The deserts in Mexico are fascinating places to visit .Why? Find out in this article. Read on to learn all about the deserts in Mexico and what makes them so special.
The Deserts in Mexico
What comes to your mind when you think of the deserts in Mexico? You may think it’s a sand-covered, distant land with no humans. But it’s not true. Very few people are aware of various undiscovered secrets concerning the Mexican deserts.
Within Mexico, there are several significant desert regions. Among these are the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Baja California deserts. You’ve come to the correct place if you love to travel and are interested in learning more about Mexican deserts. I’ll share 25 noteworthy facts about deserts in Mexico that you didn’t know before.
Let’s start now without further ado.
Largest Desert in North America
The Chihuahuan desert, located in Mexico, is the biggest in North America. You can find it across the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, and Coahuila in northern Mexico. Also, it encompasses the southwest states of Mexico.
The scenic beauty of this desert fascinates you as numerous sizable mountain ranges surround it. It also occupies two famous tourist points, including the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental. Moreover, it is the landing point of mountain ranges that adjoin the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Water Security of Deserts in Mexico
The Rio Bravo, a river in Mexico, supplies the priceless water that sustains the desert’s flora and fauna. There was a transboundary collaboration over the Rio Bravo for many years between Mexico and the US. But poor management and governance on both sides of the borders threaten the water security in Mexican deserts.
You may have to face a water shortage during your trip. Unsustainable water use influences the entire basin. If you compare it with humid areas, evaporation rates are often substantially higher in arid climates.
Evaporation from reservoirs is the second-largest source of water loss in the Rio Bravo basin. Thus, if you are planning a tour of Mexican deserts, keep enough usable water with you.
Iconic Samalayuca Dunes
Iconic Samalayuca dunes are a significant portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. It is a perfect location for tourism. Tourists from all over the world come to visit these historic dunes. You can enjoy sandboarding, sand riding, or going on a jeep on the white sand.
Air storms are common due to continuous wind shifting. If it does not pique your interest, consider taking a guided walk to reach your enjoyment level. To avoid heat stroke, choose to travel in the fall or winter.
Climate-Smart Conservation Along the Rio Grande
The dry Chihuahuan Desert region depends on the Rio Grande for its water supply. People of this area get their water mainly from the river and its tributaries. Also, it serves as a food source and haven for various plant and animal species.
Tourists use these plant and animal species as a food source. However, climate change threatens the future of the river and the people who depend on it. To improve the river’s stability, WWF and neighborhood partners are regenerating essential habitats. Indeed, it will be an excellent step to flourish tourism in these deserts.
Flora of the Deserts in Mexico
The Mexican desert has the most divergent vegetation of all deserts in North America. During your visit, you will see the saguaro cactus, the symbolic plant of the desert. Other common varieties include the barrel cactus, organ-pipe cactus, prickly pear, and cholla.
Moreover, ocotillo, yucca, century plant, ironwood, palo verde, elephant tree, mesquite, and creosote bush are endemic species. Trees that can tolerate more moderate weather can grow at higher elevations. These floral variations attract tourists’ attention to Mexican deserts.
Deserts in Mexico: A Corridor for Trade
The Chihuahuan Desert is a major commerce route between Mexico City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Rio Grande basin passes through five states in Mexico and three states in the United States. Also, it encompasses over a dozen Native American countries.
In both countries, the desert region opens ways of transferring goods via trade. There is an agreement for free trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Thus, financial stability promotes tourism in both states linked to the Chihuahuan desert.
Oldest and Richest Centers of Plant Evolution
The eastern edge of the great Mexican desert is one of the oldest and most productive hubs of plant evolution. The ecoregion contains a wide range of vegetation groups. At the highest elevation, you will view conifer woodlands. Various desert shrublands will welcome you at the lower height of the desert.
Third Most Biodiverse Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert ranks third in biodiversity. You will observe that this region has diverse cultures and an expanding economy. Plus, this desert offers significant variation to tourists regarding flora and fauna.
