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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The ‘Islas del Golfo de California’ Biosphere Reserve with its over 240 islands, is located between the rocky and arid peninsula of Baja California, the vast desert of Sonora and the abundant mangroves of Sinaloa. The rich and well-preserved Archipelago is an important area for bird’s reproduction refuges and as a corridor of migrating species. The area is rich in endemism and presents a great biologic and ecologic wealth of major economic importance for the country. It contains animal species such as ‘la iguana chukwalla’ (Sauromalus varius), ‘lobos marinos’ (Zalophus californianus) and ‘golondrinas marinas’ (Sterna elegans). Their origin is associated to tectonic and volcanic activities. Human population sourrounding the Gulf of California’s approximately 487,000 (1995) people, located mainly in ‘Guaymas’, ‘Mazatlan’, ‘La Paz’ and ‘San Felipe’. Some human activities have affected the insular ecosystems such as marine birds eggs and ‘guano’ extraction, fishing and tourism. More than 700 nomadic ‘Seris’ and ‘Konnak’ indigenous people (1995) live in Isla Tiburon and San Esteban engaged in fisheries, handicrafts and traditional knowledge and practices systems. As natural laboratories for scientific research, the main goal of the biosphere reserve is to preserve and restore natural ecosystems, and develop sustainable alternatives for local populations by regional planning processes, rural and marine integral development and territorial management.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts (Sonora desert); Marine archipelago of 124 major islands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Desert scrub; arid shrubland; tropical deciduous forest; coastal dune vegetation; sand dune systems; coastal mangroves
  Location   23°00' to 32°00' N; 106°00' to 115°00'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   150,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +1,318
  Year designated   1995
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca (SEMARNAP) Camino al Ajusco 200, 3er piso, Jardines en la Montaña, Tlalpan, C.P. 14210, México, D.F. Tel: (646) 172 59 05 Fax: (646) 176 01 90 E-mail:

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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