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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Islas Marietas, an archipelago made up of two islands and two islets, are located in the transitional zone between the Nearctic and Neotropical biogeographic regions, thus, both on land and in the marine zone, species cohabit which are found at the southern and northern respective limits of distribution. Likewise, these islands are located in an area of confluence of three water bodies, the California Current, the current from the Coast of Costa Rica and the body of water of the Gulf of California (Wyrtki, 1965). These islands are thus a habitat that allows the coexistence of marine species characteristic of central and southern Mexican Pacific with the Gulf of California and the Pacific coast of Baja California.

On account of their geographic characteristics and the great diversity of habitat in the locality, invertebrate species such as sulphur sponge(Aplysina fistularis), cnidarian such as hydroids (Lytocarpus nuttingi), anemones, like those in the sand (Alicia beebei) and the tube anemone (Pachycerianthus fimbriatus), annelid, molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms, find in the area a good substrate to develop properly.

The coastal towns that are involved in the most activities with the islands are located in the municipalities of Bahia de Banderas in the state of Nayarit and in Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco. Populations close to the islands practice artisanal fishing even though fishermen have seen the greatest economic opportunity for their families in ecotourism. The directors of the protected area have made efforts to train residents of the area in matters relating to the application of a suitable and sustainable ecotourism in protected natural areas.
  Major ecosystem type   Pasture and coral reefs
  Major habitats & land cover types   Rangeland and coral reefs
  Location   20º 42´ 47” N 105º 33´ 18” W and 20º 41´ 11” N 105º 36´ 00” W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,383
  Core area(s)   78
  Buffer zone(s)   1,305
  Transition area(s) when given   14,124
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   2008
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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