What we do

The principal objective of our program is to conserve and protect the biodiversity, the ecosystems, the ecological processes and the natural resources, especially in the Protected Natural Area “Yum Balam” and in its Zone of Influence. We support research, exchange of information, monitoring, diagnostics and the study of the ecosystems and their equilibrium. We have a team of specialized professionals, including researchers, biologists, veterinary doctors, nutritionists and educators. Our objective is to develop our program with a holistic and integral vision.

Flora and Fauna

The ecosystems of “Yum Balam” have changed little which conserves their typicality. The latter covers large areas of low and medium tropical jungles; areas of short mangrove swamp or red mangrove; marshes; large flood zones; lagoons such as Conil and Chaak Mo Chuc; shallow seas that form the northern and eastern border and jungles that influence importantly the estuarine ecosystems.
The protected area of “Yum Balam” has species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction, rare and endemic species such as the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata); dolphins (Delphinus delphis); crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii); birds such as the american flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), reddish egret ( Egretta rufescens) the jabiru stork ( Jabiru mycteria), the roseate spoonbill ( Platalea ajaja), the king buzzard (Sarcoramphus papa), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the plumb falcon (Falco femoralis), the crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis), wild turkeys (Meleagris ocellata), the hoco pheasant (Crax rubra), the crested guan (Penelope purpurascens), the Yucatan partridge (Crypturellus cinnamomeus) and the great blue heron (Ardea herodias). Likewise there are mammals such as a subspecies of opossum (Caluromys derbianus), spider monkeys (Ateles geoffrovi), black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), ant eaters (Cyclopes didactylus), the tropical cacomixtle (Bassariscus sumichrasti), jaguars (Felis onca), puma (Felis concolor), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), the margay (Felis wiedii), the white lipped wild peccary (Tayassu peccary), the red brocket deer (Mazama americana), the tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and caribbean manatees (Tricherus manatus). Also, large groups of domino or whale sharks come to the area in the summer to feed.

Supporting Studies

We encourage and participate in studies that give us technical, technological and scientific information about the wildlife as well as social and economic information about the area. This information allows us to establish diagnostic elements and is frequently the basis for the subsequent definition of strategies and for proper tools to develop projects and make adequate decisions.

Migratory and Resident Birds

Aquatic migratory birds travel enormous distances during their annual cycles. They are a marvel of nature and a source of biodiversity of global importance. Nonetheless, human activity and the swelling urban sprawl threaten their existence when their habitat is destroyed.

Our program of conservation of the resident birds of “Yum Balam” is focused on elevating local public awareness and participation. This includes cleaning and sanitation of the nesting and feeding areas in order to preserve and return the deteriorated natural habitats to their original state as much as possible.

Sea Turtles

Even though sea turtles are vulnerable to their natural predators, their biggest problem of survival is usually brought on by man. The development of real estate and the present life style have greatly altered the natural conditions of numerous spawning beaches and have generated serious contamination issues. Besides that, sea turtles must fight with human beings that hunt their meat, eggs and shells. They are frequently, by accident, trapped in fishing nets.

The first 48 hours of life for a sea turtle are crucial. From the time that they leave their shell they must get from the beach to the ocean on their own. In our conservation programs for the sea turtle, we develop projects for the training, monitoring and protection of the spawning and feeding areas. We thusly assure the recuperation of the sea turtle population, avoiding overexploitation and predatory activities by man, bettering the marine habitat. We also advocate rational fishing practices.

Manatees

The manatee is an aquatic mammal that lives on coasts and river mouths. They are herbivores that feed exclusively on vegetation that is submerged or floating. The female matures at the age of 5 to 9 years old. Her reproduction is very slow. After twelve or thirteen months of gestation, she will find a shallow, tranquil place to have her baby manatee.

Manatees are not fast swimmers due to their weight and size, which makes them vulnerable to speed boats, not being able to get out of the way of the boat. Today we know that there are very few manatees left and they are considered to be a species that is in danger of extinction. Nevertheless, recently there have been sightings of these mammals in the area of “Yum Balam,” which gives us hope that we are still in time to implement protection and conservation projects that will help avert their extinction.

Reforestación

Reforestation is not simply planting trees. It requires a previous environmental study because ecological equilibrium is very delicate. Efforts can even result in damage to the ecosystem in question. Reforestation consists in defining which species of trees are the most appropriate for the zone and, as many other conservation programs, go hand in hand with environmental education. One of the advantages of reforestation is that families, voluntary groups, schools or organizations can participate, converting the reforestation in a delightful formative and awareness heightening group activity.

Manejo Integral de Residuos Sólidos

We offer advice and training for the proper handling of solid waste in educational centers, offices, hotels and restaurants. We enable Waste Separation Points, promoting recycling habits and the reuse of materials that can be recuperated. We organize and support local Recycle Campaigns as well as campaigns designated for gathering recyclable materials.

We support the mechanisms of a clean development: the logistics, gestations and installation of Processing Plants to reduce, transform, recuperate and treat urban and municipal solid waste.