BELIZE NATIONAL PARKS, NATURAL RESERVES, & WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES

MEXICO ROCKS

ESTABLISHMENT HISTORY
The site was recommended for designation by the FAO (1978), and is considered as a gap in the current protected area network.

CURRENT AREA
No precise boundaries have been defined for the site.

JUSTIFICATION
The site is a unique patch reef system within the Northern Shelf Lagoon, and is also important for fishery resources. It is also being proposed partly to take pressure off Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and finally its protection has been requested by tourist guides who see it as an important addition to Ambergris Caye's ecotourism attractions.

HABITATS
Reef and seagrass beds.

MARINE REGION
Outer Platform Division of the Ambergris Region.

WILDLIFE
The site contains mixed algal and seagrass beds characteristic of the back reef interspersed with sandy areas and coral patch reefs of various sizes. The Montastrea annularis dominated patch reef system is unique in the Northern Shelf Lagoon. The dominance of this large boulder, coral in patch reefs is rare in Belize, with only one other location of such patch reefs known, at Glovers Reef. 30 hard coral species have been identified.

LOCAL POPULATION
There are scattered holiday/retirement homes and resorts along the shore adjacent to the site. San Pedro (tourism and fishing) holds the great majority of the caye's population, and is roughly 4.5 miles to the south from Mexico Rocks.

PHYSICAL FEATURES & CLIMATE
The average water depth is approximately 3 yards. A small cave (depth 26 yards) is reported in the site. The sediments in the area consist of unconsolidated poorly sorted gravely carbonate sands. The dominant components are derived from Halimeda spp. and coral fragments, while other fragments are derived from foraminifera, sponge spicules, mollusc and echinoderm fragments, among others.

BELIZE NATIONAL PARKS, NATURAL RESERVES, & WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES

Belize Parks Home / Bacalar Chico / Bird Sanctuaries / Burdon Canal Nature Reserve / Blue Hole National Park / Great Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef / Chiquibul National Park and Caracol / Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary / Columbia River Forest Reserve / Community Baboon Sanctuary / Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary / Five Blues Lake National Park / Glover's Reef Marine Reserve / Guanacaste National Park / Half Moon Caye Natural Monument / Hol Chan Marine Reserve / Laughing Bird Caye / Marco Gonzales / Mexico Rocks / Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve / Payne's Creek National Park / Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area / Shark Ray Alley / Shipstern Nature Reserve / Turneffe Atoll /

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