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Newsletter February 2016

ECOBAC´s February 2016 Newsletter

¡¡¡We went to San Francisco!!!

We are pleased to inform you all that, we had the opportunity to participate and attend in the “21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals”, which took place in San Francisco, California from the 13th to the 18th of December 2015. This conference is the most important international conference for marine mammal research. More than 2,000 participants from over 65 countries attended. To participate in the conference, it was necessary to compete with over 4,000 other applicants, and in the end two of ECOBACs’ entries were accepted. The first was an oral presentation with the topic title of “RABEN: Mexican Big Whale Disentanglement Network”, given by Biologist Astrid Frisch. The second was a scientific poster on the topic of “Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Banderas bay, Mexico; Relative abundance analysis and seasonal variation during the winters of 2004 to 2014”, by Iyari Espinoza MSc. Also, ECOBAC took part in two workshops, one about disentanglements and the other about mitigation of by-catch in fisheries. Overall, by attending the conference we learnt many things, and took away new research ideas for our own studies and to share with others in the future

…and the whales, where are they?

Picture2Like all the readers of this bulletin with connections to the marine environment have noted, it has become apparent to us this year that there are very few whales, or at least far fewer than we have seen in previous years. This may be a product of the natural phenomena known as “El Niño”, a cyclical global phenomena that causes the warming of the waters of South America, which in turn causes irregular and erratic rain. What additional impacts does “El Niño” cause? Changes in atmospheric circulation; warming of the planet and higher sea temperatures; marine and non-marine species that are susceptible to these changes will either die or change their migratory roots; and large economic losses may be felt in costal industries, such as reduced fishing etc. Also diseases caused by humidity, heat and excessive rain may arise. Due to “El Niño” having global impacts on weather patterns, it is not just in the Bay of Banderas where its effects are being felt and there is an absence of whales. It is also occurring in Hawaii and other Mexican humpback whale breeding areas such as Guerrero, Manzanillo and San Blas. However, our neighbors of Los Cabos appear to have had more humpback whales visiting their region than usual. We are not suggesting that there haven’t been whales seen in the Bay of Banderas this winter, only that we have seen less. We continue to monitor the situation to see if there are any changes throughout the season, but it is most likely that we will have to wait for the next whale season to see what will happen then and to understand more.

Caring for the whales

Humpback Whales Prevention, Information, Surveillance and Monitoring Program

­­Picture5ECOBAC once again is monitoring whale watch activities inside the Bay of Banderas to ensure the correct conduct of vessels around whales, according to the guidelines established in the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010. During the vigilance trips, good navigation and whale watching practices are promoted, with the aim to develop awareness, principally in private vessel operators or “pirates” who undertake whale watching without licenses and are not informed of proper whale watching conduct. In addition, whale watch tour operators are monitored to check that they are following the whale watching guidelines. This is achieved by the support of Opequimar marine center, the 8th Zone of the Mexican Navy and committed volunteers. This is the fifth year that this project has been running, and the results so far have been positive. In the last two seasons we have witnessed far fewer episodes of vessel crowing around whales, and the number of licensed vessels has been increasing, therefore reducing the number of boats which aren’t licensed and are unaware of proper whale conduct. We are also focused on protecting and better informing vessel operators on how to maneuver and navigate around mothers with calves. They are the most vulnerable groups of whales and they are often the easiest to find, the most suitable for observation, and a very popular whale encounter for tourists. There are 16 monitoring trips programmed this season, and as of yet we have only completed half of them. The preliminary results from the first eight trips suggest that there is a much lower abundance of whales compared to previous years, this has also been expressed to us by concerned tour operators, who have reported that this year they have had to travel much larger distances to find whales.

The song of the whales: a possible indicator of welfare and health

Picture3As you all well know, whales sing and only in their breeding areas. That is why here, in the Bay of Banderas, we are fortunate to have the opportunity every winter to listen to the romantic songs that males sing to the females, to court them and become fathers to newborn whales the following year. Therefore, what is happening now that there are so few whales reported in the bay? It is the same question we have been asking ourselves at ECOBAC, therefore we decided to investigate, to see if there are lots of males singing or only a few. For this reason, during our “Program of Prevention, Information, Vigilance and Monitoring of Humpback Whales”, the biologists and volunteers onboard of the vessel are taking a little bit of time out to drop a hydrophone, so that we can listen and monitor the activity of the male singers.

