Conservation education: information talks with students

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 4 minutos

By Jorge Andrade

Community Engagement is one of the three programs of Terra Peninsular, and part of its strategies include promoting the natural beauty of Baja California and the conservation actions that are applied to maintain that beauty.

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This promotion is achieved with information talks to different sectors of the populations that are part of the ecosystems that need to be conserved, and since students of high school are part of these important sectors, Terra Peninsular offered informative talks in Ensenada and San Quintín in October.

ENSENADA

The first a talk was held with students of the high school CETMAR in Ensenada. Based on dialogues with students, topics such as the ecological importance of Baja California landscapes and the strategies and conservation actions implemented by Terra Peninsular were discussed.

During the talk the students were interested and actively participated, they showed a special interest in the actions carried out by the organization and expressed their interest in carrying out their professional service practices with Terra Peninsular.

On October 13, 2016, students traveled to San Quintín to visit the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve, where they had the opportunity to appreciate the ecosystems of the San Quintín Lagoon Complex.

Students, teachers and staff from Terra Peninsular climbed the Sudoeste Volcanoe and on the way to the top, Terra Peninsular staff and the teachers Pedro Arce and Ángel Guillen talked with the students about the plant and animal species that live in the reserve. Likewise, the biological and ecological importance of these species was pointed out.

At the top of the volcano, Field and Operations Officer of Terra Peninsular, Enrique Alfaro, offered a talk to the students that served to reinforce the knowledge acquired in the talk in Ensenada and during the tour. Later, after a photo shoot at the top of the volcano, the descent to the vehicles was undertaken.

SAN QUINTÍN 

The aquaculture career is recent at the high school CETMAR in San Quintín and it represents one of the most promising professional development careers in the San Quintín area.

On October 14, 2016 a talk was given to the students of that career, where the staff of Terra Peninsular discussed with the students about the importance of San Quintín and how the oyster activity depends on the health conditions and conservation of the bay.

In the same way, they talked about the issues related to the species of flora and fauna that are in the bay and on the conservation actions that are carried out to protect them. The students were participative and questioned about the actions that are implemented and should be implemented to ensure the conservation of the bay.

AGENTS OF CHANGE

These students represent a new generation of oyster growers who are sensitive to environmental issues and who will function as agents of change in the region.

At the end of the talks, several students approached to ask how they can collaborate with Terra Peninsular. We were very grateful to be able to interact with these students: young residents, young people from San Quintín.

We thank teachers Pedro Arce, Ángel Guillen and Lenin Escobar for the opportunity to carry out these activities with their students. In the same way we extend our appreciation to the students of the high school CETMAR in Ensenada and San Quintín.

More than 40 bird species counted in San Quintín

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

The Second Annual Bird Festival was held on November 5, 2016 in La Chorera. That day several activities for children, teens and adults were offered in order to raise awareness on the importance of migratory birds and shorebirds in San Quintín.

Also, that day a bird count was performed, the first one in a boat trip around the bay and other at La Chorera. The register was made by Jonathan Vargas on the website eBird and shows that in one day –in two sessions- a total of 46 bird species were seen. Jonathan is an ornithologist who also participated in the First Annual Bird Festival.

The variety of bird species in San Quintín Bay indicates that it’s a safe place for birds for resting and feeding; and therefore, it’s important that locals and tourists know these species and support efforts to promote their protection.

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Here’s the list of bird species seen in San Quintín Bay on November 5, 2016:

First birdwatching

Saturday November 5, 2016 8:29 AM

Location: San Quintín Bay, B.C.

Protocol: Boat tour around the bay

Duration: 2 hours

Species: 32

Submitted by: Jonathan Vargas

Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans)  8000
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  30
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica)  8
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)  7
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  14
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  2
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)  6
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)  1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)  1
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)  2
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)     30
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)  5
Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)  5
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)  3
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  1
Willet (Tringa semipalmata)  30
Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni)  3
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  50
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  2
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  1
Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  10
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  5

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32393723

Second birdwatching

Saturday November 5, 2016 4:34 PM

Location: La Chorera, San Quintín Bay, B.C.

Protocol: Stationary

Duration: 2 hours

Species: 17

Submitted by: Jonathan Vargas

California Quail (Callipepla californica)  2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  5
Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)  1
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  2
California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica)  1
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  1
Bell’s Sparrow (belli) (Artemisiospiza belli belli)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32394351

See all the photos on Flick or Facebook.

Read the full Terra Story and the special article on the December edition of Mediterranews.

Terra Peninsular joins the #GivingTuesday movement 2016

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Terra Peninsular’s year-end fundraising campaign called CUIDANDO LA CASA will be from November 29 to December 31. This year our goal is to raise $ 3,000 dollars in order to fund our conservation projects in San Quintín Bay, Baja California.

