Biodiversity and Conservation of the Ciénega de Saracachi area, Sonora, Mexico

Date Published or Written


Thomas Van Devender, Martín Villa-Andrade, Martín Reyes-Juárez, Gonzálo Luna-Salazar, Martín Padrés-Contreras, Fernando Padrés, Paul Martin

Vegetation Community


The Ciénega de Saracachi area, including Arroyo Santo Domingo and Cañón Quemado, is in the Municipio de Cucurpe in north-central Sonora (30°21’33”N 110°35’29”W), ca. 105 km south of the Arizona border. The vegetation is cottonwood-willow riparian forest in the Ciénega and rocky stream canyons with desert grassland on the slopes above. These upper tributaries of the Río San Miguel are natural corridors on the west side of the Sierras San Antonio and Azul. The flora contains 419 species in 99 families and the fauna 301 species of animals in 83 families. Invertebrate animals with only 87 taxa in 17 families are very poorly known. Vertebrate animals with 215 species in 67 families are dominated by birds (79.5% of the species). Two plants and 19 species of animals are Federally listed in Mexico in the NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010. The La Brisca talussnail (Sonorella aguafriensis) is endemic to Arroyo Santo Domingo. In 2010, the Saracachi area was nominated to be a Sonoran Área Natural Protegida to preserve its natural values and to develop ecotourism land use options.