La Michilía Biosphere Reserve is a protected area of Mexico, located 75 km south of Durango in the Sierra de Michis, a branch of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Its physiographic limits are two mountain ranges: the Sierra Michis and the Sierra Urica. The area between these two Sierras has several plateaus and small hills, separated by valleys and canyons of varying depth.
In the reserve, the topography is marked by a high degree of relief. There are several ephemeral streams and lagoons, besides the two permanent streams, Laurel to the west and Temascal to the southeast. There are also marshy meadows in the core area. Pine and Holm oak forests cover the greater part of the reserve.
There are five types of vegetation in the Reserve: Conifer forest (Pinus, Quercus-Pinus, Pseudotsuga spp, Cupressus and Juniperus), Oak (Quercus) forest, grasslands, xerophyllus shrubland, and aquatic and subaquatic vegetation.
Its forests act as a catchment area for two basins that are important for the region’s agriculture. The Reserve hosts 770 species of vascular plants.
The fauna in the reserve is predominantly of Nearctic origin with North American affinities. The Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) used to live in the area but is now extinct. The Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyii) and the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) have been reintroduced in the Reserve.
Among the most important vertebrate species are the White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the Puma (Puma concolor), the Coyote (Canis latrans), the Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).