Our campaign in English means “protecting our home” and it coincides with #GivingTuesday, a global movement that each year wants to encourage and multiply the good deeds of the people.

This year #GivingTuesday will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 29.

And this year, the HIPGive organization will celebrate #GivingTuesday with the contest #LatinosGive, and Terra Peninsular will participate for the first time!

With a fund of $ 20,000 dollars, HIPGive will double the contributions of all the associations in Latin America that are participating in this contest.

Once the $ 20,000 fund is distributed, Terra Peninsular and the rest of the participants can continue receiving gifts, although they will no longer be doubled.

The contest will start on Monday, November 28 at 9:00 p.m. (PST) and it will end on Tuesday, November 29 at midnight. Donors are invited to contribute little after 9:00pm to have more opportunities to double their gifts and support Terra Peninsular!

Find the project of Terra Peninsular at www.hipgive.org and make your gift with your credit card! All the gifts we receive will be displayed.

Regardless of however small or large the contribution could be, your gifts are very important and will certainly be of great help to Terra Peninsular.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a movement to inspire people to contribute to different causes at the beginning of the holiday season.

This global movement was created a few years ago and it’s the antidote to the consumerism promoted through events such as Black Friday.

Remember to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to spread this movement on social media, and invite all citizens, families, organizations and companies to be part of this day of giving.

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Why did we join HIPGive?

HIPGive is an organization that promotes the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations with annual contests in Latin American, where associations participate each year with their projects in order to double the contributions made by donors.

Therefore, the #LatinosGive contest is an opportunity for donors to double their gifts before the holiday seasons and help Terra Peninsular to fund different conservation projects in San Quintín Bay.

For more details, visit www.hipgive.org and find HIPGive on social media as @hipgive and the hashtags #LatinosGive, #GivingTuesday, #CuidandoLaCasa, #TerraPeninsular.

What will we do with your donation?

Either with our year-end campaign CUIDANDO LA CASA or the #LatinosGive contest, your gift will help to:

  • Cover the costs of park rangers in the nature reserves that we protect and manage in San Quintín Bay.
  • Acquire the resources to perform biological monitoring and surveillance of the nature reserves (gas, transportation, radio equipment, cameras, binoculars, etc.).
  • Organize workshops to promote the exchange of knowledge between Terra Peninsular and the communities.
  • Organize activities to involve local communities in conservation actions, such as the Bird Festival.

Join the giving season and be part of #GivingTuesday!

Results of the 2016 Temporary Employment Program

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

By Jorge Andrade and Antonieta Valenzuela

The Temporary Employment Program of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico was implemented for the second consecutive year in San Quintín between August and October 2016.

The Chapala and La Chorera communities participated in this project through the management of Terra Peninsular.

The inhabitants of both communities carried out the following activities:

  • Rehabilitation of interpretive trails
  • Cleaning of wetlands and beaches
  • 41 restored and installed signs
  • 14 tons of collected garbage
  • Construction of interpretive trails in Mirador Chapala and Monte Ceniza Nature Reserve

These activities were carried out to improve the conditions of migratory shorebird’s habitats, to reverse the effects of degradation by use, as well as to socially strengthen the communities to improve their environment.

The Temporary Employment Program has been successfully implemented for two consecutive years in the bay and is an initiative of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources that seeks the benefit of the communities through temporary economic support by participating in different projects. In the case of San Quintín, these are projects that benefit the environment and communities.

TRAILS AND STATIONS

As part of the activities, the inhabitants built the interpretive trail and a station in Mirador Chapala, an important place to observe birds for its biological and scenic richness, and that is also the first stop for visitors who travel to San Quintín Bay.

The station in Mirador Chapala has a trail that leads to a platform and a bench, both made of Wood-Plastic-Composites (WPC), which are materials built from recycled plastic.

Chapala

They also created the interpretive trail within the Monte Ceniza Nature Reserve. From the site you can see Punta Mazo Natural Reserve, Punta Azufre, Falsa Bay and the volcanoes of the area.

An interpretive station was built there, which consists of a small trail that leads to the area with the best view and a WPC bench was placed, where visitors can rest and enjoy the great view of Monte Ceniza.

The inhabitants also carried out cleaning and restoration activities of La Ola and Mirador Volcanic Valley stations, restoration of signs and garbage collection in wetlands and beaches.

PET-SEMARNAT 2016 (4)

TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM 2015

The first Temporary Employment Program managed by Terra Peninsular was carried out in 2015 with the participation of the Chapala and La Chorera communities.

In this project, the interpretive stations La Ola and Mirador Valle Volcánico were built, 30 tons of garbage were also collected, and 97 kilometers were worked.

Second San Quintin Bay Bird Festival

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

By Jorge Andrade, Bárbara Ramírez and Antonieta Valenzuela

Terra Peninsular celebrated the second Bird Festival in La Chorera, a community located in San Quintín Bay, as part of the organization’s Community Engagement strategy.