Ocean traffic

Picture4The continued rise of tourist traffic in the Marietas Islands National Park has led to a considerable increase in vessel traffic in the area know as “the channel” (“el canal”), situated between Punta de Mita and the Marietas Islands National Park. This is due primarily because Punta de Mita is the area closest to the National Park, and therefore the area where it is most accessible to the tourists. It is for this reason, that at ECOBAC we have set out to actually count the number of vessels that pass the area in a set amount of time. Through this we hope to evaluate whether this marine traffic is affecting in anyway the whales, because of course “the channel” is the area that the whales use as the entrance to our beautiful bay.

Training a necessary tool for conservation

Picture6This year, in addition to focusing on local training, we jumped several states to train tour operators of the Guerrero coast. Thanks to the “Whales of Guerrero Project”, who organized the workshop, representatives from ECOBAC and the Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas taught workshops over two days to 35 participants, who were all very interested to learn about whales, their behavior and the correct manor of how to accomplish successful whale watching tours. The workshop involved two days of theory, and one day of practical, where they went out aboard two boats along the coast of Guerrero to look for whales, and to put into practices what they had learnt. The workshop was attended by people from the local areas of Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and Barra de Potosí. The response was excellent, and in general we are confident that all the attendees now know how to successfully whale watch without altering the behavior of the whales, and above all else caring for the whales whilst continuing to conserve them as a source of income.

The humpback whale as a “flagship species” for the care and protection of the environment in the Bay of Banderas

Picture7Today it is common knowledge, due to constant media coverage, that the climate of the planet is changing. It is now necessary that we are conscious and aware and of all of our actions, and that we try to moderate and change them to help with the conservation of the environment. It is for this reason that this year “The 2nd Festival of Whale Conservation” (“2do Festival por la Conservación Ballenarte”) is being held, with the focus of raising awareness in local people, national and international tourists, from children to adults, with the objectives that they grow with the conviction of caring and respecting our natural environment. For this purpose, interactive modules were designed with board games, such as “Zoomergidos”, which is similar to the traditional Mexican “lotto” but with marine mammals, their anatomy and their greatest threats to survival; also a specially designed games called “Anchors and Lifejackets”, a version of “Snakes and Ladders”, but with actions that guide the children to conserve the environment. In this way, the children and adults can enjoy and learn more about the biodiversity of marine mammals of our region and how to conserve and care for them.


Festival Ballenarte will be held on the 16th, 17th and 18th March

Do not forget about the Festival Ballenarte! This is the program of activities.

Wednesday March 16th, 5:00pm

Loving our whales:  Talk about whales for kids

Education games and surprises

Public Library of Los Mangos

Thursday, March 17th 6:00pm

Knowing Humpback whales and Banderas Bay projects: Lecture

Mini-auditorium 1. Research and Postgrad. Building CUC-UDG

Friday, March 18th 7:00pm

Caring for whales.

Come and have fun with our educational games and interactive displays.

Meet our real life size inflatable baby whale.

There´ll be surprises!

Arches of the PV Boardwalk (Malecon)

With activities to compliment the Festival Ballenarte, in February we will be visiting schools and public libraries giving talks about whales and the importance of caring for the oceans.

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2016 Season Begins ECOBAC Newsletter

Whale watching season starts this December 1st, 2015

Like every year at this time, as they so rightly deserve, we are enthusiastically preparing to receive the whales. Part of the preparation includes new projects that we are sure you will all like. We will also be continuing with several existing projects, but with an injection of fresh ideas. We hope that through this work we will plant and cement, in both the minds of the local population of the Bay of Banderas and visiting tourists, the concept of caring for the whales, in a simple and clear manner.

Additionally, we have received the excellent notification, for those involved in the whale watching industry, that for this year the season will start on December 1st. 2015 and finishes on March 23rd March 2016; in other words, we will have one more week to enjoy sustainably the whales’ presence in the area. Meanwhile, SEMARNAT (Jalisco Delegation).

Mexican National Whale Disentanglement Network (RABEN)

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The ongoing training of staff that make up RABEN, is of paramount importance to ensure that entanglement events (which may potentially occur in any of the areas of Mexico where gray whales and humpback whales assemble to reproduce and nurse calves) are dealt with in the most safe and efficient manner possible.

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It is for this reason that ECOBAC (who since 2012 has been in charge of the national coordination of RABEN) organized three workshops, with the aim to strengthen the most newly included teams and members of RABEN. The first workshop took place in Santa María Huatulco, Oaxaca, and included all three RABEN teams of Oaxaca state. The second workshop took place in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and the third in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur (which involved the training of the teams of RABEN El Vizcaíno, RABEN Bahía Magdalena and RABEN La Paz).

