Manatees hold on in face of danger from man and nature

Manatees hold on in face of danger from man and nature

Sep 24, 2017

We all heard about the effects that hurricane Irma had on the coasts of Florida and the Caribbean islands, but we don’t think about the effects it had on the animals that can’t run away the storm. As Hurricane Irma charged up Florida’s west coast Sunday afternoon, it sucked up water along the way, draining waterways and bays. As a result, two manatees found themselves stranded on now-dry land just north of Sarasota. At the beginning when they were found by some people it was believed that they wouldn’t survive. But it turns out the manatees didn’t need the storm surge after all. Between law enforcement officials and a group of citizens, the manatees – stranded, of course, in Manatee County – were rescued and carried back into deeper water, According to Fox News. (Photo: Fox News) General Information of Manatees In 2001, activists, academic groups and civil society organizations participated in the rescue of 19 manatees after being trapped by the water drop due to extreme heat at Laguna de San Juan in Chiapas. This fact set the precedent so that every September 7 is celebrated in Mexico the national day of this species, which according to myths and legends are related to sirens. These mammals belonging to the order of the sirenians are the largest herbivores in the ocean and there are three types of species in the world; the Amazonian, the African and the Antillean, and all of them are in danger of extinction. Historically the distribution of the ‘mermaids of the Caribbean’, as they are also known, that are found in Mexican waters, covered the waters of all the Gulf of Mexico. Nevertheless, due to the danger which these mammals face, today they only are found in rivers of Veracruz and in the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo. (Photo: La Verdad) The Caribbean manatee has a great agility in the water which allows it to make jumps, twists, turns and somersaults. They are very peaceful and do not have natural predators, so their vulnerable status as a species is due to the human being. Description of the animal: Manatees are between 3 and 4 meters in length. Its weight ranges between...

Coordinated group works to address fish mortality problem

Coordinated group works to address fish mortality problem

Sep 18, 2017

As reported by The Baja Post on Wednesday, September 13, thousands of fish were found dead on the surface of different Mexicali, BC lagoons. For this reason, a meeting was held between several governmental units to follow up on the problem of fish mortality that has occurred in these bodies of water within the muncipality of Mexicali. The institutions and agencies involved in this investigation are: Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), Bosque de la Ciudad, Comisión Estatal de Servicios Públicos de Mexicali (CESPM), Secretaría de Salud de Baja California (ISESALUD), Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA), Secretaría de Pesca estatal (SEPESCABC), del Instituto de Investigaciones Veterinarias de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), del Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación Urbana de Mexicali (IMIP) y del Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA). During the meeting the first results on water quality were presented and analyzed, as well as analysis of the dead fish tissue, by different agencies. According to the information at the moment, which is the one referring to the lake of the “Bosque de la Ciudad“, the group agreed that everything seems to indicate that the mortality of fish was caused by a natural phenomenon, product of a temperature change . However, the work of sampling and investigation continues and it won’t be until the following week when more information will be submitted by the governmental agencies involved.   Boletín de prensa de CONAGUA (Press...

New study suggests that sperm whales travel together, dine alone

New study suggests that sperm whales travel together, dine alone

Sep 14, 2017

Sperm whales have long been known to be highly social creatures and a new study confirms that when a group of them travel, they tend to hang pretty close together. But when it comes to chowing down, it appears they prefer to dine alone. Researchers from Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute and the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur in Mexico tracked a group of sperm whales in the Gulf of California and found that they spent about 30 percent of their time at the surface resting and socializing. But when they would dive for food, they each went their own way – and what a way it was. When the whales dove in search of their preferred food – the Humboldt squid – they would sometimes reach depths of 1,500 meters, or nearly a mile below the surface. During one such dive, a whale remained submerged for more than 77 minutes. The study, which used sophisticated “Advanced Dive Behavior,” or ADB tags, allowed the researchers to gather unprecedented amounts of data on sperm whale movement, socialization and feeding and diving behavior that previously had been difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. Results of the study have just been published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.   “We are now learning things about sperm whales that we just didn’t have access to before,” said Ladd Irvine, a researcher with OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute and lead author on the study. “Unlike many other terrestrial and marine mammals that form social groups, sperm whales seem to prefer foraging as individuals. They would stagger both the starting time and the depths of their dives.” The study is important, researchers say, because sperm whales have been notoriously hard to study – in part, because they spend a lot of time underwater and dive to great depths. Technological limitations had precluded researchers from gathering continuous behavior data on them for more than 24 hours at a time until the ADB tags were developed by OSU and Wildlife Computers. The tags can record high-resolution diving depth data as well as GPS locations. “The ADB tag is pretty revolutionary,” said Bruce Mate, director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute and co-author...

