Cedros Island (Isla de Cedros, "island of cedars" in Spanish) is an island in the Pacific Ocean belonging to the state of Baja California, Mexico. The dry and rocky island had a population of 1,350 in 2005 and has an area of 348 square kilometres (134 sq mi) which includes the area of several small nearby islands. Cedros Island is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 1,205 metres (3,953 ft). The economy is based on commercial fishing and salt mining. Cedros has a distinctive flora and the traces of some of the earliest human beings in the New World. The ocean around the island is popular with sports fishermen.
The American Indian inhabitants when the island was first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century called it Huamalgua, the "Island of Fogs." The Indian inhabitants have been given the name Huamalgueños by modern day scholars. They were relocated to the mainland of Baja California by Jesuit missionaries in 1732 and ceased to exist as an identifiable people.
Cedros Island is located in Ensenada Municipality, off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, from which it is separated by 100-kilometre-wide (62 mi) Sebastián Vizcaíno Bay. It is 22 km (14 mi) northwest of Punta Eugenia in Mulegé Municipality - the westernmost point of the state of Baja California Sur mainland. It also lies 15 km (9.32 mi) north of Isla Natividad (off Punta Eugenia, and also part of Mulegé Municipality) from which it is separated by the Canal de Keller, and some 500 km (311 mi) from San Diego. The island has an area of 348.295 square kilometres (134.477 sq mi), being the fourth-largest island in Mexico (following Tiburón Island, Isla Ángel de la Guarda, and Cozumel).
Between Cedros Island and Isla Natividad runs the 28th parallel north, which defines the border between the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. The Islas San Benito, about 25 km (16 mi) west and 3.899 km2 (1.505 sq mi) in area, are administratively part of Cedros Island.
The Isla de Cedros was named by early Spanish explorers who mistakenly associated the large amounts of redwood and cedar driftwood arriving with the California current for local pines visible on the crest of the island.
|Climate data for Isla Cedros 10 metres (33 ft) above sea level|
|Average high °C (°F)||22.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.6
|Average low °C (°F)||14.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||10
The only weather station on the island is located on the southeastern coast. Northern and western parts of the island are several degrees cooler because the cold waters surrounding the island cause heavy fog and clouds, especially during spring and summer. The condensation from the fog permits lusher vegetation to flourish, similar to the "fog oases" (lomas) of the arid Pacific Coast of South America. Precipitation is also greater at the higher elevations of the island, reaching possible annual totals of 200 millimetres (7.9 in). Rarely, heavy rains caused by unstable tropical air masses and chubascos cause flooding.
The borough "seat" is Cedros town ("Pueblo Cedros"), on the southern east coast. Pueblo Cedros is largely associated with Pescadores Nacionales de Abulón, the lobster and abalone fishing cooperative based on the island. It was founded by fishermen in 1922.
The second town is Puerto Morro Redondo (in short, El Morro), close to the southeastern point of the island, El Morro. It is a "company town," built by the joint Mexican Government and Mitsubishi Corporation to house the workers of the salt-transshipment facility on the island. Salt from the salt evaporation ponds of Guerrero Negro on the Baja California peninsula is taken by barge to a deepwater salt dock near Puerto Morro Redondo, at the south end of Cedros Island, where it is loaded onto ships for export. There is regularly scheduled air service to the island from Ensenada, departing every Monday and Wednesday, and landing at an airstrip at the south end, adjacent to the "company town," while a 10 km (6 mi) road leads to "Pueblo Cedros". Open launch rides across the channel between Cedros and the mainland can also be arranged at the Abarrotes Ramales store in Bahia Tortugas, but travellers opting for this transport should be prepared to have a flexible schedule with several extra days in case of inclement weather conditions in the Channel.
The remaining settlements are smaller. Jerusalem is just west of El Morro, but on the western side of the airport, with regularly arranged residential units. It is frequently considered part of El Morro.
Lomas Blancas, a mining town with 17 buildings, is located between Cedros town and El Morro.