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These workshops took place thanks mainly to the sponsorship of CONANP, and included participating members of CONANP, PROFEPA, local academic institutions, tour operators and civil organizations.  The workshops included many trained RABEN team members, as well as new participants who wanted to join the team. Without doubt this commendable work is one of the most important projects that directly helps with the conservation of the charismatic whales that visit Mexico.

Field Practice for the RABEN Teams of the Bahía de Banderas

Apart from the training of RABEN members in workshops across the country, it is also important that the staff that makes up RABEN Bahía de Banderas do their annual practice of field techniques. For this reason on the 28th of October 2015, in the Marina of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a training workshop took place including participants of the 8th Navy Zone, PROFEPA (Nayarit Delegation), the Captain of the Port of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas, the Port Authority of Puerto Vallarta, ECOBAC, Vallarta Adventures, Ecotours de México and Explora Vallarta. The practice provided the chance to strengthen rescue techniques and was under the supervision of the expert David Matilla, who has been training the team since 2006.  Certainly, a great and much appreciated opportunity!  

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Workshop of the Prevention of Whale Entanglements

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Whale entanglement events are of great international interest, and on many occasions whales are entangled in fishing gear that they have carried for long distances, often from their feeding areas to their breeding areas or vice versa. If this is the case, it may well mean that the whale has been dragging the fishing gear for more than three months, and therefore will have wasted a large amount of energy in doing so.

To address this problem, and to try to continually reduce the number of entanglements, action has to be taken at a local and regional level. It is clearly necessary therefore, to work with fisherman and to plan strategies’ together to try to avoid whales being trapped in fishing gear and therefore also avoiding loss of fishing gear or catch and income to the fisherman.

For this reason three pioneering workshops took place in Puerto Ángel, Oaxaca, Guerrero Negro, B.C.S. and San Blas, Nayarit. They were attended by staff from CONANP, independent fisherman and representatives from fisheries cooperatives. All three events were very productive, and it is with great pleasure we inform you that the fisherman were very interested in the subject, and some even offered their help to work towards the testing of preventative “experimental fishing gear”. It is important to remember that the fishermen are not casting their nets with the intention of catching a whale! All the ideas and suggestions provided were integrated into a leaflet, which will be distributed in the regions of Mexico where the whales and fisherman often occur side by side, so that fishermen will know what to do when they go out fishing and observe a whale nearby.

We continue to support, strengthen and publicize this project with the hope that in a few years it will no longer be necessary to attend to whale entanglements.

Boletin Inicio 2015-Picture6 Interior of Entanglement Prevention Tips for Fishermen Brochure

National Workshop of Marine Mammal Protected Areas

At ECOBAC we were extremely happy to attend the recent meeting of the International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICCMPA). It was held at the Hotel Sheraton Buganvillas, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and was attended by the directors of CONANP´s National Parks, who spoke about their work and operations involving marine mammals.

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Now the groundwork is being laid for the 4th International Conference of Marine Mammal Protected Areas, which will be proudly celebrated here in Puerto Vallarta, thanks to the hard work of the president of ECOBAC and the support of CONANP. It is hoped that over 250 participants from all over the world will attend. During the meeting, the considerable progress that Mexico has made in many different environmental protection matters will be expressed. The fact that in Mexico, especially in Puerto Vallarta, international meetings such as these are now occurring is a great achievement and above all a strong acknowledgement of this progress, although there is still space for improvements in some areas of marine conservation in Mexico until it reaches international levels. Additionally, it will bring the international spotlight on to Puerto Vallarta and will be a great opportunity to promote Puerto Vallarta as a destination to the world, as attendees are expected from all continents.

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“I care for the whales” Campaign

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Environmental education and awareness is of upmost importance for the conservation of the natural environment, and it is this relationship between education and conservation that forms the basis of the saying “you can not protect what you do not”. It is for this reason that for the fourth year in a row ECOBAC will be running the campaign “I care for the whales”, but this year it will be a revised and expanded version. The objectives of the campaign are to encourage and ensure; good boating and navigational practices during the whale season; that tour operators and private vessels engaged in whale watching do so in the correct manner; that boats do not interrupt the natural behavior and activities of whales; that boats avoid getting too close to the whales; and to promote respect for the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010, that regulates whale watch activities in the region.

We hope to have great success with our season projects, we thank all our friends, sponsors, and collaborators for helping us make this happen.  Remember, “We all care for the Whales.”

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End of Season Newsletter 2014-2015

Dear friends, collaborators and whale lovers, we would like to share with you the events and outcomes of the whale watching season 2014 – 2015.
The whale watching season finished officially on the 23rd of March, so at ECOBAC we closed our field season with our humpback whale research, conservation and protection projects. This season was quite varied in the results as you´ll see, so this means we have to keep up the hard work and intensify our efforts every winter when the humpbacks come to mate and to calf at Banderas Bay.

