San Basilio: Biodiversidad y Conservación/Biodiversity and Conservation
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AuthorVanderplank, Sula E.
Vanderplank, Sula E.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe bay of San Basilio, Baja California Sur, is immediately remarkable to any visitor for its stunning landscape and heterogeneity of landforms and habitats. This secret corner of the peninsula quietly boasts abundant natural resources and phenomenal biodiversity. The whole bay is alive, above and below the rich lands and waters of this coastal paradise. The marine elements include rocky reefs, and both sandy and rocky shores, which span an ecotone of taxonomic biodiversity. The land-sea fringe is home to mangroves, salt-marshes, dunes and estuaries. The influences of land and sea support the presence of a plethora of coastal species, and further inland a healthy arid scrub complex with seasonal lagoons and permanent freshwater pools is home to several rare and endangered species, and elevated numbers of species in general. The mangroves show the distinct footprint of sea-level rise with areas of die-off towards the coast and areas of new colonization occurring above the current water-line. The biological riches of San Basilio remain threatened. Biodiversity at the coast is certainly impacted by the presence of humans and free-roaming dogs. Tourism on the beaches is putting considerable pressure on the coastal habitats, especially with regard to waste, trash, and mis-use of the beaches. Overfishing, through both industrial harvest and unsustainable take of top predators (e.g., sharks and groupers) is adversely affecting the marine ecosystems. Cattle are reducing the inland terrestrial biodiversity and abundance; more restrictions to cattle entry and the fencing of priority habitats are advised. Through the findings of this report we connect the conservation challenges of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, with recommendations for the long-term conservation of the San Basilio region.
DescriptionThis report on the biodiversity of the San Basilio bay near Loreto in Baja California Sur, Mexico details an expedition from 2019 to document the marine and terrestrial species of the region. The expedition documented at least 147 vertebrates and at least 250 invertebrates, as well as 284 plants, for a total of 681 terrestrial taxa. Observational data for marine and terrestrial environments combined in the iNaturalist project have reached 1,333 observations of different species and 476 different taxa have been identified so far. The project page is accessible at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/san-basilio-expedition-and-bioinventory. Many recommendations are included for the conservation of the bay and the protection of its threatened species.
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