Plan de Manejo Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Bavispe 

Formerly known as the Reserva Forestal Nacional y Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Ajos Bavispe, this Área Natural Protegida within Sonora, México was first formerly designated in 1939 under the government of Lazaro Cardenas. Not until 2017 was this protected area formerly re-designated as the Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna (APFF) Bavispe, a much more stable designation under the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP). 

This project essentially started with this very re-designation, as an APFF (and all other protected areas) are required to have a legally binding Management Plan. Thanks to several organizations within the private sector, this multi-year process has maintained momentum towards a finalized Management Plan in 2024. Early conversations and planning were initiated by our partners at ProFauna, Naturalia, and Wildlands Network.

Sky Island Alliance formally joined the effort in 2021 to convene the Core Working Group and assist CONANP in developing the Management Plan. With funds from the National Park Service, SIA took on the role of facilitating the processes and guide the working group in the creation of the plan. There is no shortage of experienced experts in Sonora who know the Sky Islands Region well. Amongst the previously mentioned organizations, academic institutions have also joined the efforts such as the Universidad de Sonora (UniSon) and Universidad Estatal de Sonora (UES). They both have participated in the workshopping phase of updating the biological, ecological, social, cultural, and geographical information necessary for drafting of this Management Plan. 

APFF Bavispe is made up of five sectors (fracciones), protecting seven different Sky Islands, covering almost 500,000 acres (about the area of Yosemite National Park), and influencing 9 municipalities in northeastern Sonora. This is the largest and only federally protected area within the Madrean Sky Islands region of Mexico.

APFF Bavispe boasts immense biodiversity, cultural resources, invaluable ecological services for the greater region, and provides a sense of identity and pride for those who call this majestic region home.

SIA continues to work with APFF Bavispe staff and partners within the Sky Island region. We collaborate to host public events such as bioblitz’, the annual Festival de las Islas del Cielo, and volunteer events. Through the Sister Park Program between NPS and CONANP we hope to build cross-border relationships between land managers in a binational context for the Sky Islands region. APFF Bavispe, Saguaro National Park, Coronado National Monument, and Chiricahua National Monument share so much in common and we hope to bridge the International border with working and friendly relationships.