CEDO (Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) is proud to announce the declaration of Bahía San Jorge’s wetlands as Wetlands of International Importance
As part of the celebration of World Wetlands Day on February 2nd, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, announced the addition of the wetlands at Bahía San Jorge as one of seven new sites in the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention in 2010.
During the memorial ceremony on the island of San Pedro, in Yuriria, Guanajuato, the Secretary said that with this designation Mexico is now second in the world, behind only the United Kingdom, in the number of Ramsar sites it currently has. One hundred and thirty one sites exist and cover a total surface of eight million, 915 thousand, 433.7 hectares. The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty, which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation on the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Mexico joined the Convention on November 4, 1986.
The wetlands of Bahía San Jorge extend over more than 35 linear kilometers of coastline, from the northern tip of Estero Almejas to the southern tip of Estero San Francisquito. This Ramsar site brings together a combination of habitats, marshes, low intertidal mud, salt marshes, coastal dunes, sandy beaches, permanent shallow marine waters and wetland-terrestrial interface, connecting the earth system with one of the most productive marine systems world, the Gulf of California, and are in turn connected to the Sonoran Desert.
Currently, this area is of great importance for fisheries and aquaculture production, and for species, such as rays, guitarfish, shark, octopus, shrimp, and crab. Like other estuaries in the region, Bahía San Jorge’s wetlands serve as nesting, resting and feeding grounds for migratory and resident birds that are part of the Pacific Flyway, including species like the least tern, the American oystercatcher and savanna sparrow. The canals and marshes of the site serve as refuge and feeding areas for the larval and juvenile stages of fish and invertebrates, and as well as for feeding grounds for marine species. Bahía San Jorge also hosts a resident population of the bottlenose dolphin, an endangered species. There are also endemic species not found anywhere else in the world there, like the fisherman myotis bat.
The declaration of the Bahía San Jorge’s wetlands as Wetlands of International Importance increases support for conservation and sustainable use, which helps protect its ecological integrity, and continues to maintain important ecological functions and environmental services.