Rio Los Mezquites
Rio Los Mezquites, an endorheic river inside the Cuatrocienegas Valley. (26.922783°N, 102.108758°W). Photo by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas. (27-Apr-2023).



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Cuatro Ciénegas: Rio Los Mezquites

Conservation: Not all is depression in aquatic habitats in northern Mexico. An example is the valley of Cuatrocienegas, one of the most important and rich aquatic ecosystems in North America. The valley habitats, due to the hard work of many activists, since 1994 lay in a protected area of flora and fauna, and remain with just minor affectations even against powerful interests that to our days have constantly pushed back conservation efforts. Although the valley is an example of conservation, the war is not over. Conservation, just like a democracy, is always at risk of being destroyed by the powerful interests of a few. Nowadays, the valley is a site of ecotourism that brings wealth to the town of Cuatrociénegas.

The Rio Los Mezquites is very well preserved, with healthy live populations. It is now a protected natural park with a paid entrance and a set schedule. The aquatic turtle Apalone spinifera, which was rare during my previous visits before the protection was set in place, is now abundant and confident of swimmers, who often feed them turtle food sold at the place.

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