As an evolutionary lineage cycads are rare, and the extinction risk is high for many species. The genus Ceratozamia, one of the most diverse in Mexico, is experiencing drastic reductions of its habitat. Ceratozamia is widely distributed along the Sierra Madre Oriental, a complex mountain range, in a region characterized by high ecological and cultural diversity. Since 1990, various conservation and management strategies have been applied to this taxon in Mexico but evidence for the effectiveness of these measures is lacking. Ceratozamia in the Mexican Sierra Madre Oriental is highly diverse and endemic, offering a model for analysing geographical distribution patterns with ecological niche modelling. It also presents an opportunity for assessing the success of conservation and management strategies that have been implemented in this area. Here, we examined three aspects that are considered fundamental for the development and evaluation of conservation strategies: (1) taxonomy, (2) ecology and (3) sociocultural anthropology. Our findings suggest a pessimistic outlook for the long-term survival of Ceratozamia species in their natural environment, indicating the need to review the current IUCN Cycad Action Plan for the genus. To improve the protection of Ceratozamia and other taxonomic and/or ecological assemblages, we encourage a multidisciplinary approach, with increased collaboration between natural and social scientists.