Rare tortoises, nesting and migratory birds, unique lizards and a variety of mammals are set to benefit from the recent purchase of a 18,850-acre former cattle ranch, Rancho Guimbalete, in Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert. Rainforest Trust, Turtle Conservancy and its local affiliate HABIO, A.C. and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) partnered on a deal to purchase the ranch, which will be converted into a desert wildlife refuge.
Rancho Guimbalete, which is in the state of Coahuila on the northern edge of the Bolsón de Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, covers a large tract of mostly undamaged Chihuahuan desert vegetation and is home to a range of resident and migratory wildlife. This includes the Critically Endangered Bolson Tortoise, which “was recently uplisted from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature,” said Stephanie Wester, Latin America Conservation Officer at Rainforest Trust. “It is incredible that over 18,000 acres are now protected for this species and other wildlife.”