Classified as a priority terrestrial region, Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is located in the west-central part of Nuevo León, bordering Coahuila. It covers an area of 177,395 hectares in the municipalities of Allende, García, Montemorelos, Monterrey, Rayones, Santa Catarina, Santiago, and San Pedro Garza García. Because it is located in the northern part of the Sierra Madre Oriental, it is predominantly mountainous, although it does include some plains. The park ranges from arid zones with species typical of desert regions, through scrublands with various types of vegetation, to forests of main pine and oak trees in the highest parts, as well as grasslands and diverse forest compositions along the rivers and ravines.
The history of this Natural Protected Area dates back to November 24, 1939, when President Lázaro Cárdenas declared the Cumbres de Monterrey region a national park for "perennial conservation of the region's flora and fauna. Three years later, President Manuel Avila Camacho legalized the exploitation and use of land in this area for "land with a slope of 10 percent or less and that is appropriate for crops. During Ernesto Zedillo's federal administration, on November 17, 2000, the region was also declared a Natural Protected Area as a national park by presidential decree, thus repealing the first two decrees.
Flora and fauna
One thousand 368 species of flora and fauna have been registered in Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, 73 of which are considered endangered, threatened, endemic, or under special protection. It is home to the most ecologically valuable plant communities in Nuevo León, mainly pine and oak forests, as well as grasslands and diverse forest compositions along the rivers and canyons.
It is considered an important area for the conservation of birds. Among them, the Eastern Mountain Parakeet, the Harlequin woodpecker, the Rainbow duck, the cardinal, the Pallid falcon, the Peregrine falcon, and the American goldfinch. Also seen are the coyote, cougar, badger, raccoon, white-tailed deer, opossum, armadillo, wild boar, gray fox, hare, and gray and red squirrels.
Environmental and tourist services
Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is fundamental for the region because it produces about 70 percent of the water consumed by the city of Monterrey, the second-largest city in Mexico in terms of population density. In addition, it has several ideal places for nature lovers to enjoy ecotourism activities, mountain biking, rappelling, etc.