Ramsar site in San Quintín Bay

  • Ramsar site number: 1775
  • Date of designation: February 2, 2008
  • Area: 1,3437 acres
  • San Quintín Bay is 1 of the 5 Ramsar sites in Baja California
  • This designation was achieved through the Coalition for the Protection of San Quintín Bay, integrated by Pro Esteros, The Nature Conservancy, Pronatura Noroeste and Terra Peninsular. There are more than 22,000 Ramsar sites around the world.

According to the Ramsar Convention “Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world”, hence the importance of conserving them and ensuring access to food production for economic development and human health.

Because the rate at which wetland habitats have disappeared in recent decades has been alarming, the Convention on Wetlands (signed in Ramsar) intends for governments to commit and change the course of loss and degradation of these areas (Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 2013).

San Quintín is included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (known as the Ramsar List) since February 2, 2008 and is considered a priority area for its protection according to criteria that establish the importance of representative, rare or unique wetlands, which are used by endangered species and ecological communities, as well as by important aquatic birds populations due to their density and worldwide distribution.

The site number 1775 covers an area of 1,3437 acres, and it consists of a coastal plain and a slightly hypersaline coastal lagoon, where, according to Massey and Palacios (1994), endangered species spend the winter, feed and reproduce. Some of these species are:

  • Light-footed clapper rail (Rallus longirostris levipes)
  • Black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis)
  • Least tern (Sterna antillarum browni)
  • Belding’s savannah sparrow(Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi)
  • California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica atwoodi)
  • Western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)

In addition, each winter the site receives between 30 and 50% of the total population of the black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans), a migratory species that arrives from Alaska to San Quintín Bay.

According to the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands, the federal jurisdiction of the Ramsar site is under the responsibility of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) of the Mexican government.

And the management of the site is in charge of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) with the support of Terra Peninsular for surveillance, management and monitoring of the site.

Ramsar sites in Mexico

In Mexico there are 142 Ramsar sites, this represents 21,358,751 acres of protected wetlands

The Convention on Wetlands (called the Ramsar Convention) is a treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources that was created in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. https://www.ramsar.org/

Ramsar sites in Baja California

  • Coastal Corridor La Asamblea-San Francisquito, Mar de Cortez: 109,477.09 acres
  • Isla Rasa, Mar de Cortez: 09 acres
  • Estero of Punta Banda: 5,913.87 acres
  • San Quintín Bay: 13,437.59 acres
  • Hanson Lagoon, Constitution of 1857 National Park: 1,262.65 acres