A reunion with old friends: Photo-identification catalog of humpback whales

camello dorsal foto Astrid FrischDuring the photo-identification project of humpback whales of the Banderas Bay this year, we were lucky to reencounter a very peculiar whale that is known as “Camello” (the “camel” in English). “Camello” is a humpback whale that has acquired his name due to the strange form of his dorsal fin, which is similar to the humps of some camels. “Camello” is a male whale that was sighted by Ecotours de Mexico, collaborators of the photo-identification catalog of the Banderas Bay. This peculiar whale has been a continuous visitor of Banderas Bay since 1999, with only two years that he has not been spotted, which of course doesn’t mean that he didn’t visit the bay, but that maybe we didn’t see him. “Camello” chooses the bay for it’s warm waters; most years he has been observed in large mating groups, competing hard for access to a female, whilst on other occasions he has been seen resting and even singing. In addition to “Camello”, we have encountered other old acquaintances, including “Telaraña”, a whale that has been seen in the bay on numerous occasions since 2001. Without doubt this year was a year of reunions.

Successful rescue of a calf: RABEN (Mexican National Whale Disentanglement Network)

On the 2nd of December, before the official start of the whale watching season, a report was received of an entangled humpback whale. After three days of searching the whale was finally located, and was successfully released from the fishing gear. The whale, a young calf, was entangled with netting via the mouth and around both pectoral fins. After several hours of work, the whale was successfully disentangled. In charge of the national coordination of RABEN, ECOBAC is pleased to be part of this important work supporting the conservation of the humpback whales and is very appreciative of the full commitment and participation of all the members of the RABEN team of the Banderas Bay who always work with tirelessly and with high spirits, as do the staff of SEMAR, Vallarta Adventures, Explora Vallarta, Ecotours de Mexico, ITBB and PROFEPA.

In news from the national network of 15 teams of RABEN, this year we would like to congratulate the following teams:

RABEN 2 Foto Frack Mc Cann

• RABEN Los Cabos, for their three successful rescues
• RABEN Oaxaca for the rescue of a mother and calf
• All the teams of RABEN that responded to reports of entangled whales, and that woked in the training of the staff, espeacially RABEN Mazatlán, Loreto and Manzanillo

Less harassment of the whales: Program of Prevention, Information, Surveillance and Monitoring of Humpback Whales

As part of the Program of “Prevention, Information, Vigilance and Monitoring of Humpback Whales in the Bay of Banderas” this year ECOBAC conducted 19 vigilance trips, with the purpose of sharing information with the vessels that are involved in illegal whale watch activities and to monitor compliance of the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 of the vessels that have a license for whale watching. In general less harassment of the whales, by both tourist companies and private vessels, was observed this year. This maybe due to the increased popularity of the hidden beach of the Marietas National Park, with some tourists preferring to visit the islands rather than whale watch.

Yet we are still analyzing data to understand the distribution of vessels in relation to humpback whales within the Banderas Bay.

Vigilancia Frank Mc Cann   Vigilancia 2 Foto Frank Mc Cann

One problem that is continued to be observed is the harassment of the whales by Jet Skis. It is prohibited in the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 that Jet Ski users approach whales, but it continues to occur and it is putting at risk the life of the tourists involved, which on the majority of occasions are adults accompanied by children.

Like every year this program has been carried out with thanks to the support of the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) (in English the “Mexican National Park Commission”), OPEQUIMAR Centro Marino, la 8va Zona Naval, PROFEPA and various committed volunteers. The vigilance trips were concentrated during the holiday season, weekends and public holidays. On the weekend of the 31st of January to the 1st of February, with the help of PROFEPA Jalisco, two trips were carried out. The objective of PROFEPA was to monitor the whale watch activities and if they found vessels in breach of the whale watch regulations and to apply fines when necessary.

Cria atropellada 2 Frank Mc CannHowever, it’s not all good news. Sadly, this season we have recorded the death of a humpback whale calf that was run over on the 30th of December of 2014 by a tourist boat. Unfortunately, this occurred on one of the days when there is more tourist activity in the bay. For the purpose of reporting and evaluating the damage, PROFEPA Nayarit and Jalisco in coordination with the 8va Zona Naval and staff of ECOBAC, went to the area where the calf had been reported. Sadly, the calf had died, and it appeared that a vessel had broken the spinal column and made several deep wounds. Cria atropellada 3 Foto Frank Mc Cann . It is a regrettable incident, and for the time being we are still waiting for the response from the authorities before a complaint is filed. This type of event is what ECOBAC has being trying to avoid with the launch of their campaign “yo si cuido las ballenas”/ “I care for the whales”, and from now on we hope that this situation will never be repeated, that accidents like this do not affect the continued recovery of the population of the humpback whales of the North Pacific, and that this does not give a bad impression of marine tourism at a local, national or international level. This incident also represents a great risk for both tourists and staff of local vessels.

