Mexico’s 139th Ramsar Site
The Humedales de la Laguna La Cruz (6,665 hectares, 28°47’15”N 111°52’53”W) has been designated by Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), that country’s 139th Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Ramsar’s Sara Casallas Ramirez, the new site is a small bay in the northern Gulf of California, characterized by intertidal marshes, intertidal forested wetlands, and mud, sand or salt flats, with mangrove forests that are unique as they are located near the northern limit of their distribution and, within the Sonorean Desert area, lack fresh water inputs. As part of the Pacific Migratory Route, it is an important rest area for migratory birds, providing food and refuge to a total of 154 species of birds, of which 84 are aquatic species. Some 96 fish species have been identified at the site, which is also vital for some species during adverse climatic conditions and as a breeding area of various fish, mollusc and crustacean species. It also supports such threatened species as the Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas and the Elegant Tern Sterna elegans among others.
The site is highly significant for local communities as it maintains the fisheries of the area and is also important for tourism and research. The main threats to the site are related to the shrimp farms located nearby and their effluents.