Research and Conservation of the Spiders of El Cielo Biosphere Reserve in Tamaulipas, Mexico

Juan Manuel de Luna González

Our teams aim to study the spider diversity of El Cielo Biosphere Reserve, Tamaulipas, Mexico. We will provide a species’ list, start a collection and with those specimen’s work on new distributional records, descriptions of new species and a book of the spiders of the reserve.

Workshops will be held for both, teach the public about these organisms and their environment, and teach biologists and biology students techniques for spider collection and identification.

We will evaluate how vulnerable are the species found and if they are in need of a protected status. Finally, we will present our findings to the government agencies in charge of the reserve and make recommendations to be included in future management plans of the reserve.

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This project aims to deepen the knowledge of the spiders in the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve which is located in the state of Tamaulipas in northeast Mexico. Our team will make a species’ list of the spiders in the reserve and start a referential collection to make new distributional records and to describe new species. We will also take photos both in situ and under laboratory conditions for an electronic book about the spiders of the reserve, including keys on how to identify them.

We will try to reach locals with workshops in the Centro Interpretativo Ecológico (CIE) so they can understand the diversity and ecological importance of such misunderstood group, in the process, making them more approachable in the pursue of the preservation of their habitats. A different, more technical workshop will be held for biologists and biology students to try to train more people into the field of arachnology.

After the sampling, we will evaluate the species according to the NOM059 and IUCN criteria to find which are the more vulnerable. Finally, all the data gathered will be presented to the Comisión de Parques y Biodiversidad de Tamaulipas as well as the Subseretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y Medio Ambiente, and with it, generate recommendations to be included in future management plans of the reserve.