Gulf of California

gulf of california

Today we are going to talk about gulf of california. It is the youngest sea that exists on our planet. It has its origin due to a geological process and the movement of plates between the part of the Pacific ocean floor and the crust that forms the American continent. It is home to a large amount of biodiversity and much of it is protected given the certain impacts that exist due to human beings and their activities.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, origin and formation of the Gulf of California.

key features

gulf of california biodiversity

It is the youngest sea on our planet. Its origin comes from the relative movement of the plates of the Pacific Ocean and the crust that forms America. The movement that these plates have was thinning the crust of the ocean floor approximately 12 million years ago. The moment came when the seawater from the Pacific intruded towards the north and ended up flooding the entire basin. By then, a proto-golfo was already formed. This basin was evolving little by little in a system of geological faults. Currently, all the faults in this system are extending from the mouth of the Gulf of California to the northern end of it. That is why the Baja California peninsula is separated from the continental massif of North America.

The movement is very slow but constant. Over the billions of years it will eventually separate completely. The San Andrés fault is one of the best known in the world and is the one that separates all this part. During that is millions of years the Gulf of California has been gradually being colonized by great biodiversity. Marine flora and fauna of great diversity have the habitat in this place.

Biodiversity of the Gulf of California

protected animals

At present, due to climatic changes and changes in sea level, the diversity of landscapes has been modified. It must be taken into account that, since the formation of the Gulf of California, there have been changes in the climate that have caused changes in sea level, some geological impacts that have generated the formation of mountains, bays and islands, etc. All these geological and climatic changes and events have made the Gulf of California one of the richest seas on our planet. It has a great diversity of species and impressive landscapes that are full of color contrast.

The upper Gulf of California presents in the southern part a system of large islands. Among all the islands, the ones that stand out the most are Ángel de la Guardia Island and Tiburon Island. A great diversity of birds nest in these areas and it is protected. On the northern part it is delimited by the Altar Desert and the mouth of the Colorado River. The function of the Colorado River is to provide sediment and river water throughout history since the Gulf of California was formed. The presence of this river has provided special conditions to this entire region. Thanks to this, the development of complex food chains and diverse flora and fauna has been allowed.

Due to all the conditions that we have mentioned and the existence of this river, endemic species have been developed that are currently in danger of extinction. Being an endemic species, it only survives and they find this place. It is one of the reasons why it is in danger of extinction. As it has a smaller distribution area, it is a much more vulnerable species to human actions. A case of endemic species in danger of extinction is the vaquita marina. It is one of the smallest cetaceans in existence and lives exclusively in the Gulf of California. It is estimated that there are currently a few thousand individuals, but that this number was much higher before human settlements.

Environmental impacts in the Gulf of California

cetacean animals

The Colorado River has less and less influx into the waters of the Gulf of California. It must be taken into account that a large part of the flow of this river is used in human activities in the region. This has caused the habitat of many species is deteriorating and the survival of many species is impaired. Currently, a national program has been implemented to be able to study and conserve a large part of the species such as the vaquita marina, as well as other cetaceans such as the blue whale, sperm whales, the alert whale and orcas. The objective of these programs is to be able to regulate human activities in such a way that the natural habitat can be conserved in good condition.

On the other hand, there is also an environmental impact produced by the development of the industry. For the better conservation of the biodiversity of the Gulf of California, an industry dedicated to ecological and adventure tourism has been developed. These industries have developed responsibly in areas with the most natural resources in order to get closer to nature and raise awareness about the conservation of the environment and biodiversity. At the same time, some of the more traditional tourist destinations have been able to diversify their services to be able to offer shorter but alternative tours alongside ecotourism and sports tourism.

All this is done to bring something closer to conventional tourism to activities such as bird and whale watching. From the mountains to sports and the practice of kayaking along with mountain biking has become quite popular activities.

Conservation plans

The goal of the conservation plans is to be able to preserve the Gulf of California so that it can obtain and sustain a diversity of healthy interconnected ecosystems. What's more, The aim is that they can produce useful goods and services for society, feeding local economies without negatively affecting the environment.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Gulf of California and its characteristics.

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