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 / 27.89250°N 115.22194°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).[1]

The island is part of Bahía Tortugas delegación of Mulegé municipality. It is 8.655 km2 in area. At the 2001 census,[2] 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 / 27.85250°N 115.16917°W). Connection to the mainland is facilitated by an airstrip. There is a lighthouse in the northern part.

Isla Natividad.jpeg
Annotated Space Shuttle photo of Cedros Island,
Isla Natividad at the bottom

Geography and ecology

It has steep rocky shores fringed by rocks and kelp except for a small sandy beach towards the mainland. The island is barren and hilly with a peak 150 m high rising near its center. The flora consists mainly of a dense cover of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and M. nodiflorum, cacti, and small shrubs. There are no endemic plants or animals on Natividad due to its proximity to the mainland (it was probably part of the mainland several times during the ice ages, when sea levels were lower). However, Mammillaria pondii and a little-researched Opuntioideae cactus, as well as Mentzelia hirsutissima var. nesiotes are found in few other places. Native land vertebrates are few, including the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus and some lizards. Seabirds – namely Brandt's cormorant – and seals use the island as a breeding and resting site. Isla Natividad is one of the southernmost breeding locations of Cassin's auklet and a main breeding site for black-vented shearwaters.[3][4]


Between 1997 and 2001, Conservacion de Islas removed introduced goat, Capra hircus, domestic sheep Ovis aries, domestic cats Felis catus, domestic dog Canis familiaris, from the island to primarily benefit the black-vented shearwater Puffinus opisthomelas.[5][6]


  1. ^ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2004): Sector 2 – West coast of Baja California. In: PUB153 Sailing Directions (Enroute): West Coasts of Mexico & Central America (10th ed.): 9–18. ProStar Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-57785-559-0
  2. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (2007): Principales resultados por localidad 2005 (ITER) Archived 2010-01-18 at WebCite ["Principal results of the 2005 census by locality"] [in Spanish]. Retrieved 2007-OCT-10.
  3. ^ Thayer, John E.; Bangs, Outram (1907). "Birds Collected by W. W. Brown, Jr., on Cerros, San Benito and Natividad Islands in the Spring of 1906, with Notes on the Biota of the Islands" (PDF). Condor. 9 (3): 77–81. doi:10.2307/1361136.
  4. ^ California/Mexico Island Conservation Database (2007): Plant accounts: Guadalupe Island Archived 2007-12-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2007-OCT-10.
  5. ^ Keitt, Bradford S.; Wilcox, Chris; Tershy, Bernie R.; Croll, Donald A.; Donlan, C. Josh (2002). "The effect of feral cats on the population viability of black-vented shearwaters (Puffinus opisthomelas) on Natividad Island, Mexico". Animal Conservation. 5 (3): 217–223. doi:10.1017/S1367943002002263. ISSN 1367-9430.
  6. ^ "Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications". DIISE. Island Conservation. Retrieved 1 September 2016.

Coordinates: 27°52′33″N 115°11′05″W / 27.87583°N 115.18472°W

External links

Black-vented shearwater

The black-vented shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas) is a species of seabird. The bird is 30–38 cm in size, with a 76–89 cm wingspan. Formerly considered a subspecies of the Manx shearwater, its actual relationships are unresolved.This species is pelagic, occurring in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. It comes closer to land than most other shearwaters, so it sometimes can be seen from shore. It predominantly nests on offshore islands off north and western Baja California, namely Isla de Guadalupe, Islas San Benito and Isla Natividad. It is fairly common off the United States coast of central and southern California during the country's colder months.

The black-vented shearwater is thought to feed on mainly small fish. This bird nests in burrows and caves; it is a colonial nester.

In the past, this bird had been threatened by feral cats and other predators on its breeding islands, but the problem seems to have been largely eliminated. There is some loss of birds from commercial gill netting, and the species is classified as near threatened by the IUCN mainly due to the uncertain impact on it by the expanding fishing industry.

Cedros Island

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.

Florometra serratissima

Florometra serratissima is a species of crinoid or feather star in the family Antedonidae. It is found off the Pacific coast of North America, usually in deep water.

Haliotis sorenseni

The white abalone, scientific name Haliotis sorenseni, is a species of large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Haliotidae, the abalones.The white abalone is an endangered species in the United States; it may now have the smallest population of all eight of the abalone species on the west coast of North America.

Isla Natividad Airstrip

Isla Natividad Airstrip is a private dirt airstrip located on the South East coast of Isla Natividad, Municipality of Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico, an island located in the Pacific Ocean, 6 km West of the Baja California Peninsula. The airstrip handles air traffic service for the fishing town of Natividad. The airstrip is handled by "Sociedad Cooperativa de Productos Pesqueros Buzos y Pescadores de la Baja California SCL", a fishing cooperative that exploits the fish resources that exist around the island.

List of airports in Baja California Sur

This is a list of airports in Baja California Sur (a Mexican state), grouped by type and sorted by location. It includes public-use, military and private-use airports.

List of islands of Mexico

This is an incomplete list of islands of Mexico.

List of lighthouses in Mexico

This is a list of lighthouses in Mexico. They are located along the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coastlines of the country. These are named landfall lights, or those with a range of over fifteen nautical miles.

Maritime history of California

In the California coast, the use of ships and the Pacific Ocean has historically included water craft (such as dugouts, canoes, sailing ships, and steamships), fisheries, shipbuilding, Gold Rush shipping, ports, shipwrecks, naval ships and installations, and lighthouses. The maritime history of California can be divided into several periods: the Native American period; European exploration period from 1542 to 1769; the Spanish colonial period, 1769 to 1821; the Mexican period, 1821 to 1847; and United States statehood period, which continues to the present day.

Mulegé Municipality

Mulegé is the northernmost municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It is the second-largest municipality by area in the country (behind only Ensenada to the north), with an area of 32,092.2 km² (12,777 sq mi). In the census of 2010 it had a population of 59,114 inhabitants. Isla Natividad is part of the municipality.

The municipal seat is located in Santa Rosalía.

There is an initiative to split the municipality into two, with the division along the ridge dividing the current municipality, so that the Pacific side, which includes its largest city, Guerrero Negro, and also Villa Alberto Andrés Alvarado Arámburo, would be separated from the Gulf of California side, which includes Santa Rosalía and Mulegé.


Natividad (Spanish for "Nativity") may refer to:

Natividad, California, USA

Natividad, Pangasinan, Philippines

General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Natividad, Oaxaca, Mexico

Isla Natividad, a Pacific island west of Baja California Sur, Mexico

Natividad, a fictional ship in the Horatio Hornblower novel The Happy Return by C. S. Forester

Convento de la Natividad y San José, a former convent in Madrid

Northern elephant seal

The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the southern elephant seal). It is a member of the family Phocidae (true seals). Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male's large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating competition. Sexual dimorphism in size is great. Correspondingly, the mating system is highly polygynous; a successful male is able to impregnate up to 50 females in one season.

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.

Sea otter

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living exclusively in the ocean.

The sea otter inhabits nearshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries.

Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species.

Whaling in the Sea of Okhotsk

Commercial open-boat whaling by American and European ships occurred in the Sea of Okhotsk from the 1830s to the early 1900s. They primarily caught right and bowhead whales. Both populations of these species declined drastically, with the latter once thought to be extinct by western historians. Peak catches were made in the 1840s and 1850s. It's estimated that as many as 15,200 bowheads and 2,400 rights were taken in the sea.

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