Lago de Chapala

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Lago de Chapala

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    114,659 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    20°13'N 103°03'W
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Lago de Chapala. 02/02/2009; Jalisco, Michoacán; 114,659 ha; 20°14´N 103°03´W. Lake Chapala, in the western part of Mexico, is the largest lake in the country, the 3rd largest in Latin America, and the 2nd highest in the Americas, surpassed only by Lake Titicaca. It serves as an area of refuge, feeding, hibernation and breeding for birds, of which migratory waterfowl are the most important, with a population of over 20,000 birds. The site is home to endemic species, of which the most representative are fish species such as Menidia contrerasi, Menidia sphyraena, Ictalurus dugesii, and Menidia promelas. It also supports endangered bird species such as Botaurus lentiginosus and Rallus limicola and mammals like the Mexican Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and the Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), as well as the endangered Puma (Felis concolor). The lake is vitally important to the surrounding communities, not least because it is the largest water source in the country and the main water supply source for the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. In addition, the site has a favorable influence on the temperature and precipitation regimes in the region and is an important source of employment for locals, who benefit mainly from fishing and tourism. The lake has suffered the consequences of numerous water projects, modifications of the environment and pollution. A Conservation and Management Programme for Lake Chapala has been developed and will become effective in 2011. Ramsar Site no. 1973. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Administrative region: 
Jalisco y Michoacan

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Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)