Besides being a center of indigenous cultural diversity,
the Sierra Juárez is a critical region in ecological terms.
Even the small study area includes a wide range of major
vegetation types: dry tropical forest along the Rio Grande,
humid pine-oak forest throughout much of Ixtlán (a place
well known for its community-managed forestry enterprises),
cloud forest in parts of Tiltepec, and tropical rain forest
along the lower Rio Cajonos.