Through collaboration between N-Gen, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), UC MEXUS, CIBNOR, and the San Diego Natural History Museum, a weeklong survey of the desert lands adjacent to the coral reefs of Cabo Pulmo in Baja California Sur was conducted in November 2013. The results of this expedition and their relevance to the proposed mega-development project “Cabo Dorado” are presented here.
The subtropical desert lands adjacent to Cabo Pulmo, like the remarkable marine biodiversity of this singular coral reef ecosystem, maintain critical and unique habitat for diverse communities of plants and animals. This interdisciplinary group of 21 researchers documented 392 plants, 44 mammals, 29 reptiles, and 95 birds, of which 42 have formal conservation recognition as endangered species under Mexican NOM-059, and 100 are endemic to this part of the Cape Region. The area of highest conservation importance, Punta Arena – seen above, is in the proposed core development zone of Cabo Dorado. Contained within the 11 square kilometers of Punta Arena are two unique habitats, two micro-endemic plant species only known to occur within these habitats, threatened species of shorebirds and waterfowl, and nesting sea turtles.
Guided by the vision and action of local leaders and the community of Cabo Pulmo, the biological results of this expedition combined with conscious planning can lead to a future that perpetuates the magical essence of the region.
Vanderplank, S.E., B.T. Wilder, E. Ezcurra. 2014. Descubriendo la Biodiversidad Terrestre en la Región de Cabo Pulmo / Uncovering the Dryland Biodiversity of the Cabo Pulmo Region. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers, and UC MEXUS, U.S.A. 122 pg.
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See press coverage here: http://nextgensd.com/cabo-pulmo-press/