Terra Peninsular Celebrates 18 Years Protecting Baja California

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Press release

Terra Peninsular was established on April 20, 2001 in Ensenada with the mission of protecting the ecosystems and wildlife of Baja California. It was founded by a group of conservationists and scientists concerned about environmental conservation in the peninsula.

With 18 years of experience, the organization currently protects more than 130,000 acres of natural areas using different conservation tools; this has been achieved through joint efforts with local, state and federal authorities, as well as local and international academic institutions and organizations.

San Quintín Bay. Photo: Alejandro Arias.

In addition, Terra Peninsular is one of the few civil organizations that has focused part of its efforts on conserving the Mediterranean climate region, the only one in Mexico and one of five in the world.

One of the most important achievements of Terra Peninsular is the protection of 4 nature reserves in Baja California, which have been certified by the Conanp as Areas Voluntarily Destined for Conservation (ADVC in Spanish) and are part of the 336 areas certified as ADVC in Mexico.

The nature reserves are: Punta Mazo and Monte Ceniza, both in San Quintín; Valle Tranquilo in El Rosario; and Rancho La Concepción in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, the latter protected in collaboration with La Concepcion Observatory. In total, 14,391 acres are certified as nature reserves.

Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve. Photo: Bárbara Ramírez,

In order to conserve and protect the biodiversity of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (ZOFEMAT) in the San Quintín Bay, 3998 acres of coastal zone and wetlands are conserved and monitored together with the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp).

Together with the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), 2 shorebird reserves have been designated, one in Ensenada and the other in San Quintín. These internationally recognized sites are key to the survival of thousands of birds during migration.

In 2008, the Ramsar Convention designated San Quintín Bay as the Wetland of International Importance number 1775, because it is a breeding and wintering area for several resident and migratory bird species.

2do Festival de las Aves Bahía de Todos Santos
Bird Festival. Photo: Oscar Mejía.

Within the awareness program, more than 200 awareness-raising events have been held in Ensenada and San Quintín, such as workshops, courses, conferences, as well as the San Quintín Bay Bird Festival that has been held since 2015.

On the recent achievements, in 2018 in Ensenada began the campaign “The beach belong to everyone”, a seasonal protective bird fence was installed in Playa Hermosa as part of this project. Within the fence were born 9 snowy plovers (Charadrius nivosus), it is an endangered bird in Mexico and the United States.

Snowy plover in Ensenada. Photo: Jonathan Vargas.

In 2018, Terra Peninsular was part of the rediscovery of the San Quintín kangaroo rat (Dipodomys gravipes), a rodent species that was thought to be extinct. Thereafter a project is being worked on together with the San Diego Natural History Museum.

As a non-profit organization, Terra Peninsular carries out its projects thanks to the support of donors and foundations, as well as the sale of cause-marketing products which, when acquired, are destined to continue the conservation work. Some of these products are the Branta Negra beer, cloth bags, t-shirts and stuffed animals of the San Quintín kangaroo rat.

San Quintín kangaroo rat. Photo: Sula Vanderplank.