But this flora and fauna depend on underground springs and little streams.
Climate change and over-extraction put the future of the river and the inhabitants of deserts at risk.
Home to Endemic Species
Mexican deserts stand out for their diversity of endemic plant and animal species. These deserts provide habitats to all of these life forms inside their borders. Mexican deserts support the immense variety of its terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
It is home to 51% of endemic plant species and has coasts on two oceans. You will also find Some endemic animal species there. Here are some common endemic species you may notice in Mexican deserts.
- Guadalupe Cypress
- Blue Dragon
- Santa Catalina Rattlesnake
Deserts in Mexico Support a Wide Range of Mammals
Mexican deserts support more than 130 different species of wide-ranging mammals. If you are an animal lover, this tour will be incredible for you. Mule deer, pronghorn, javelina, and grey fox, are abundantly present in the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico.
It is home to the only population of the indigenous Mexican prairie dog. Also, you will view the largest remaining black-tailed prairie dog in North America. Mexican deserts are one of the few ecoregions where grizzly bears, wolves, and jaguars are all in the same area.
Still, you can find larger vertebrates like mountain lions and golden eagles in some locations. You will not see these species of vertebrates elsewhere.
Genuine Marine Paradise Unite Deserts in Mexico
The arid, sandy deserts of Mexico are different from any other region on Earth.
Each of Mexico’s deserts, the Sonoran, Gran Desierto de Altar, Lower Colorado River Valley, and Chihuahuan, is distinctive in its own right. The Sea of Cortez, a true marine heaven on earth for tourists, connects these arid landscapes.
The Climate of the Deserts in Mexico
The Mexican deserts have a predominantly arid climate. You will observe only one rainy season, which is late summer, and less precipitation in the early winter. The most rain falls between late June and early October during the North American Monsoon. The summers are milder in the desert, and the winters are mild to cool, with periodic to regular freezes.
Average Temperature of Deserts in Mexico
During the winter, the average daily temperature of Mexican deserts ranges above 0 °C or 32 °F. In the summertime, temperatures often range from 32 to 40 °C or 90 to 104 °F. Tourists face scorching summers and cool winters during their visit. You will experience the warmest temperatures in The Bolson de Mapimi, the Rio Grande desert.
Average Rainfall of Deserts in Mexico
Mexican deserts receive less than 90 mm of rainfall each year. However, droughts can extend for more than two years. You may experience a wetter, rainier summer and dryer winter in the Sonora desert of Mexico. Winters in the Sonoran Desert on Baja are cold and humid.
Mexican Desert Mule Deer Adaptations
Deer are the most prevalent, widespread, and well-liked animal in the Sonoran desert of Mexico. The mule deer and the white-tailed deer are separate species found in the Mexican deserts. You will be astonished to see such beautiful deer.
Rocky Mountain mule deer are the most prevalent deer in Mexico’s deserts. You can find Mule deer in various landscapes, from low deserts to tall forested mountains. In general, they choose a harsher topography.
Deserts in Mexico: Landscape and Vegetation
Tourists plan trips through Mexico’s Sonoran Desert and into Arizona to observe the beautiful landscape. The landscape of Mexican deserts is equally as beautiful as the surrounding scenery. The Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of Mexico are famous for desert scrub vegetation. While at higher elevations, you will view short grasses, dispersed shrubs, various species of cacti, and other succulents.
Food Chain Facts of Deserts in Mexico
Similar to other food chains, the Mexico Deserts has producers, first-level consumers, second-level consumers, and third-level consumers. We will explain an example of Mexico’s desert food chain for you. It includes a mesquite tree as a producer. A kangaroo rat consumes its pods as a primary consumer. The rat is a source of food for rattlesnakes which is a secondary consumer. Snakes are sustenance for coyotes that act as tertiary consumers. Coyotes can occasionally eat up kangaroo rats and mesquite pods.