This festival has three main objectives: to inform about the importance of resident and migratory birds, to involve the community in environmental care activities, and to positively impact the opinion and insights of the San Quintín people into the conservation of the bay and the species that inhabit there.

Over 100 people attended the second Bird Festival, held on November 5, 2016 in La Chorera. Different activities such as bird-watching, arts and crafts workshop, live music, ornithologist lectures, and falconry display were carried out throughout the day.

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OPENING CEREMONY

To officially inaugurate the second Bird Festival, Cesar Guerrero, the executive director of Terra Peninsular, gave a welcome and gratitude speech to thank the attendants and the communities of La Chorera and Chapala for hosting the event as well for their continuous support.

He mentioned that the main idea of the festival is to have a fun event where people of all ages can raise awareness of the importance of the birds that live in San Quintín Bay.

BIRD-WATCHING AT THE BAY

Students from a San Quintín high school joined some members of the staff of Terra Peninsular in a tour boat around the bay to watch birds. Ornithologists, members of a bird-watching group in Ensenada called “Los Correcaminos” (“The Roadrunners” in English) guided the tour and were accompanied by some high school teachers.

During the tour, the students had the opportunity of watching different species such as: Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus), Great Egret (Ardea alba), Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), and Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) to name a few.

Furthermore, they watched the recently arrived Black Brants (Branta bernicla nigricans), a migratory bird that flies thousands of miles from Alaska to winter in San Quintín Bay and other coastal lagoons in the peninsula of Baja California.

Kids, on the other hand, also experienced bird-watching at the beach and wetland near La Chorera. They were given colorful bird guides and binoculars in different sizes. Diana Ramirez, from the organization Contacto Salvaje Ensenada, guided this activity.

BIRD EXPERTS

The festival’s activity program included lectures by Jonathan Vargas, Javier Girón and Marco Martínez. All three of them are bird experts, who talked about different topics such as bird migration, the Red Knot (Calidris canutus) and the importance of protecting the habitats and species found in San Quintín Bay.

Diana and Marco, from Contacto Salvaje Ensenada, amazed the audience with a falconry display, where they introduced two birds of prey: an American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) and a Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) called Lucky, a trained bird used in pest control.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Environmental monitoring program completed

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

By Gabriela Valle and Antonieta Valenzuela

The Community La Chorera Environmental Monitoring Committee was created on February 15, 2016 and it’s composed of a board and seven environmental observers.

Before creating the committee and with the aim of providing information about the monitoring activities, laws and regulations relating to environmental crimes, the members of the committee received training from the staff of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), that is, the environmental police in Mexico.

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The role of the committee is to detect environmental crimes around the area of San Quintín Bay, such as illegal hunting or extraction of natural resources without permits, among others.

Once an environmental crime is detected, the observer completes a format, and this document is delivered to the Field and Operations Officer in San Quintín, and the Adaptive Management Coordinator of Terra Peninsular, the complaint is later sent to PROFEPA.

It is worth mentioning that the committee will continue until 2017 and to date four complaints related to environmental crimes in San Quintín Bay have been sent.

Temporary Employment Program successfully completed

The members of the Community Environmental Monitoring Committee together with the staff of the Department of Conservation, as well as the Department of Management and Finance of Terra Peninsular participated at the closing event of the Temporary Employment Program (PET) at La Chorera, San Quintín.

The event was also attended by Oswaldo Santillán, the deputy representative of the area of Natural Resources of PROFEPA in Baja California, and inspectors of the same office.

The Temporary Employment Program worked as an incentive for committee members to continue their environmental monitoring work in San Quintín Bay, and supported by PROFEPA.

The creation of the committee is part of the joint efforts between Terra Peninsular and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to preserve the natural areas of San Quintín Bay, as part of the Adaptive Management strategy.

The girl by the wetland

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By Enrique Alfaro

Sometimes strange things happen. Today, when I arrived at Panteón Inglés Wetland —without a soul, not a human, car or bicycle around— I found a young woman under one of the structures; she was alone.

With absolutely no one, except the inhabitants of the wetland, I got out of the car and walked into the wetland. She didn’t move, I got worried and I approached her.

“Do you need help?” I asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Do you need to talk to someone?” I insisted.

“I’m talking to myself,” she said.

Oops! Stay away, I’m intruding, I thought to myself.

I finished the work as planned and I got in the car. Then she shouted at me and asked for a cigarette lighter. I did have one, but I said I didn’t.

I started the engine, I backed up and drove away. I wasn’t too far when I looked in the rearview mirror and to my surprise she was gone without a trail.

From the other side of the wetland, I took my monocular and looked around the place. No one was there.

Today, I will go to bed thinking that I didn’t help the woman to smoke her cigarette at ease.

