Valle de los Cirios’ Wild Side

Last May, COSTASALVAJE staff and interns from the Autonomous University of Baja California conducted a monitoring tour of our wildlands located on the west coast of the Valle de los Cirios Natural Protected Area. In addition to monitoring the land, biological information was also collected. This information was made possible through “camera-traps” that were installed last year which have been an efficient tool to document the presence of wild animals while not disturbing their behavior or damaging their habitat.


The cameras are activated by motion detection and these “traps” have allowed us to photograph several species that inhabit the area like crows (Corvus corax), mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos), brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani), hares (Lepus californicus), coyotes (Canis latrans), bob cats (Lynx rufus), and the charismatic mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). [Read more…]

Saving Gray Whales and Responsible Whale Watching in Baja California

Photo by Eddie Kisfaludy

Photo by Eddie Kisfaludy

Gray whales have arrived in Baja California! Every winter these marine mammals visit the lagoons of Ojo de Liebre, San Ignacio and Bahía Magdalena to reproduce and give birth. Over the past 15 years, WILDCOAST has worked diligently to conserve gray whale habitat, train local whale watching guides in proper management techniques, and even help boat operators obtain less polluting outboard engines for their skiffs.

During their stay in the lagoons of the Baja California peninsula, whales are visited by thousands of tourists each year that want to get a glimpse of this majestic leviathans up close. Unfortunately, sometimes the desire to get close to whales, can sometimes stress the animals.

Therefore, in response to the growth of whale watching in Baja and in an effort to reduce impacts to these marine mammals, the Mexican government stablished strong whale watching guidelines (NOM- 131-SEMARNAT-2010). These guidelines are not only to regulate sightings, but to also promote the conservation of whale species, including the gray whale.

[Read more…]

Gray Whales Arrive in Baja’s Magdalena Bay

Ballena gris en PSC_ Costasalvaje

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is one species of whales that was hunted mercilessly during the IX and early XX centuries and was taken to the verge of extinction. After many years and numerous conservation efforts the global  population of gray whales has recovered and there are now between 18,000 and 24,000 of these gentle giants.

Gray whales make one of the longest migrations of any mammal. They travel between 15,000 and 20,000 miles every year from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to and from the warm waters off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. At the end of the fall, gray whales begin their journey south where they will spend winter and the beginning of spring to give birth and reproduce in three coastal lagoons in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Scammon’s lagoon, San Ignacio Lagoon and Magdalena Bay offer shelter to pregnant whales, newborn cubs and adults during winter months.  These sites have been and still are essential for the recovery and survival of the species.

[Read more…]