• Location: San Quintin, Baja California.
  • Area: 93,287 acres.
  • Date of designation: September 2008.
  • Designation: WHSRN Site of Regional Importance.
Photo by Jonathan Vargas,

The San Quintin Lagoon Complex Shorebird Reserve belongs to the Hemispheric Network of Shorebird Reserves (WHSRN), a network of stopover sites that are important to birds on the American continent.

This designation was achieved in 2008 through the Coalition for the Protection of San Quintin Bay, integrated by Pro Esteros, The Nature Conservancy, Pronatura Noroeste and Terra Peninsular.

Photo by Alejandro Arias.


The WHSRN site hosts more than 35,000 shorebirds annually, including more than 1% of the biogeographic population of black-bellied plovers (Pluvialis squatarola), federally threatened western snowy plovers (Charadrius nivosus), willets (Tringa semipalmata), long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus), and marbled godwits (Limosa fedoa). In total, 23 species of shorebirds rely on this site.

RHRAP Complejo Lagunar San Quintín
Map by WHSRN.

During spring and summer, bird species like the snowy plover and the least tern nest on sandy beaches. Meanwhile during fall and winter, the bay is a stopover site used by birds to feed and rest during migration, they need these sites to recover energy and continue their journey.

Photo by Jonathan Vargas,

Some of the representative species are:

  • Willet Tringa semipalmata.
  • Marbled godwits Limosa fedoa.
  • Western sandpiper Calidris mauri.
  • Long-billed curlew Numenius americanus. 
  • Dunlin Calidris alpina. 
  • Short-billed dowitcher Limnodromus griseus.
  • Gray plover Pluvialis squatarola. 
  • Least sandpiper Calidris minutilla. 
  • Long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus. 
  • American avocet Recurvirostra americana.
  • Snowy plover Charadrius nivosus.
  • Red knot Calidris canutus. 
  • Sanderling Calidris alba. 
  • Greater yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca. 
  • Surfbird Calidris virgata. 
  • Semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus.
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus.

Bird migration

Migratory birds prefer beach habitats and migrate to breed or winter, they make two journeys each year: in the winter they migrate south, and in the spring they fly back to the north to breed. In each journey, most of the birds fly more than 7,000 miles or even 15,000 miles.

Photo by Jonathan Vargas,

WHSRN sites in Mexico

In Mexico there are 19 WHSRN sites, in addition to Bahia de Todos Santos there are other two in Baja California:

WHSRN sites in Mexico


The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) is an international cooperation strategy to conserve and protect the habitat of shorebirds in the American continent. 

This strategy seeks to involve local communities, authorities, civil and academic organizations in the care of shorebird habitat in the Western Hemisphere. 

Map of WHSRN sites

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