Salamanders, Butterflies and Desert Tortoises

The botanical garden in the Daimler Buses conservation area in Mexico. A small oasis of peace and biodiversity.

The Mercedes-Benz bus plant in Monterrey is situated in a beautiful and unique semi-arid landscape.

"For the last twenty years, we have witnessed the ongoing transformation of the plant's surroundings from a natural landscape to new production centers or residential complexes. The disappearance of the natural habitat for native flora and fauna gave us the idea of creating a conservation area and botanical garden. We want to preserve the native vegetation and provide a suitable habitat for the animals," said Enrique Perez, Environmental Protection Officer for Daimler Buses Monterrey in Mexico.

An area of 2,000 square meters was chosen to leave in its natural state. The first step involved finding a suitable piece of land, however. Biologists from the University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) investigated various parts of the plant's grounds in order to identify and list the plant species that grew there. A number of different cacti, bushes, shrubs, palms and tree species were identified. The scientists found the greatest diversity of species in the Northwest of the plant's premises.

The second step involved analyzing the wild animals living in this large area. And the list was strikingly long, with rabbits, wild rats, bats and wild cats, but also rodents, birds and lizards calling the area their home alongside rattlesnakes, tortoises, Central American raccoons and skunks, various bird species such as woodpeckers, crows and cardinals as well as butterflies.

Some of the species that were found are on the list of endangered creatures.

The definitive location of the conservation area was then defined. To this end, the project group took potential future expansions of the plant and facilities into account and defined an available space that was freely accessible.

Step four involved preparing the area in three sections: the core section, the buffer section and the transit section. In the core section, the land is being kept in its original condition which means it is not being processed or cultivated, the buffer section protects the core section, and the transit section or botanical garden provides access to the buffer and core sections.

The conservation area has not only provided a habitat for native and in some cases endangered animals and plants since 2015. It is also a place for employees and visitors to the Monterrey facility to enjoy some peace and quiet.

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