cria abandonada 2 foto Frank Mc CannNot everything is the fault of humans, on many occasions whales die from natural causes that we understand very little about. Such is the case of a calf that was abandoned by its mother on Sunday the 22nd of February. During one of the ECOBAC vigilance trips, a group of whales was observed that was constituted of a mother, calf and escort (McE) that were interacting with each other. On more than one occasion the mother was observed to be carrying the calf. However, after 20 minutes the mother and the escort were observed to swim away from and abandon the calf. cria abandonada. Foto Frank Mc CannThe ECOBAC team was present for more than three hours monitoring the lone calf, which began to swim in circles and by the end of the observation appeared tired and disorientated. Through the night reports were received of a humpback whale calf stranded alive on Los Tules beach. The stranding was attended by pubic saftey officers, ecología municipal, staff of RABEN, ECOBAC, PROFEPA, volunteers and the press. The primary action was to try and return the calf to the ocean, however due to strong currents and the weakened state of the calf, the young whale was quickly pushed back on to the beach, where it was knocked around in the break water. Unfortunately the calf died, and was burried the next day following health regualtions in PROFEPA’s protocol for stranded marine mammals.

Kuikani the ECOBAC mascot: The campaign “Yo si cuido a las ballenas “/ “I care about the whales”

With the main aim of supporting the continuation of the campaign “Yo si cuido a las ballenas’/ “I care about the whales”, Kuikani, an inflatable whale the size of a calf (6.5 m), is now located at the instillation of the Administración Portuaria Integral/Port Authority (API). The principal aim is to inform the local population, tourists and tourist service providers about good navigation practices during whale watch aKuikani en api 1 Foto Iyari Espinozactivities. Volunteers from different universities such as Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas amongst others, very kindly participated in sharing information about the campaign by handing out leaflets in English and Spanish which explained the regulations for whale watching to tourists that were arriving or departing from a whale watch tour. The response was positive, and on occasions tourist showed gratitude that campaigns such as this exist, and were keen to take tours with only authorized vessels that respected the regulations. Other volunteers helped us by sharing information with vessel captains in the fuel stations of OPEQUIMAR, in the marina of Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita.


Kuikani en api 2 Foto Iyari EspinozaLike every year, ECOBAC relies on the support of the general public and this year we are very pleased to thank the support provided by the Asociación de Empresarios de Puerto Vallarta y Bahía de Banderas, who have shown special interest in the environmental education and protection project, and supporting the campaign “Yo si cuido a las Ballenas/ I care about the whales”. Also special thanks to API, Opequimar, 8va Zona Naval and the volunteers that supported us in the promotion of the campaigns to help raise awareness: A Frank Mc Cann, Fabiola Flores, Jorge Morales, Anayeli Moreno, Haniel Ascencio, Monserrat Servín, Artemio Martínez, Liliana Gallardo, Sandra Magaña, Alejandro Rodríguez, Ana Ezcurra, Anel Acosta, Michael Acosta, Job Reyes , Katie Lavery and Laura Fenwick. We thank Nicky Ransome for the translation of this newsletter.

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January 2012 – ECOBAC Friend Newsletters

Estimados Amigos y Colaboradores.

Antes que nada queremos desearles un Muy Feliz 2012!!

Gracias a su donativo de la gran cena beneficio para las ballenas que se llevó a cabo en el Restaurante De Santos el pasado noviembre 2011 hemos podido continuar trabajando en diversos proyectos en esta temporada de ballenas.

A continuación les envío un breve reporte de los proyectos en los que estamos trabajando y los cuales son posibles de realizar en parte

ayuda con sus donativos, nuevamente gracias.


El objetivo de este proyecto es el de promover las buenas prácticas de navegación durante la temporada de ballenas, así como dar difusión a la NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 que establece los lineamientos para la observación de ballenas y fomentar que se le de el debido seguimiento, evitando así el acoso a las ballenas, y las embarcaciones “piratas” (turísticas sin autorización para la observación de ballenas).  También durante los recorridos se esta monitoreando artes de pesca para llevar un registro.  Como bien sabemos estas redes pueden ser un peligro para las ballenas, en especial para las crías.


