HomeDiscoveryNature and environmentGulf of California
Gulf of California

Diane Gendron

print send digg delicious
  • Présentement 1.33/5 étoile.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments 0 comment

Gulf of California

Influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California is home to one of the planet’s most important marine ecosystems. Its rich biodiversity has earned it the nickname “aquarium of the world”.

Spectacular scenery

The Gulf of California is a sea of the Pacific Ocean, located in Mexican waters between the Baja California peninsula and the Mexican mainland. Also known as the “Sea of Cortez”, the Gulf is 1,250 km long and about 90 km wide. The region’s spectacular landscapes feature high plateaus, valleys and mountains, along with hundreds of islands.

A dry and scorching climate

The Baja California region has a dry climate. In the desert and along the coast of the Gulf, temperatures routinely reach 45 °C. These conditions encourage the growth of a large number of unique plant species. Certain species of cactus are so well adapted to the scorching desert heat, they can reach 17 metres in height. The Gulf of California region is home to 695 species of vascular plants.

Haven for blue whales

Terrestrial and marine life is not only varied, but abundant. The Gulf of California contains the greatest concentration of whales in the world, and has been found to be the preferred breeding ground for blue whales. 39% of the planet’s marine mammals share the waters of the Gulf with 891 species of fish. Surrounding islands are host to hundreds of species of birds, including blue-footed boobies and pelicans.

An ecosystem under pressure

The Gulf of California is subject to tremendous pressure, which risks upsetting the natural balance. Its valuable habitats, home to a large number of unique species and ecosystems, are threatened by many forces, including industrial-scale farming, intensive fishing, pollution, invasive species and tourism development.

Related articles
Blue Whale
Weighing around 120,000 kg, the blue whale is the world’s largest animal.
21 - Blue Behemoths in the Sea of Cortés
Biologist Diane Gendron studies our planet’s largest living animal: the blue whale.
Leave a comment

Remove image Images must be in JPG format and not exceed 10 MB.
Resolution must be less than 3,000 by 3,000 pixels.

Enter the characters appearing in the image above. If you’re unable to read them, please click here.