What We Achieved in 2020

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We’re very excited to share this list of everything we accomplished in 2020. Thank you for being part of this effort! None of this would have been possible without the support of  people like you.

Contents

Nature reserves

Attention and orientation to visitors

We love sharing the beauty of the nature reserves and during 2020 we received 5,946 visitors, who enjoyed different recreational activities like sport fishing, camping, hiking and surfing, as well as productive activities.

Permanent protection and surveillance

449 monitoring and surveillance tours were carried out in the nature reserves of Punta Mazo, Monte Ceniza, Valle Tranquilo and the Ramsar site of San Quintin, this helps us to identify and report irregular activities, such as hunting or extraction in protected areas.

UDLAP annual trip

A group of Biology students from UDLAP visited different sites of importance for conservation in Baja California, including the nature reserves of Punta Mazo and Valle Tranquilo. This trip has taken place every year since 2018 as part of a collaboration with the university and with the support of the JiJi Foundation. 

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Park rangers

Some of the staff members had the opportunity to be part of the team of park rangers in the nature reserves during the summer; this helped them to experience the conservation work closely and to learn more about the reality of the protected areas of San Quintin and El Rosario.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

San Quintin

Entomological knowledge

In collaboration with the San Diego Natural History Museum, we have carried out 8 biological monitoring efforts to identify the various species of arthropods that inhabit the dunes of the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve, thus contributing to the creation of the first entomological inventory of the dunes of the Baja California peninsula.

Photo by Jonathan Villarreal.

Youth Club of Nature Photographers Huellas Volcanicas

  • The members of the club opened the exhibition Travesia in San Quintin.
  • To celebrate World Wetlands Day, in collaboration with the club we organized an educational fair in the Chapala wetland, where the club led a tour with students. At that event, we also presented educational modules on birds, the principles of Leave No Trace and information about archaeological sites. 
  • Club members participated in weekly challenges to continue exploring their skills and received two training sessions, one with the photographer Eduardo Gutiérrez and another on underwater photography with Maru Brito.
Photo by Lorena Velázquez.

Sustainable tourism development

Companies interested in increasing their capacities and carrying out tourism activities participated in the project “Strengthening tourism companies in the Baja California peninsula” of RED de Turismo Sustentable y Desarrollo Social. In total, 18 tourism companies were selected, including two from San Quintin.

Trail restoration

In collaboration with the community of Ejido Chapala, three ecological trails have been restored. We actively participate in the creation and design of spaces to develop nature-friendly activities, since trails are an essential part of San Quintin’s tourist offer.

Photo by Vitza Cabrera.

Report of activities against the environment

Coordination meetings have been held with the competent government agencies to address the problem of the extraction of pebbles in the San Quintin region.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Marine biological and environmental monitoring

Environmental monitoring was carried out in 4 square kilometers on the coast of the San Quintin to identify abandoned oyster farming structures for subsequent removal. 

Also, an area of ​​810 square meters of seagrass is monitored, which allows us to evaluate the state of conservation and establish actions to protect this area that is essential for migratory birds.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Ecological restoration of coastal dunes

Flora rehabilitation actions are carried out monthly in the coastal dunes in the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve. This is an extremely fragile and important habitat in San Quintin, since the environmental stability that the dunes provide to coastal environments favors all ecosystems present in the area,  and allows the development of sustainable economic activities.

Photo by Jonathan Villarreal.

Impact on local development

We participated in the forum organized by the Baja California State Government. Through workshops, different topics were discussed such as the tourist activity of San Quintin, Protected Natural Areas, importance of the bay and the Sierra San Pedro Martir-San Quintin biological corridor. In this forum, the foundations were laid for the creation of the San Quintin Nature Reserve, which was certified in 2021.

Creation of the Public Use Program

We held workshops with local owners, users and service providers to design the Public Use Program for the nature reserves.

This program is intended to be integrated in the economic and environment development plans of San Quintin. Our incidence in local decision-making spheres is key in the protection and conservation of habitats and species that we have protected for more than 20 years.

Foto por Mirna Borrego.

Mexicali

A migratory shorebird

Through a binational collaboration with other organizations, we carried out a project to learn more about the long-billed curlew and its relationship with agriculture; the long-billed curlew is a migratory shorebird that winters in the Mexicali valley and the relation with agriculture. Thanks to these efforts, the presence of 3,919 birds were identified.

Zarapito pico largo
Photo by Erica Gaeta.

Ensenada

Protecting the snowy plover

Thanks to the support of Manomet, we continue with the campaign “The beach belongs to everyone” to protect the snowy plover during the breeding season in Ensenada.

Between April and August, we organized different community engagement events, 8 proteccion fences were installed, and at the end of the season 54 nests were identified, of which 38 survived and a total of 90 snowy plovers were born.

Chorlo nevado
Photo by Jonathan Vargas.

Sierra de San Pedro Martir

Actions to mitigate climate change 

During the summer we finished the Resilience Project, which was carried out in the Sierra de San Pedro Martir. Some of the results of this project include: the forest nursery of the national park was rehabilitated, 10 hectares (24.7 acres) were reforested with Pinus jeffreyi,.60 hectares were intervened to reduce the risk of wildfires, 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of firebreaks were rehabilitated, and 80 hectares (197 acres) were intervened to conserve and protect the forest soils.

