Big Bend Biosphere Region

Big Bend Biosphere Region

The “biosphere” is that veneer of our Earth’s crust, waters and atmosphere that supports life. It reaches from the deepest ocean floor 12 miles upward to the tops of the highest mountains and contains 193 distinct biogeographical zones or ecosystems. One of these is the vast Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico, southern Texas, and New Mexico. It is a biogeographical zone rich in geologic history and natural lifeforms. It is also an area exposed to a multitude of issues impacting its resources and people. Within the Chihuahuan Desert there are four “biosphere reserves,” Big Bend, Jornada, Maderas del Carmen, and Mapimi, where answers to these pressures are being sought.


Our mission:

We strive to collaboratively manage the region’s globally significant Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems, including their natural, cultural, aesthetic and human values, and promote opportunities for inspiration, education, research, recreation, and economically sustainable practices for this and future generations.

Big Bend Biosphere Region scenery
Learn more about the Big Bend Biosphere Region

Where is the Big Bend Biosphere Region?

The Big Bend Biosphere Region (BBBR) was designated by UNESCO in 1976 and is special to many people in different ways. The BBBR possesses extraordinary natural and cultural resources and contains the largest intact portion of the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems in the U.S., which is one of the most biologically rich and diverse desert ecoregions in the world. Our unique transboundary geography and collaboration with Mexican protected areas and natural monuments allows the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems to be managed and protected as a whole – preserving its biodiversity and ecosystem services for future generations.
Geography of the Big Bend Biosphere Region


What's So Special About It?


Learn More

  • Big Bend Biosphere Region Fact Sheet
  • To watch a fun video featuring Biosphere Regions across the world, please click here.
  • To learn more about science and research occurring in the Big Bend National Park, click here.
  • To view our contribution to UNESCO’s “Proud to Share” video series, click here.
  • To discover how parks and protected areas fit into the Biosphere Region model, click here
  • To become involved in dark sky initiatives, check out the International Dark Skies Association, or local grassroots efforts such as the Big Bend Conservation Alliance and West Texas Friends of the Night Sky.
  • For additional information, explore Biosphere Regions near you, support local businesses, choose sustainable practices, and get inspired about a healthier future for all!

Last updated: May 13, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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