Mexican Deserts Plants Adaptation Facts
Mexican Desert plants are adapted to survive in harsh environmental conditions. These are called Xerophytes. They have thick cuticles. Leaves are short and scaly. Most importantly, they have sunken stomata to reduce water loss by evaporation. Examples are Cacti and beargrass.
Mexican Deserts Support the Big Bend National Park
The Big Bend National Park is in the Chihuahuan deserts of Mexico, close to the American border. The park gets this name after a significant bend in the Rio Grande Bravo. Plus, it has national significance as the biggest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert. Scenic drives and workshops for tourists are additional park activities. Mexico’s government generates great tourism revenue from this park as it is a big tourist point in Mexican deserts.
Animals Survival Strategy in Mexican Deserts
Wild animals in the deserts of Mexico must adapt to a range of extreme climatic circumstances to thrive. They can withstand intense heat during the clay, chilly nights, and water shortages. They have fur on their skin to withstand extreme heat and cold.
As a tourist, you will examine that these animals have the stamina to live in these harsh environments. Water supply and high temperatures can be limiting considerations for wild animals in arid regions. Thus, these animals have a mechanism to deal with water shortage.
Most desert animals obtain water from their food, such as seeds and saline plants. They also get their water supply from the blood and body parts of their prey. Desert animals will expire if they can’t control the heat and keep water levels balanced.
Therefore, they are well suited to tolerate high temperatures and unpredictable rain events. They are endotherms and can regulate their body temperature according to cold and hot temperatures.
The Cuatrocienegas: One of Mexico’s Desert Natural Wonders
You can visit a dazzling spot during your Mexico desert voyage. It is sprawling across a valley in Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert covered in cacti. Cuatrocienegas is a piece of land surrounded by mountains. This desert region is most famous for its life-giving waters, ponds, wetlands, and rivers. No doubt, It is a natural wonder for tourists.
Sky Island of Mexican Deserts
One of the most notable features of the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico is Sky Islands. Numerous little mountain ranges combine to form a unique natural phenomenon called “Sky Islands.” It is one of the wonders of Mexico and a point of great tourist attention.
Although a desert surrounds these mountains, their climate is more comfortable and wetter than the desert. This implies that only grasses and bushes can grow close to sky islands.
Supports a Diverse Ecosystem
The Chihuahuan Desert is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Also, it is the most diverse desert in the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, it is one of the most threatened ecoregions in the world. You will enjoy the diversity of this ecosystem during your journey.
The biggest threats to biodiversity in the Ecosystem include overgrazing, water depletion, and diversion. Urbanisation, invasive exotic species, and overharvesting of indigenous plants are some other damaging facts. Ultimately, it will ruin the diversity of these beautiful Mexican deserts and restrict tourism.
A Rich Source of Clean Energy
Wood from the Mexican deserts is a source of renewable energy. Renewable energy sources produce 26% of Mexico’s electricity. As of 2009, biomass, solar, and wind power are renewable energy sources used to generate electricity.
Thus, it is vital to set up a long-term initiative to enhance the use of renewable energy sources. Mexico is the fourth-largest user and harvester of renewable energy in the world.
Geographic Location of Mexican Deserts
A large portion of the deserts in Mexico is arid. You can locate these deserts in more than 56% of the total area of Mexico with low human activities and replacements. Thus, from a geographical perspective, you may notice as a tourist this desert range covers a wide area.
The Sonora and Baja California Desert and the Chihuahuan are the dry regions. The Tamaulipan, the Hidalgo, and the Poblano-Oaxaca are semiarid regions. All these five regions have significant attractions for tourists from a floristic standpoint.
The Deserts in Mexico: To Conclude
The deserts in Mexico are home to various species of plants and animals. They also support many endangered species in their survival, like golden eagles. Plants and animals have particular adaptations to survive during harsh arid climatic conditions.
For tourists, there are many amazing points to visit and beauty to capture in these deserts. We have mentioned important facts about Mexican deserts in this article that will help you during your tour.
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