Sierra de San Pedro Mártir
Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Valle Tranquilo

Mammal monitoring

The Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve is a unique place that is located south of San Quintín that we have protected since 2013. Monthly we carry out biological monitoring through the use of camera traps, which allow us to appreciate the diversity of species that inhabit the reserve such as puma, quail, deer, bobcat, coyotes, hares, and badgers, to name a few. Thanks to these monitoring activities, we have identified 12 new sites with the presence of the San Quintin kangaroo rat in the Valle Tranquilo Natural Reserve, which allows us to learn more about the distribution of this charismatic rodent.

Reserva Natural Valle Tranquilo-coyote
Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Virtual experiences

  • Over 100 people attended the series of webinars that we organized to talk about the principles of Leave No Trace.
  • We also organized a second series of webinars attended by over 100 people where we talked about conservation models in the Baja California peninsula.
  • As part of an alliance composed of organizations, academic institutions, companies and authorities, we offered a series of online activities during the International Beach Cleanup to talk about projects and initiatives that seek to reduce the impact of plastics in the ocean. We reached an audience of over 8,000 people.
  • We celebrated World Migratory Bird Day with a trivia and the announcement of the sixth San Quintin Bay Bird Festival, which will take place from November 3 to 7, 2021.
  • The webinar In search of the monarch butterfly was an opportunity to share information about this species, how to contribute to its conservation and invite the population to join the community search campaign in Baja California. This is part of a project to study the western migration route of the monarch butterfly.
Mariposa monarca
Photo by Felipe León.

Events

  • For the second year in a row, we were invited to participate in the State of Biodiversity Symposium at the San Diego Natural History Museum. On this occasion our Executive Director participated in the panel Implications of Black-Market Biodiversity. At the same event, we also presented the art exhibition Travesia which is made up of works by artists from San Quintin and photos of the Huellas Volcanicas Club.
  • An online lecture on the seven principles of Leave No Trace was given during the Expo Ambiente, an event organized by the State Government.
  • We were invited to talk about the projects that we have jointly developed with the National Institute of Archaeology and History to investigate, protect and disseminate the natural and archaeological wealth of the San Quintin and El Rosario region.
  • The Climate Science Alliance organized the Climate Science Summit and created the graphic image inspired by photos of the club. At that event, one staff member participated in the panel Building Resilient Ecosystems.
State of Biodiversity 2020
Photo by Laura Tamayo.

Capacity building

  • Four park rangers and field officers participated in the Basic Course on Community Forest Fire Fighting taught by the National Forestry Commission.
  • Forest brigade members and park rangers participated in a second course for the use of chainsaws in the management and combat of forest fires, in collaboration with the hotshots of Sierra San Pedro Martir, and park rangers of the Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park.
Photo by Terra Peninsular.
  • A staff member traveled to Loreto, Baja California Sur, to participate in the Sea Kayak Leadership course taught by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
  • We received an airboat as a donation to improve our monitoring activities from the International Programs of the Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. And three members of our team received training in its use and maintenance.
  • Key staff members participated in a workshop on COVID-19 contagion mitigation protocols with the aim of knowing the most important biosafety principles and therefore mitigate the risk of contagion during field trips. We shared this knowledge with two restaurants at La Chorera, and the park rangers of the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve were also trained.
Photo by courtesy.

Signs in Brasil

Birds connect us! A few months ago we shared with our friends from Aves Limícolas Peruíbe the design of the informative signs that we installed on the beaches of Ensenada a few years ago.

Recently, these signs were installed in October on the beaches of Peruíbe, on the coast of São Paulo, in Brazil and seek to encourage knowledge of shorebirds so that people become familiar and learn to respect their resting and feeding areas. It’s worth mentioning that the illustrations of the birds were made by the artist Louise Aceves, who was our volunteer and helped us in several editions of the Bird Festival.

Photo by courtesy.

Thank you campaign

For the first time, we joined an appreciation campaign named #YoDonoPorqueMx. We were inspired and filled with joy to hear about the experiences and motivations of our volunteers and donors.

Supporting communities

Thanks to our Board members, partner organizations, companies and donors,  contributions were made to lessen the impact of COVID-19 in the San Quintin region.

  • 506 emergency food packages were delivered to 163 families from different communities in San Quintin.
  • 1,424 pieces of personal protective equipment such as non-contact thermometers, Tyvek suits, surgical boots and hats were donated to hospitals in Ensenada, Vicente Guerrero and San Quintin.

Recognition

Partners in Flight

Group Partners in Flight Stewardship award in recognition of the management, conservation and restoration of terrestrial bird habitats, as well as the model of community participation and design of the San Quintin Bay Bird Festival.

Certifications

Institucionalidad y Transparencia 2020

We received the 2020 Institutionality and Transparency Accreditation granted by the Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (Cemefi), Mexico’s leading and most respected private nonprofit coordination and empowerment association. This means that as an organization we are compliant with the established legal and fiscal provisions, we’re transparent in the use of resources, and we have an efficient, balanced and sustainable organizational structure that allows us to professionally develop our work.

NGOsource

We also obtained the Equivalency Determination by NGO Source, a procedure through which the legal, fiscal, administrative and operational processes of the organization are evaluated and it is determined that the organization is equivalent and complies with the same standards as non profit organizations in the United States.

Technical information

Verónica Meza, Claudia Guzmán, Héctor Sánchez, Nidia Hirata, Ricardo Domínguez, Vitza Cabrera, Mirna Borrego, David Alonso, Jesús Félix, Juan Delgado, Gustavo Avelar, Uriel Lozano, Luis Manuel Félix, Charlotte Vizzuett, Daniela Piedras.