Opequimar nos esta apoyando con la embarcación “La Pangona” y su tripulación. La 8ª. Zona Naval nos facilitó la presencia de un oficial de la marina a bordo durante los recorridos, lo que ha sido de gran utilidad ya que formaliza los recorridos y genera más respeto por la labor que realizamos.

Imprimimos 1,000 volantes tamaño media carta, bilingües en blanco y negro con la norma de observación de ballenas y reglas básicas de navegación en presencia de ballenas para repartir durante los recorridos y también los están repartiendo en la gasolinera de Opequimar.


La labor de los recorridos ha sido intensa pero muy productiva.  Se ha repartido información a más de 50 embarcaciones en su mayoría privadas o turísticas pero sin autorización para observación de ballenas.  En 2 ocasiones logramos retirar a más de 15 embarcaciones privadas que acosaban a una Madre con cría.



La respuesta de la gente ha sido en general positiva, la mayoría se retira o mantiene la distancia señalada de 240mts.  Algunos reclaman obviamente y desafortunadamente algunos otros nos evaden y se van a otros grupos de ballenas y cuando nos ven acercándonos se vuelven a retirar.  Lo que demuestra que es importante realizar las salidas lo más seguido posible para que surta efecto.


Durante la salida del 31 de diciembre prestamos apoyo a la Red de Atención a Ballenas Enmalladas en la búsqueda de una hembra que fue reportada enmallada frente a Nuevo Vallarta. Al parecer la hembra fue liberada por una embarcación, ya que no la encontramos y fue el último reporte que recibimos


Hasta ahora la observación más importante es que las embarcaciones privadas o piratas no buscan ballenas si no otras embarcaciones.  En varias ocasiones hemos registrado más ballenas alrededor pero como no tienen experiencia o interés no buscan más ballenas y por eso se generan grupos de hasta 18 embarcaciones acosando a las ballenas.



Por el momento tenemos fondos para 10 salidas y estamos tratando de conseguir más donativos para poder realizar más salidas.  Cada salida tiene un costo de $1,400 pesos.


En diciembre 2011, capacitamos al MenC Francisco Villegas de la Universidad del Mar de Puerto Angel, para que puedan comenzar a trabajar en el monitoreo de Ballena Jorobada en el área de Huatulco a Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.  La capacitación consistió en trabajo de campo para reconocer los diferentes comportamientos de las ballenas, asi como la forma correcta de navegación y aproximación.  También se trabajó con el archivador de imágenes y la base de datos para la comparación de fotografías.  Los resultados de este monitoreo se van a comparar con el Catálogo de Fotoidentificación de Ballena Jorobada en Bahía de Banderas para poder tener un mejor registro y comprensión del stock costero de Ballena Jorobada en México.




Continuamos con el proyecto de fotoidentificación que inició en el 2007 y ya realizamos 2 salidas de investigación para monitoreo de ballena jorobada en el Parque Nacional Isla Isabel, el 1er. Muestreo se llevó a cabo del 12 al 14 de diciembre de 2011 y el 2º. El 9 y 10 de enero de 2012.







En la salida de diciembre tuvimos la oportunidad de ver orcas falsas (Pseudorca crassidens) interactuando con las jorobadas, fue un espectáculo muy especial.  Normalmente se considera a las Orcas falsas como posibles depredadores de las ballenas, sin embargo las observamos nadar juntas por un largo periodo interactuando de manera muy tranquila.


Este año las ballenas jorobadas nos han sorprendido con un nuevo comportamiento, se han estado alimentando intensiva y extensivamente en la Bahía.   Las Ballenas Jorobadas vienen a Bahía de Banderas todos los inviernos a reproducirse y a tener a sus crías y pasan los veranos en California, Oregón, Washington, British Columbia y Alaska que son consideradas sus zonas de alimentación.  Durante los veranos las jorobadas ingieren hasta una tonelada diaria de alimento el cual incluye krill y arenque.  Este alimento lo utilizan para crear una capa de grasa que las aísla del frío.  Cuando llegan a Bahía de Banderas obtienen la energía necesaria de esta capa de grasa, que van absorbiendo poco a poco.  Es decir, que no tienen hambre, ni necesidad de ingerir alimento alguno.  En los 15 años que llevo trabajando con ballena jorobada nunca había visto a las ballenas alimentarse aquí.  En alguna ocasión alguien reportó a una ballena alimentándose en la zona, pero fue algo meramente ocasional. Normalmente las ballenas pasaban de largo escuelas de sardinas sin mostrar interés alguno.  Este invierno nos encontramos con la sorpresa de que las ballenas jorobas se han estado alimentando intensiva y extensivamente.  Desde el 19 de diciembre a la fecha contamos con más de 12 reportes distintos de ballenas alimentándose en ocasiones en grupos grandes de hasta 30 o más ballenas.  Desde entonces estamos haciendo un monitoreo lo más completo posible.  Ya tomamos varias muestras del alimento de las jorobadas y están comiendo Anchovetas, que son muy similares a las sardinas (de hecho pertenecen a la misma familia), por lo que mucho las llaman localmente, sardinas.