Thousands of dead fish turn up in Mexicali lagoons

Thousands of dead fish turn up in Mexicali lagoons

Sep 13, 2017

On Tuesday September 12, residents of Mexicali that live near the Xochimilco and Mexico lagoons noticed the presence of thousands of dead fish in the water, most of the bodies were on the banks of both lagoons, and it is still unknown until now what caused this phenomenon. In response to this situation, members of the Citizens’ Committee for the Protection of the Lagoons of Mexicali filed a formal complaint with PROFEPA to investigate what caused the massive death of these animals. On Monday September 11, a security guard of a subdivision located at the edge of the Mexico lagoon noticed a strange behavior in the fish. “There was a lot of movement, the fish were sticking their heads out of the water like they wanted to catch oxygen, as if they wanted to breathe, and later on, we noticed that unfortunately hundreds of fish were piled up on the shore,” he said. At noon on Tuesday September 12, a foul smell could be perceived around the area, obviously coming from the decomposing fish, and residents demanded local authorities to remove all dead fish from the water. It is important to remember that a similar phenomenon occurred two weeks ago in the waters of the artificial lagoon of the Bosque y Zoológico de Mexicali, in which case it was determined that the massive death was caused by the lack of oxygen in the water. In addition to thousands of fish, these lagoons harbor more than one hundred species of endemic and migratory birds....

Mexico, China, and the United States stand against the Totoaba illegal trafficking

Mexico, China, and the United States stand against the Totoaba illegal trafficking

Aug 20, 2017

Mexico, China, and the United States will design a strategy to fight the illicit trade of the Totoaba, an endemic fish to the Gulf of California in Mexico and currently an endangered species. According to the Mexican Federal Attorney of Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), Totoaba fishing is threatening the Vaquita porpoise. From August 23 to August 25, the governments of these three countries will meet in Ensenada, Baja California and the first trilateral meeting on the illegal trade in Totoaba to address trafficking concerns will take place. In the meeting, the three countries will exchange information about the modus operandi of Totoaba’s illicit trade, illegal shipments, seizures, and confiscations, in addition to current investigations. Moreover, the objective will be to coordinate actions that allow the exchange of strategies, practices, experiences and specialized knowledge for an efficient cooperation to fight Totoaba illicit trade. In the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol, celebrated in Johannesburg, South Africa, the three countries accepted recommendations to maintain the cooperation and coordination against Totoaba illegal trafficking. To the meeting, organized by the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Mexican Federal Attorney of Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), and the Ministry of Navy (SEMAR), more than 40 public officials and government authorities will assist in order to coordinate competencies to apply an international strategy....

PROFEPA confirms death of Cimarrón Big-Horn ram at Mexicali Zoo

PROFEPA confirms death of Cimarrón Big-Horn ram at Mexicali Zoo

Aug 17, 2017

As reported by The Baja Post on July 8, hikers from the Sierra Cucapá rescued a live specimen of bighorn sheep of the species Ovis canadensis (Borrego Cimarrón), an adult of advanced age and apparently in critical condition. But today, the Federal Office of Environmental Protection ( Profepa) officially announced that the ram died on Wednesday August 16, since it could not recover from its delicate state of health. PROFEPA said in a statement that the necropsy determined death by broncho-aspiration, caused by an injure in the palate that connected with the nostrils. The animal presented a delicate clinical picture with mobility problems and it was necessary to administer fluids intravenously. After being rescued in a critical state of health, the specimen was treated by veterinarians specialized in wildlife and Profepa personnel, medications were provided to rehydrate and stabilize it. The animal was treated by specialists at the intensive care unit of the Mexicali Zoo for the last 40 days, with support of doctors from the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC). The animal was transferred and interned temporarily in the “Predio e Instalación para Manejo de Vida Silvestre PIMVS” facility for its recovery and follow-up of medical attention due to its multiple wounds and advanced state of dehydration, but after 40 days the animal could not recover, and finally passed away....