Oxford. 20 June 2007. After a six-year campaign, conservationists are celebrating the designation of Bahia de los Angeles as a protected biosphere reserve. Hundreds of Earthwatch volunteers contributed to this success by helping to gather data on the Black Sea Turtles of Baja expedition.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced on June 6 2007 that Bahia de los Angeles, a bay that is home to whale sharks, fin whales, California sea lions, and five species of sea turtles, is now a protected area. Earthwatch scientist Dr. W. J. Nichols describes it as 'a long-awaited conservation success.'
This 957,660-acre reserve includes coastal, marine, and island ecosystems that harbour numerous marine species, as well as birds and other coastal wildlife. With the new protection in place, there will be no bottom trawlers, shrimp farms, marina developments, deforestation, or construction of inland channels in the area. This protection may help protect the critically endangered vaquita, a small, shy porpoise of which only 500 remain.
Dr. Nichols and his colleagues Drs. William Megill and Volker Koch will be running Earthwatch teams in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California this autumn on a new research project Tracking Baja's Black Sea Turtles. We're still finalising the details so keep an eye on the website or call + 44 1865 318831 for details.
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Images top-bottom©Katherine Harada, Kate Corfield