San Agustín, a typical fishing village with about 20 buildings, is located 1 km (0.6 mi) northeast of the southwestern point of the island, Cabo San Agustín.
La Colorada, on the southwest coast, with about 10 buildings, is 4 km (2 mi) north of San Agustín.
Wayle, 15 buildings on the western side of the southern bight Bahía del Sur, is 3 km (1.9 mi) northeast of San Agustín.
The mining town of Punta Norte (about 25 buildings) is located on the northeast coast, 3.5 km (2.2 mi) southeast of the northern end of the island, which is also called Punta Norte. Two kilometres (1 mi) to the southeast is Los Crestones mine.
List of settlements and locations:
The long-held theory that the first human beings in the Americas arrived by land through an ice-free corridor in western Canada has been called into question by archaeological discoveries along the Pacific coastlines of North and South America. Many scientists now believe that the earliest inhabitants arrived by boat, and findings on Cedros Island bolster that theory. The Clovis culture, which began about 11,200 BCE, is the earliest universally acknowledged evidence of man in the Americas; but the remains of ancient people dating to earlier than 10,000 BCE have been found on Cedros Island. Cedros Island was attractive to humans because of its rich marine environment and its relative abundance of water compared to most of the desert coastline of Baja California. The early people of Cedros Island fished, gathered shellfish, and hunted seals, sea lions, and seabirds. Ancient spear points and shell fishhooks found on Cedros are similar to those found in a semi-circle of the Pacific coastline from Okinawa to Peru. The fishhooks made of shell found on Cedros Island indicate a marine, sea-going culture some 6,000 years before similar cultures are known to have existed on the coast and islands of California.
In 1539, when the Spanish expedition led by Francisco de Ulloa landed on the island, it encountered several villages with populations at each estimated in the hundreds. Finding it difficult to reach the remaining Indians on the island, the Jesuit missionaries practiced Indian reductions and brought them all to Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán, in San Ignacio on the Baja California mainland in 1732.
Gold and copper mining took place near Punta Norte between 1890 and 1917. The fishing village and cannery at Puerto Cedros were established in 1920. The fishing cooperative was founded in 1943, and the deepwater salt dock at the south end of the island was built in 1966. The island was mapped in detail by Mexican and U.S. geologists during the 1970s.
Cedros Island is at most some 38 kilometres (23.6 mi) long in N-S direction and 6.4 to 8 kilometres (4 to 5 mi) wide in the northern half; the southern end is some 17 kilometres (11 mi) wide in a NW-SE direction. The island consists of a variety of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, including part of an ophiolite complex and high-pressure, low temperature blueschists. Most of the rocks are of Mesozoic age, though some late Cenozoic strata crop out near the town in the southeastern corner of the island. Its highest peak, Monte Cedros, has an elevation of 1,205 metres (3,953 ft).
The most common vegetation for more than 90 percent of the land on the island is desert scrub of many different species. The lower elevations, especially the south, receive very sparse rainfall. However, the northern and western parts of the island are often shrouded in fog, and some plants have adapted to receiving moisture from fog. The fog plus the slightly greater rainfall at higher elevations has permitted the existence of Monterey pine forests at elevations of 500 metres (1,600 ft) to 800 metres (2,600 ft) where the influence of the fog is most intense. The pine forests are scattered and only cover 0.46 percent of the total area of the island. The pines grow to a height of up to 10 metres (33 ft). California juniper are also found at similar altitudes, covering 0.05 percent of the land area.
At the highest elevations of the island, above and mixed in with the pine forests, chaparral vegetation is found. The chaparral averages 3 metres (9.8 ft) in height and consists of several woody species including Quercus cedrosensis, the Cedar Island live oak. Chaparral covers 2.4 percent of the land area of Cedar Island.
Vargas or El Aguaje de Vargas is the most important spring with a flow of 180 drums of 200 lts or 55 US gal (208 l; 46 imp gal) every 12 hours; springs on the island are usually marked by groves of palm trees[verification needed].
Large sea lion colonies are found on the rocks on the west side as well as the anchorage on the north end.
