The cape region of Baja California can be considered an archipelago of mountainous “sky islands” isolated from one another by a “sea” of lowland desert thorn scrub. While much of the high elevation area in Baja California Sur has some conservation status (e.g., Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve), the intervening lowlands are threatened by agricultural conversion, urban expansion, and intensive tourism infrastructure. A better understanding of the ecological role of these lowlands is necessary to support sustainable economic development in the region and conservation of the region’s unique biological heritage.
In November 2017, staff from the NAT will work with our partners throughout the regions to conduct a binational multidisciplinary survey of an area known locally as Los Brasileros. The study footprint encompasses a cardónal (a lowland forest of columnar cacti) south of San Juan de los Planes, and an adjacent sky island called Sierra La Gata.
This project will be a hybrid of recent intensive survey work in the Sierra Cacachilas and a rapid biodiversity survey. The final data will be compiled into a single bilingual report, and we will collaborate with a local conservation partner to facilitate the report’s findings into regional environmental outreach. Look for more details and results on this page in the near future.