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