There is feral goats on Cedros. Unlike on other islands in the region (notably Guadalupe Island), they do not seem to have had a significant impact on the island ecosystem. This would be due to the fact that Cedros is on the continental shelf close to the coast and, at least temporarily, it was connected to the mainland during the last ice age when sea levels were lower than today. Then, and as a consequence of this, there are native to Cedros herbivores, which on one hand compete with the goat population for food and presumably have kept it from increasing beyond carrying capacity, and on the other hand forced the native plants to keep their defenses against herbivores, unlike plants on megaherbivoreless islands which tend to lack those defenses.
Fishing is plentiful around Cedros Island. California yellowtail, a subspecies of yellowtail amberjack, are very plentiful at this island because of yellowtail breed there. These fish like to live in the kelp beds of the island. Other fish, such as calico bass and sheepshead are also very plentiful at this island.
The meridian 115° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.
The 115th meridian west forms a great circle with the 65th meridian east.
Between the equator and the 60th parallel south it forms the eastern boundary of the South Pacific Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the western boundary of the Latin American Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.Cedros Island mule deer
The Cedros Island mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus cerrosensis) is a subspecies of mule deer found only on Cedros Island off the coast of Baja California. Only about 50 individuals remain, with no captive population. Its behavior is similar to that of other subspecies of mule deer. The subspecies is threatened by feral dogs and poaching.Crotalus ruber
Common names: red diamond rattlesnake, red rattlesnake, red diamond snake, moreCrotalus ruber is a venomous pit viper species found in southwestern California in the United States and Baja California in Mexico. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.Diplacus stellatus
Diplacus stellatus is a small herb formerly considered part of the family Scrophulariaceae but now regarded as a member of the Phrymaceae. The species is endemic to Cedros Island in the Mexican State of Baja California. It was formerly known as Mimulus stellatus.El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, created in 1988, is located in Mulegé Municipality in northern Baja California Sur, at the center of the Baja California Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. With a landmass of over 9,625 square-miles (24,930 square km), it is the largest wildlife refuge in Mexico and borders on the northern edge of the Valle de los Cirios Protected Area of Flora and Fauna.Eschscholzia elegans
Eschscholzia elegans is a relative of the California poppy that occurs on Guadalupe and Cedros islands, off the coast of the Baja California peninsula.
Although many of the specimens given its name are actually Eschscholzia ramosa, its type specimen and a few other specimens have very different seeds, and may be more closely related to Eschscholzia palmeri.Isla Natividad
Isla Natividad is an island in the Pacific Ocean 6 km west off Punta Eugenia, the northwestern headland of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. 200 meters off its northwestern end lies Roca María at 27°53′33″N 115°13′19″W, with an area of 0.074 km2. Isla Natividad is separated from the mainland at Punta Eugenia by Canal de Dewey (Dewey's Channel), and from Cedros Island (Baja California), which is 15 km to the north, by Canal de Keller (Canal Kellett).The island is part of Bahía Tortugas delegación of Mulegé municipality. It is 8.655 km2 in area. At the 2001 census, the island had a population of 384, centered in Natividad, a community of abalone, lobster, and clam fishermen, at the southeastern end (27°51′09″N 115°10′09″W). Connection to the mainland is facilitated by an airstrip. There is a lighthouse in the northern part.Isla de Cedros Airport
Isla de Cedros Airport (ICAO: MMCD) is a small airfield located on Cedros Island—Isla de Cedros, in southwestern Baja California state, Mexico.
It is 6 miles (9.7 km) south of the town of Cedros, the largest town on the island. Cedros Island is the largest Mexican island in the Pacific Ocean.Islas San Benito
The Islas San Benito lie in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, 25 km west of Cedros Island. They are part of the Cedros Island delegación, a subdivision of Ensenada (municipality), Baja California.
