El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve

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El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Pelícano en Mulegé.jpg
A pelican on the coast of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Location in Mexico
Location Baja California Sur, Mexico
Nearest city Mulegé Municipality
Coordinates 27°47′32″N 114°13′40″W / 27.79222°N 114.22778°W / 27.79222; -114.22778Coordinates: 27°47′32″N 114°13′40″W / 27.79222°N 114.22778°W / 27.79222; -114.22778
Area 55,555 square-mile (143,600 square km)
Established 1988
Official name: Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
Type: Natural
Criteria: x
Designated: 1993 (17th session)
Reference No. 554
State Party: Mexico
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, created in 1988,[1] is located in Mulegé Municipality in northern Baja California Sur, at the center of the Baja California Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California). With a landmass of over 55,555 square-miles (143,600 square km), it is the largest wildlife refuge in all of Latin America and certainly the most diverse.[2]

First inhabitants[edit]

The Cochimi first inhabited this region over eleven thousand years ago, nomads who came from the north of the American continent. These nomadic wanderers lived in the protection of caves in the Sierra San Francisco mountain range. Travelers making the trek into this mountainous region can still see their cave art.

Unique only to Baja[edit]

The animals and plants of this territory have adapted themselves to the region’s extreme desert conditions with little rainfall, intense winds and an ecosystem which has produced thousands of endemic species of plants and animal life found nowhere else in the world.

Fauna[edit]

Animals that have adapted to these extreme conditions include a variety of nocturnals such as coyotes, rodents, and hares; others have adapted to only ingesting water from succulents. Outstanding among the mammals is the Baja California pronghorn (Antilocapra americana peninsularis), an endemic subspecies of the Pronghorn, which is one of the swiftest mammals on Earth. The last populations of this subspecies can be found in the region. The Vizcaíno is also the habitat of the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus peninsulae), and dozens of resident and migratory birds. Of special importance: the ospreys, cormorants, herons, and gulls—and four species of sea turtles. On the coastline and islets there are many marine mammals, such as northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), dolphins, and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

View[edit]

El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve - Park Profile - General information. Retrieved 09-14-2008.
  2. ^ Riley, Laura and William Riley. Nature's Strongholds: The World's Great Wildlife Reserves. Princeton University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-691-12219-9, ISBN 978-0-691-12219-9 pg. 452.

External links[edit]