El 30 de diciembre atendimos un reporte de una ballena enmallada en Rincón de Guayabitos, como parte del equipo de la Red de Atención a Ballenas Enmalladas en Bahía de Banderas (RABEN) fueron a Guayabitos Karel Beets (Ecotours de México) y Ricky Rebolledo (Vallarta Adventures).  Desafortunadamente no encontramos a la ballena enmallada, pero al parecer la Naval de San Blas y  algunos locales lograron quitarle la mayor parte de la red el 29 de diciembre.


Los mantendremos informados y seguiremos actuando  en  favor de las ballenas y esperamos que este año lograr los objetivos planteados en cuanto a Investigación y conservación.  Esperamos seguir contando con su apoyo.  Pueden ver más sobre nuestros proyectos en  o seguirnos en Face Book.


October Hill Foundation

Cascadia Research Collective

Unidos para la Conservación



Ecotours de México








Astrid Frisch Jordán

News Sin categorizar

April 2012 – ECOBAC Friend Newsletters

Estimados Amigos y Colaboradores:

Terminó una temporada más de ballenas. Esta temporada fue una temporada muy especial llena de sorpresas, nuevos proyectos y éxitos.

Ahora estamos catalogando todo el material fotográfico y datos que logramos reunir en esta temporada y también estamos trabajando en los nuevos proyectos para la próxima temporada.

A continuación les envío un breve reporte de esta temporada 2011-2012.  Gracias por su apoyo!


Realizamos 10 salidas con el apoyo de Opequimar Centro Marino y con la participación de la 8ª. Zona Naval.  Los recorridos se realizaron principalmente en puentes vacacionales y fines de semana que es cuando se incrementa el tráfico marítimo.  Como recordarán el objetivo de este proyecto es el de promover las buenas prácticas de navegación durante la temporada de ballenas, así como dar difusión a la NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 que establece los lineamientos para la observación de ballenas y fomentar que se le de el debido seguimiento, evitando así el acoso a las ballenas, y las embarcaciones “piratas” (turísticas sin autorización para la observación de ballenas).    A partir de las primeras salidas la gente comenzó a identificar a la embarcación “La Pangona” y la mayoría se retiraba o corregía sus distancias al vernos.  En varias ocasiones logramos poner orden cuando muchas embarcaciones estaban acosando a las ballenas, en especial a las Madres con cría.






Para hacer más eficientes los recorridos mandamos a hacer unas lonas señalando la distancia mínima a mantener con las ballenas.



Repartimos 1,000 volantes con información sobre las buenas prácticas de navegación y la NOM-131 durante los recorridos, en la gasolinera de Opequimar  y en la gasolinera de la marina de la Cruz De Huanacaxtle.




Una de las conclusiones a las que llegamos es que las embarcaciones, en especial las privadas, no saben buscar ballenas y solamente buscan embarcaciones y por eso se forman grupos numerosos de embarcaciones acosando a un solo grupo de ballenas, cuando hay más ballenas alrededor.


Debido al éxito obtenido durante esta temporada consideramos que este programa debe continuar y de ser posible realizar más de 10 salidas durante cada temporada de ballenas.  Estamos trabajando para tratar de conseguir fondos para lograrlo!


Queremos agradecer a todas las personas que participaron e hicieron posibles los recorridos del programa de Prevención, Información y Monitoreo de Ballena Jorobada en Bahía de Banderas, a los tour operadores autorizados que nos apoyaron con su donativo; a los capitanes Fernando y Alfredo,  a Erica Flores, César Villanueva  y Carlos Verjan   de Opequimar; a los Tenientes Vidal, Lozano y Prudente; a Paty Cerrillo y Francisco Cuevas; en especial a Frank Mc Cann por su invaluable labor durante todos los recorridos y a Eduardo Legorreta y Enrique Tron por facilitarnos la embarcación “La Pangona”!



Como les mencioné en el reporte anterior, esta temporada las ballenas nos sorprendieron con un nuevo comportamiento: estuvieron alimentándose durante la temporada de reproducción, algo nunca antes visto.  Logramos reunir 20 registros distintos de ballenas alimentándose, en superficie y de fondo.  En ocasiones los grupos eran pequeños y en otra se observaron más de 30 ballenas alimentándose en una zona, a veces acompañadas de ballenas de Bryde o sardineras y de delfines.  Publicamos unos artículos al respecto en la revista ESPECIES de Naturalia y en la revista Espacio Profundo.  En mayo presentaremos este evento ante la XXXIII Reunión Internacional para el Estudio de los Mamíferos Marinos.