The group consists of three barren islands, with a total area of 3.899 km2, and is surrounded by rocks and patches of kelp. The census of 2001 recorded a population of two on Benito del Oeste (West Benito); the other islands are uninhabited.Monardella
Monardella is a genus of approximately 40 species of annual and perennial plants native to western North America from British Columbia to northwestern Mexico. They are grown for their highly aromatic foliage, which in some species is used for herbal teas. The two-lipped, tubular flowers are formed in terminal clusters and are most usually red, pink, or purple.Plants in this genus are commonly known as wildmints, coyote mints or monardellas.
SpeciesMonardella arizonica Epling - Arizona
Monardella australis Abrams - southern California
Monardella beneolens Shevock, Ertter & Jokerst - southern California
Monardella boydii A.C.Sanders & Elvin - southern California
Monardella breweri A.Gray - California, Nevada, Arizona, Baja California
Monardella candicans Benth. - San Joaquín Valley of California
Monardella douglasii Benth. - San Francisco Bay area of California
Monardella eplingii Elvin et al. - Arizona
Monardella eremicola A.C.Sanders & Elvin - southern California
Monardella exilis (A.Gray) Greene - southern California, Arizona
Monardella follettii (Jeps.) Jokerst - northern Sierra Nevada in California
Monardella hypoleuca A.Gray - southern California, Baja California
Monardella lagunensis M.E.Jones - Baja California Sur
†Monardella leucocephala A.Gray - Merced & Stanislaus counties in California but believed to be extinct
Monardella linoides A.Gray - California, Arizona, Nevada, Baja California
Monardella macrantha A.Gray - California, Baja California
Monardella mojavensis Elvin & A.C.Sanders - Mohave Desert of southeastern California & southern Nevada
Monardella nana A.Gray - California, Baja California
Monardella odoratissima Benth. - mountain wildmint, mountain coyote mint or mountain pennyroyal - much of western North America from British Columbia south to southern California & New Mexico
Monardella palmeri A.Gray - Santa Lucia Mountains of west-central California
†Monardella pringlei A.Gray - Mohave Desert of southeastern California but believed to be extinct
Monardella purpurea Howell - Oregon, California
Monardella robisonii Epling ex Munz - Mohave Desert of southeastern California
Monardella saxicola I.M.Johnst. - southeastern California
Monardella sheltonii Torr. ex Durand - Oregon, California
Monardella sinuata Elvin & A.C.Sanders - coastal central California
Monardella siskiyouensis Hardham - northern California
Monardella stebbinsii Hardham & Bartel - Plumas County in northern California
Monardella stoneana Elvin & A.C.Sanders - San Diego County in California, Baja California
Monardella × subglabra (Hoover) Hardham - California (M. purpurea × M. villosa)
Monardella thymifolia Greene - Cedros Island in Baja California
Monardella undulata Benth. - coastal central California
Monardella venosa (Torr.) A.C.Sanders & Elvin - central California
Monardella villosa Benth. - (common) coyote mint - Oregon, California
Monardella viminea Greene - San Diego County in southern California
Monardella viridis Jeps. - northern San Francisco Bay area of California (Sonoma, Napa, Solano, & Lake Counties)Niebla flabellata
Niebla flabellata is a fruticose lichen that grows on rocks along the foggy Pacific Coast of Baja California in the Northern Vizcaíno Desert, from San Fernando Canyon to the northern shore of the Vizcaíno Peninsula west to Cedros Island. The epithet, flabellata is in reference to the flattened branches of the thallus.Pinus radiata
Pinus radiata, family Pinaceae, the Monterey pine, insignis pine or radiata pine, is a species of pine native to the Central Coast of California and Mexico (Guadalupe Island and Cedros island).
P. radiata is a versatile, fast-growing, medium-density softwood, suitable for a wide range of uses. Its silviculture is highly developed, and is built on a firm foundation of over a century of research, observation and practice. It is often considered a model for growers of other plantation species. It is the most widely planted pine in the world, valued for rapid growth and desirable lumber and pulp qualities.
Although P. radiata is extensively cultivated as a plantation timber in many temperate parts of the world, it faces serious threats in its natural range.Punta Eugenia
Punta Eugenia is a headland in the Mulegé Municipality, and is the westernmost point on the mainland of the state of Baja California Sur. To its north west lie Isla Natividad, Cedros Island and the Islas San Benito.
