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GCU 114 Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity in Mexico Mexico is known for various things.

It has quite a history that some people may not know about. It also has a diverse group of people. It all began with the Indigenous people who were in Mexico first. The Indigenous people included the Mayas, Aztecs, Olmeca, Toltec, and Huichol to name a few (Schmal). During this time they grew and so did the life of living organisms. Mexico is known for having one of the most various species of plants and animals in the world. They happen to be fourth in the world and many people who travel to Mexico dont know about that. When it comes to species of pines, reptiles, and cacti; Mexico has the most. They come in second with the species of mammals that are in Mexico and fourth in vascular plants, or plants with roots, leaves, and stems. The amphibian species in Mexico happens to also be fourth in the world (El Refugio de Potos). The animal that best represents Mexico is the golden eagle. This bird has become the Mexican national symbol and is even printed in the Mexican Flag (Wall, 2008). The golden eagle may be in other parts of the world but this particular animal is rarely around Mexico.

Most iconic big cat in Mexico: Jaguar (Endless Tours Cancun, 2011)

Mexican Golden Eagle (The Nature Conservancy, 2013)

GCU 114 While there are lots of species that belong to Mexico, the culture also has something to do with this. The cultures in Mexico with the help of the Indigenous people were able to develop crops for farming because of know hotspots in the country. There are 22 recognized biocultural centers in Mexico and with these centers there are important territories. These territories include water capture, remaining vegetation, natural protected areas, and maize diversity. The current connection with the culture and biodiversity is the issue with Maize.

(Etc Group, 2012) Since the Indigenous people, Mexico has been able to connect Maize with the cultural development because of their farming more than 9 thousand years ago (Toledo, Boege, &

GCU 114 Barrera-Bassols, 2010). Today there has are thousands of local farmers growing Maize. However, current changes to growing Maize have stirred up problems. The main focus of the issue has been on the farmers and whether they will be able to continue to grow Maize. Agribusinesses have been trying to work with the government to plant transgenic maize, which would produce more for business. That would threaten biodiversity as well as any farmers rights (Etc Group, 2012). Artificially growing Maize will ruin any kind of soil and land due to the chemicals or products being ingested with it. This could then lead to other factors, which would then unbalance the biodiversity.

GCU 114 References El Refugio de Potos (n.d.). Biodiversity - El Refugio de Potosi - Wildlife conservation and environmental education! - Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Mexico. Retrieved from http://www.elrefugiodepotosi.org/html/biodiversity.html#.UoQ9ZyhZ_zI Endless Tours Cancun (2011, January 21). Endless Tours Cancun: Jaguar: Mexico's Iconic Big Cat. Retrieved from http://endlesscancun.blogspot.com/2011/01/jaguar-mexicos-bigcat.html Etc Group (2012, December 13). Retrieved from http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/ETCNR_maizeupdate121212final.pdf The Nature Conservancy (2013). Saving the Mexican Golden eagle | The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved from http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/mexico/explore/golden-eagle1.xml Schmal, J. (n.d.). Ethnic diversity in Mexico : Mexico Travel. Retrieved from http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1932-ethnic-diversity-in-mexico Toledo, V., Boege, E., & Barrera-Bassols, N. (2010, June 21). The Biocultural Heritage of Mexico: an overview | Biocultural Diversity Conservation. Retrieved from http://www.terralingua.org/bcdconservation/?p=1120 Wall, A. (2008, March 24). Mexican Biodiversity and Six Species in Peril. Retrieved from http://mexidata.info/id1765.html