Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

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The site comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that are located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for study. The site is one of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. It is home to 695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List. Equally exceptional is the number of fish species: 891, 90 of them endemic. The site, moreover, contains 39% of the world’s total number of species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species.

Justification:

Criterion (ix): The property ranks higher than other marine and insular World Heritage properties as it represents a unique example in which, in a very short distance, there are simultaneously “bridge islands” (populated by land in ocean level decline during glaciations) and oceanic islands (populated by sea and air). Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for the study of marine and coastal processes. These processes are indeed supporting the high marine productivity and biodiversity richness that characterize the Gulf of California.

Criterion (vii): The serial property is of striking natural beauty and provides a dramatic setting due to the rugged forms of the islands, with high cliffs and sandy beaches contrasting with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. The diversity of forms and colours is complemented by a wealth of birds and marine life. The diversity and abundance of marine life associated to spectacular submarine forms and high water transparency makes the property a diver’s paradise.

Criterion (x): The diversity of terrestrial and marine life is extraordinary and constitutes a unique ecoregion of high priority for biodiversity conservation. The number of species of vascular plants (695) present in this serial property is higher than that reported in other marine and insular properties included in the WH List. The number of species of fish (891) is also highest when compared to a number of marine and insular properties. In addition the marine endemism is important, with 90 endemic fishes. The serial property contains 39% of the world’s total number of marine mammal’s species and a third of the world’s total number of marine cetacean’s species. In addition the serial property includes a good sample of the Sonora desert ecosystems, considered one of the richest deserts in the world from the desert biodiversity point of view.

Year of Inscription: 2005

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The site comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that are located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans...

Travel Info for Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

  • •New Year´s Day – 1 January •Epiphany Eve – 6th January •Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday – March/April •Walpurgus Night – April 30 •Labour Day – 1st May Swedish National Day – 6th June •Whit Monday, Midsummer´s Eve – June •All Saint’s Eve – October/November •Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - December 24 – 25 •New Year´s Eve – December 31
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  • Miss Havisham
  • Rupert Campbell-Black
  • Julien SorelWilliam BrownWilliam BrownWilliam BrownWilliam BrownWilliam BrownWilliam BrownWilliam Brown
  • No holidays other then the winters when the sea cannot be traveled
  • Nigel Molesworth
  • Harriet M Welsch
  • Oskar Schell
  • Elinor Dashwood

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