The pattern of ocean currents and eddies around Punta Eugenia has been shown to be a significant phylogeographic break in the distribution of fish species.Quercus cedrosensis
Quercus cedrosensis, the Cedros Island oak, is a species of plant in the Fagaceae family.
Quercus cedrosensis is native to Baja California state in northwestern Mexico, including Cedros Island. It has also been found in San Diego County, California.Quercus cedrosensis is vulnerable to habitat loss due to overgrazing by goats and overlogging.Rhus integrifolia
Rhus integrifolia, also known as lemonade sumac, lemonade berry, or lemonadeberry, is a shrub to small tree. It is native to the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges and the South Coast regions of Southern California. This extends from Santa Barbara County and the Channel Islands to San Diego County and extending into north-central Pacific coastal Baja California and its offshore islands such as Cedros Island.
It is 1–8 metres (3.3–26.2 ft) in height, with a sprawling form, and is a member of the chaparral plant community often found in canyons and on north-facing slopes below elevations of 900 metres (3,000 ft). Rhus integrifolia often hybridizes with Rhus ovata.Salvia cedrosensis
Salvia cedrosensis is an evergreen fruticose perennial plant that is endemic to the western (Pacific) coast of Baja California in Mexico, growing on the Vizcaino peninsula and Cedros Island.
It is found growing along dry riverbeds and canyons in rocky soil. In the wild it grows 60 cm (24 in) tall and wide, with small felt-like leaves that are whitish-grey and 2.5 cm (0.98 in). The flowers are violet-blue, with a pearly grey calyx and light violet around the edges.Sebastián Vizcaíno Bay
Sebastián Vizcaíno Bay (Spanish: Bahía de Sebastián Vizcaíno) is a bay along the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula in northwestern Mexico.Synthliboramphus
Synthliboramphus is a small genus of seabirds in the auk family from the North Pacific. The genus name Synthliboramphus is from Ancient Greek sunthlibo, "to compress", and rhamphos, "bill". "Murrelet" is a diminutive of "murre", a word of uncertain origins, but which may imitate the call of the common guillemot.The genus contains five species:
Guadalupe murrelet, Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
Scripps's murrelet, Synthliboramphus scrippsi
Craveri's murrelet, Synthliboramphus craveri
Ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus
Japanese murrelet, Synthliboramphus wumizusumeThe first three species were formally considered conspecific, and are sometimes separated in the genus Endomychura.
Fossil remains of two prehistoric species are known: an undescribed Synthliboramphus sp. from the Late Miocene or Early Pliocene (c. 5 mya) of Cedros Island, Mexico, and Synthliboramphus rineyi from the Late Pliocene (around 3.5-2 mya) San Diego Formation of the southwestern USA.
These birds breed in colonies, their eggs being laid directly amongst tree roots or in rock crevices. They are nocturnal on the breeding grounds, presumably to reduce predation, and for the same reason the precocial young are never fed at the nest, being taken to sea a couple of days after hatching. The parents call to the young from out at sea, and the chicks swim towards the adults who keep moving further out throughout the night.
Synthliboramphus species disperse out to sea after breeding, with northern species migrating further south.
Synthliboramphus auks are small, with mainly black upper parts and white the short wings. These birds forage for food like other auks, by swimming underwater. They mainly eat fish, also some crustaceans and other small invertebrates.Vermilacinia rosei
Vermilacinia rosei is a fruticose lichen known from two islands off the Pacific Coast of central Baja California, San Roque Island and Cedros Island. The epithet, rosei, is in honor of Joseph Nelson Rose who collected the lichen on San Roque Island, 15 March 1911, during the Albatross Expedition. His lichen specimens had been kept separate from the mounted and filed lichen collections in the herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany, US) loose in brown standard herbarium paper, and were made available to Richard Spjut sometime after 1986 while he was undertaking a revision of the genus Niebla. The epithet was proposed by Albert William Herre who considered the lichen to be a new species but did not describe the species or publish the name.