ENVIRONMENT - Key Findings
species are found in almost all of the families that make up Baja
California Sur’s flora. The families of cactae, agave, and tree and
bush mimosas (e.g. Willard’s acacia,
Desert Ironwood, Cat’s Claw, tabardillo) are eye-catching
because of their variety and high degree of endemism. Almost 75% of
cactus species are endemic.
Other less diverse groups also have numerous endemic species such as
the Burseras (Red Elephant Tree), palms, flowering plants, figs, and
several other species associated with the oases.
Among the terrestrial mammals, the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep (Ovis
canadiensis) and the Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocarpa
Americana) are the emblem species in the terrestrial ecosystem.
Other terrestrial and flying mammals
as well as the herpetofauna and insects have been the recent focus
of population studies, bringing to light new facts about endemism,
geographic range, or special limits.
islands in the Gulf of California are particularly high in endemism
and biodiversity. Isla Espíritu Santo has been a focus for conservation because of its
proximity to La Paz and its tourism potential. The owners, Ejido Alfredo Bonfil, decided to begin residential development there in
2000, sparking a fundraising effort to purchase the island. In
2002, the island was purchased and immediately expropriated by the
federal government for the national park system.
An endowment for conservation management was established at the
Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza in Mexico City
and additional funds were raised by ICF and the United Nations
Foundation for early infrastructure needs, eradication of non-native
species, and the pursuit of UNESCO World Heritage status for the
island. In July 2005, all 244 islands in the Gulf of California
were declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites – a designation that
was 25% terrestrial and 75% marine, the first formal recognition of
the importance of the islands’ adjacent marine areas.
2005, Sociedad de Historia Natural de Niparajá delivered a
justification study to SEMARNAT formally requesting a marine
extension of the protected area at Isla Espíritu Santo, as well as
upgrading that site to a national park.
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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Mexico’s Baja California. 1996, pp. 132-147.
 Wiggins, I. L., Flora of Baja
California, Stanford University Press, USA 1980./
Roberts, Norman, C., Baja California Plant Field Guide,
Natural History Publishing Co., La Jolla, 1989.
Patton, J.L., (eds.), “Mamíferos del
Noroeste de México”
(Mammals of Northeastern Mexico), Vols. I and II, Mexico
Rancel Patricia Illoldi; Linaje Miguel Angel;
Sanchez-Cordero Victor, “Distribucion de los mamiferos
terrestres en la region del Golfo de California Mexico”
(Distribution of terrestrial mammals in the Gulf of
California region, Mexico), Anales del Instituto de
Biologia Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Serie
Zoología, 2002, 73 (2), pp. 213-224./ Escalante Tania;
Espinosa David; Morrone Juan J, “Patrones de distribucion
geografica de los mamiferos terrestres de Mexico”
(Geographical distribution patterns of Mexico’s terrestrial
mammals) , Acta Zoologica Mexicana, Nueva Serie 2002,
(87), pp. 47-65.
Grismer, L. Lee. “Hylogeny, taxonomy, and biogeography of
Cnemidophorus hyperythrus and C. ceralbensis (Squamata:
Teiidae) in Baja Califronia, Mexico,” Herpetologica,
1999, pp. 28-42/ Aguirre L., Gustavo; Morafka, David J.;
Murphy, Robert W. “The peninsular archipelago of Baja
California: a thousand kilometers of tree lizard genetics,”
Herpetológica 1999; 55(3), pp. 369-381.
 Ezequiel Ezcurra;
Harumi Fujita; Enrique Hambleton; Rodolfo Ogarrio: “Isla
Espíritu Santo. Evolución, rescate y conservación” (The
evolution, rescue and conservation of the Espiritu Santo
island), FUNDEA, Marina Costa Baja, Mexico 2003.