El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve

The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, created in 1988,[1] 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),[2] 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.

El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Pelícano en Mulegé
A pelican on the coast of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve
Location in Mexico
LocationBaja California Sur, Mexico
Nearest cityMulegé Municipality
Coordinates27°47′32″N 114°13′40″W / 27.79222°N 114.22778°WCoordinates: 27°47′32″N 114°13′40″W / 27.79222°N 114.22778°W
Area55,555 km2 (21,450 sq mi)
Official nameWhale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
Designated1993 (17th session)
Reference no.554
State PartyMexico
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean


The Cochimi first inhabited this region over eleven thousand years ago, nomads who came from the north of the American continent. These nomadic wanderers lived in the protection of caves in the Sierra San Francisco mountain range. Travelers trekking into this mountainous region can still see their cave art.


Animals that have adapted to these extreme conditions include a variety of nocturnals such as coyotes, rodents, and hares; others have adapted to only ingesting water from succulents. Outstanding among the mammals is the Baja California pronghorn (Antilocapra americana peninsularis), an endemic subspecies of the Pronghorn, which is one of the swiftest mammals on Earth. The last populations of this subspecies can be found in the region. The Vizcaíno is also the habitat of the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus peninsulae), and dozens of resident and migratory birds. Of special importance: the ospreys, cormorants, herons, and gulls—and four species of sea turtles. On the coastline and islets there are many marine mammals, such as northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), dolphins, and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).


El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve Landsat picture annotated
El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve


  1. ^ Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve - Park Profile - General information. Retrieved 09-14-2008.
  2. ^ ANP 282 - El Vizcaíno Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 01-03-2015.

External links

Baja California Peninsula

The Baja California Peninsula (English: Lower California Peninsula, Spanish: Península de Baja California) is a peninsula in Northwestern Mexico. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. The peninsula extends 1,247 km (775 miles) from Mexicali, Baja California in the north to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur in the south. It ranges from 40 km (25 miles) at its narrowest to 320 km (200 miles) at its widest point and has approximately 3,000 km (1,900 miles) of coastline and approximately 65 islands. The total area of the Baja California Peninsula is 143,390 km2 (55,360 sq mi).

The peninsula is separated from mainland Mexico by the Gulf of California and the Colorado River. There are four main desert areas on the peninsula: the San Felipe Desert, the Central Coast Desert, the Vizcaíno Desert and the Magdalena Plain Desert.

Bursera microphylla

Bursera microphylla is a North American species of tree in the frankincense family in the soapwood order. Bursera microphylla, known by the common name elephant tree in English or 'torote' in Spanish, is a tree in genus Bursera. It grows into a distinctive sculptural form, with a thickened, water-storing or caudiciform trunk. It is found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

Chaenactis lacera

Chaenactis lacera is a Mexican species of flowering plants in the aster family. It grows on the Baja California Peninsula in northwestern Mexico, the States of Baja California (sometimes erroneously called Baja California Norte) and Baja California Sur.Chaenactis lacera is a branching annual sometimes exceeding 30 cm (12 inches) in height. Flower heads are numerous, with white disc florets but no ray florets.

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Eriogonum fasciculatum is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common names California buckwheat and eastern Mojave buckwheat.

Guerrero Negro

Guerrero Negro is the largest town located in the municipality of Mulegé in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur (BCS). It had a population of 14,316 in the 2015 census. The town is served by Guerrero Negro Airport.

Laguna San Ignacio Airstrip

Laguna San Ignacio Airstrip (IATA: N/A) is a private dirt airstrip located in Laguna San Ignacio, Municipality of Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Laguna San Ignacio is a small village located on the San Ignacio Lagoon shore, a world-renowned nursery and breeding ground for the gray whale that is within the limits of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve.

The airstrip is used solely for general aviation purposes, specially for whale watching tourism. The RCX code is the official identifier.

Mexican peso

The Mexican peso (sign: $; code: MXN) is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 10th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded currency from America (after the United States dollar and Canadian dollar), and the most traded currency from Latin America.The current ISO 4217 code for the peso is MXN; prior to the 1993 revaluation (see below), the code MXP was used. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos, represented by "¢". As of 14 April 2019, the peso's exchange rate was $21.21 per euro and $18.76 per U.S. dollar.

Outline of the United Nations

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the United Nations:

United Nations – international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.

San Ignacio Lagoon

San Ignacio Lagoon (Laguna San Ignacio) is a lagoon located in Mulegé Municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, 59 kilometres (37 mi) from San Ignacio, Mexico and Highway 1. It is one of the winter sanctuaries of the eastern Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

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.

Serge Dedina

Serge Dedina is the current mayor of Imperial Beach, California and Executive Director of Wildcoast, a non-profit environmentalist group. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected 18th Mayor of Imperial Beach in 2014.

Sierra de San Francisco

The Sierra de San Francisco is a mountain range in Mulegé Municipality of the northern region of Baja California Sur state, in northwestern Mexico.

Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert (Spanish: Desierto de Sonora) is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi). The western portion of the United States–Mexico border passes through the Sonoran Desert.

In phytogeography, the Sonoran Desert is within the Sonoran Floristic Province of the Madrean Region in southwestern North America, part of the Holarctic Kingdom of the northern Western Hemisphere. The desert contains a variety of unique and endemic plants and animals, such as the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi).

Valle de los Cirios

The Valley of the Cirios (Valle de los Cirios) is a wildlife protection area in the southern portion of the municipality of Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico. This site was declared a protected natural area on June 2, 1980. At 2,521,776 hectares (9,736.63 sq mi) in area, it is the second-largest wildlife protection area behind El Vizcaíno, but it includes more land than El Vizcaíno.

It is characterized by scrub and desert landscapes featuring many cirio trees. The wildlife area is largely untouched and well-conserved, featuring a large number of endemic species including abundant concentrations of cacti, reptiles and large mammals. The Valley of the Cirios is on the Mexican Tentative List of sites that may become a World Heritage Site.


Vizcaíno may refer to:

Biscayne (ethnonym), an ethnonym in use in Spanish the Renaissance - 19th century, meaning a Basque speaking person

North West
North Central
South West
South Central
South East
Municipalities and
municipal seats

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