Original Paper

Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 2525-2558

First online:

Aquatic bird distributions in Mexico: designing conservation approaches quantitatively

  • Patricia Ramírez-BastidaAffiliated withLaboratorio de Zoología, Edificio L-221, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoPosgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Email author 
  • , Adolfo G. Navarro-SigüenzaAffiliated withMuseo de Zoología “Alfonso L. Herrera”, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • , A. Townsend PetersonAffiliated withNatural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, The University of Kansas

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The aquatic birds of Mexico include both a rich fauna of residents and a significant proportion of migratory species that breed in Canada and the United States, yet their distribution and richness patterns remain poorly known. We developed a detailed database of occurrences, and estimated distributions using niche modeling interpolations for 134 species associated with wetlands. Validations of the resulting maps indicated that the niche-modeling approach yields a useful picture of aquatic bird species distributions in the country. Richness patterns among aquatic birds differ from those for landbirds: species richness is concentrated in coastal areas, but endemism is focused in the Transvolcanic Belt and the Altiplano. Place prioritization exercises identified sets of areas that would maximize the protection of this diversity.


Aquatic birds Conservation areas Wetlands Species richness Complementarity Mexico