I’ll have a lighter on hand just in case she decides to visit me at night. Even better, I’ll leave one by the fence so she doesn’t come inside. I’m not afraid of ghosts, but just in case.

Photography exhibition: ‘Ángeles de Bahía’

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By Bárbara Ramírez and Antonieta Valenzuela

The Ángeles de Bahía photo exhibition was officially opened on September 21, 2016 at La Covacha Foro, in Ensenada, as part of the program of activities of the Imaginaria Festival.

Ángeles de Bahía is a collection of landscape photography by the well-known photographer and fisherman José “Güero” Arce Smith in Bahía de los Ángeles, Baja California. This event brought back the project that began in Terra Peninsular in 2014.

This exhibition seeks to raise awareness and show the scenic beauty of Bahía de los Ángeles, as well as to give more visibility to these natural places as a means of increasing the public’s interest in knowing these sites and helping to protect them.

Photography club

At the same event, our friends from Pro Esteros A.C. presented the photo exhibition of the club named Club de Fotografía Tiburones Dorados de Bahía de los Ángeles, where Güero also collaborated.

This project began in 2015 with the aim of promoting the respect and appreciation of nature among young people through photography.

During his speech at the opening, Güero mentioned that photography, besides showing beautiful natural landscapes, is a tool to promote the sense of belonging and responsibility towards the environment, and the importance of natural resources.

He also spoke about the importance of projects that link photography with conservation and he thanked those who supported the project and donated through the website Fondeadora.

Click here to see the photo album

Upcoming exhibition in Mexicali

After remaining on display for a month at La Covacha Foro in Ensenada, the collection Ángeles de Bahía and the photographs of the Club de Fotografía Tiburones Dorados de Bahía de los Ángeles will be exhibited at Museo Sol del Niño, in Mexicali.

This, as part of the XXIII edition of the National Week of Science and Technology that this year is entitled “Climate Change: think globally, act locally”.

Terra Peninsular shares experiences on nature reserves management

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By Antonieta Valenzuela

The workshop on “Experience Sharing on Management of Private Reserves and Social” was held on July 21 and 22, 2016 in Merida, Yucatan, with the participation of 45 representatives from business, ejidos, communities and organizations, including Terra Peninsular.

In order to share experiences about the management of reserves and also to promote the exchange of ideas, the event was organized by the Network of Private and Social Reserves of Yucatán (Red de Reservas Privadas y Sociales de la Península de Yucatán in Spanish), a network formed by Pronatura Yucatan Peninsula A.C., Kiuic A.C., Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C. and Reserva Ecológica el Edén A.C.

Photo: Red de Reservas Privadas y Sociales de la Península de Yucatán (RRPSY).
Photo: Red de Reservas Privadas y Sociales de la Península de Yucatán (RRPSY).

Verónica Meza, the Land Protection Coordinator of Terra Peninsular, made a presentation where she talked about the background, objectives and management mechanisms of the reserves protected by Terra Peninsular in Baja California.

According to the Network of Private Reserves and Social Yucatan Peninsula (RRPSY) this workshop sought “to learn from other experiences (knowledge, errors, problems and strategies to solve them), which is critical as it allows to reflect on the lessons learned by the organizations that also enriches our own process.”

Also, this meeting worked as an opportunity to strengthen alliances and joint strategies among the participating organizations.

Read the note of the Network of Private and Social Reserves of Yucatán here

Photo: Red de Reservas Privadas y Sociales de la Península de Yucatán (RRPSY).
Photo: Red de Reservas Privadas y Sociales de la Península de Yucatán (RRPSY).

Species seen for the first time in the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve

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By Antonieta Valenzuela

Camera traps are an important conservation tool that shows evidence of the fauna that inhabits a specific area, in this case, of the nature reserves managed and protected by Terra Peninsular in Baja California.

Our friend Jim Riley, from the San Quintín Botanic Garden, shared with us a couple of photos of two species captured for the first time by a camera trap in the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve: spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius*) and American badger (Taxidea taxus).

Spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius*).
Spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius*)

“We were pretty excited after 3 years of game cameras to catch not one but two previously undocumented large mammals in the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve. This adds to our knowledge of the biodiversity in the reserve!” said Jim Riley about the photos.

The Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve is located south Ensenada, between San Quintín and El Rosario, in Baja California. This area of 3961 hectares of extension is protected by Terra Peninsular and is also certified as an Area Voluntarily Destined for Conservation (ADVC in Spanish) since 2013.

It’s worth mentioning that the reserve is a priority conservation site because of the endemic species of fauna and flora, and also because it belongs to the California Floristic Province.

American badger (Taxidea taxus).
American badger (Taxidea taxus).
American badger (Taxidea taxus).
American badger (Taxidea taxus).

*Yet to be confirmed.