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The Tecolutla River is born in the Sierra de Puebla, formed by the confluence of the Necaxa, Axacal, Cempola and San Pedro rivers, which are born in the Sierra Madre Oriental. It flows Southeast to Northwest for approximately 100 kilometers, receiving the waters of the Laxaxalpan, Tecuantepec and Jaloapan rivers, as well as the waters of the Chichicatzapa Stream at its mouth, where it forms the Tecolutla Barrier.
Tropical and coastal areas such as Tecolutla host birds of the Ciconiiformes order, which are the most noticeable of the zone. Ardeidae is the most representative family. In general, there are 106 species of birds registered in the area. Fifty-four percent reside, thirty-six percent hibernate and nine percent only pass temporarily through the area.
The Tecolutla estuary system belongs to the geological province of Tampico, with a perennial tropical forest as the predominant vegetation. Today, most of this type of vegetation has been devastated and replaced with pastures suitable for raising cattle. Pollution is also part of the system, with as many as 500 sources of contaminants, such as petrochemical complexes, oil exploitation fields, citrus processing plants, sugar mills, coffee processing centers, chemical industries, pulp and paper mills, and urban centers, among others. The effects can range from long lasting such as heavy metals and pesticides, to short-term like particles being deposited as sediment, or transitory but severe like temperature changes, organic matter and cyanide, threatening the future of the estuary and its dwellers.
Coordinates: 20.48° N 97.00° W
Castaneda L.O. and F.E. Contreras. 2001. Serie: Bibliografia Comentada sobre ecosistemas costeros mexicanos 2001. Centro de Documentacion Ecosistemas Litorales Mexicanos. Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Division C. B. S. Depto. de Hidrologia. Publicacion electronica (CD). ISBN:970-654-912-9. Mexico, D.F.
Keywords: Estuary, River,Tropical forest, Pollution
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