How would you love to see the largest marine mammal up close? Well, there is no better place to do that than at the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino which is located on the Pacific Coast of the Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
The listed property is made up of 2 coastal lagoons namely; Laguna Ojo de Liebre and Laguna San Ignacio. Further into the property, you will find a mosaic of marshes, wetlands, desert habitats, mangroves and halophytes. The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino occupies 370,950 hectares of land that is further embedded to El Vizcano Biosphere Reserve that make up the largest protected area in Mexico. The area is further contiguous to another protected area in the north.
The lagoons in this biosphere are said to be the most important habitat for the breeding of the once endangered Eastern subpopulation of North Pacific Grey Whale. The protection of the lagoons has helped recover the decimated population that was teetering on the edge of extinction due to commercial whaling. The whales do their summer feeding in the Chukchi, Northwestern Bering Sea and Beaufort.
Other marine mammals that are found in this ecosystem include the Bottlenose Dolphin, Harbor Seal, and California Sea Lion. Among the reptiles found here include 4 Marine Turtle Species. Other species found in the ecosystem include fish species, crustaceans, migratory birds and resident birds such as osprey and Brant Goose. Due to the surrounding extension of the Sonoran Desert, the area boasts highly diverse plant and animal species.
Despite the strict measures that have been taken to protect the lagoons, there are some human activities in the vicinity of the lagoons that pose a threat to this ecosystem. The benthic and pelagic fisheries, large scale salt extraction and tourism are some of the activities that may pose danger to the continuity of the area as a conservation area.
This is not to say that tourists are not allowed into the conservation area…but the Mexican government is very strict on who it allows into the area. Make sure you carry your camera with you…you may never get a chance to visit the area again.