" --IANS/EFE"
Mexico City, Aug 26 (IANS/EFE) A basalt mining project linked to the expansion of the Mexican gulf port of Veracruz threatens North America's largest forest preserve.

Grassroots organisations and scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), are warning that the project will harm the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, which is already plagued by poachers.

The mining project would be developed in Balzapote, a village outside San Andres Tuxtla, one of eight cities located in the reserve, which was created in 1998.

Residents of the area are gathering signatures for an online petition to stop the project.

The project threatens 565 species of birds, 140 species of mammals, 117 species of reptiles and about 100 species of butterflies.

--IANS/EFE

ksk/ml/vm


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