El 26 de enero de 2012 se encontraron 2 ballenas muertas en las playas de Litibú.  Una estaba en alto grado de descomposición y la otra al parecer murió a causa de un arte de pesca.  Normalmente cuando una ballena aparece muerta en nuestras costas lo más probable es que lleve meses enferma o atrapada en la red y finalmente muere durante la migración a su zona de reproducción.  Es prácticamente imposible saber en donde se enredó la ballena.  ¿En México, en Canadá o en Estados Unidos?

El 2 de abril se recibió un reporte de ballena enmallada cerca de Punta de Mita.  El equipo de RABEN atendió el reporte y trató de liberar a la ballena.  Se le quitó la mayoría de la red, pero desafortunadamente no se le pudo quitar toda y ya no se volvió a localizar en los días siguientes.

Esto nos indica que el problema con las artes pesqueras es serio y estas son las consecuencias.  Es por esto que es muy importante continuar con las labores de rescate y seguir capacitando equipos en la costa del Pacífico Mexicano para siempre que sea posible liberar a las ballenas de las redes.












Los mantendremos informados y seguiremos actuando  en  favor de las ballenas.  Aun que las ballenas ya migraron a sus zonas de alimentación, nosotros continuamos trabajando para que las ballenas no dejen de visitar nuestra hermosa bahía.  Esperamos seguir contando con su apoyo.

Pueden ver más sobre nuestros proyectos en  o seguirnos en Face Book.



October Hill Foundation

Cascadia Research Collective

Unidos para la Conservación



Ecotours de México







Astrid Frisch Jordán


News Sin categorizar

January 2013 – ECOBAC Friend Newsletters

Estimados amigos y colaboradores!!!

ECOBAC les desea un muy feliz inicio de año 2013.

El pasado mes comenzó la temporada oficial de observación de ballenas y con ella, se abrieron nuevas oportunidades para la investigación y protección de estos maravillosos mamíferos marinos. Gracias al apoyo y proyectos que se concretaron con la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) y la Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), se pudieron impartir talleres de capacitación en distintas regiones de México donde la ballena jorobada arriba en invierno para su temporada de reproducción. También se pudieron lanzar dos nuevas campañas para el cuidado y conservación de las ballenas.

A continuación se les envía un breve pero conciso reporte de lo realizado a la fecha y de lo que se está realizando en pro de las ballenas.


Biol. Astrid Frisch Jordán



El objetivo principal de este programa es hacer un recorrido por la bahía con el fin de dar difusión a la NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010, la cual establece los lineamientos para la observación de ballenas, así como incitar a que estos sean cumplidos por embarcaciones turísticas y privadas y evitar el acoso a las ballenas y fomentar las buenas prácticas de navegación en la temporada de ballenas.

Desde que comenzó la temporada de observación de ballenas en diciembre de 2012 se han realizado 5 salidas y se tiene planeado realizar al menos 20 salidas durante la temporada.  Este programa se lleva a cabo gracias al apoyo de la CONANP y la FWS, de  Opequimar Centro Marino, miembros de ECOBAC, así como voluntarios.  En los recorridos también hemos contado con el apoyo de la 8ª Zona Naval y salimos con un oficial de la marina a bordo, es importante especificar que sin su presencia no se tendría el éxito, además de darle respeto, formalidad y presencia a cada recorrido.

Las salidas fueron programadas principalmente durante el periodo de vacaciones, principalmente en fines de semana con el fin de obtener un mayor alcance. Es muy importante señalar que desde la temporada pasada y como viene sucediendo año con año, se ha observado, que las embarcaciones privadas o turísticas, sin permiso de observación de ballenas son las que mayormente acosan a las ballenas, por lo que nuestro principal objetivo es informar y promover las buenas prácticas de navegación durante toda la temporada.

Durante los recorridos, se reparten volantes con un breve resumen bilingüe de la norma oficial mexicana para la observación de ballenas, así como folletos en donde se promueven las buenas prácticas de navegación y se informa de la presencia de crías las cuales son más vulnerables al acoso de las embarcaciones. Además se les invita a cuidar a las ballenas para que sigan regresando a Bahía de Banderas.









En total, se ha repartido información a más de 100 embarcaciones en su mayoría privadas o turísticas sin autorización. La respuesta por parte de los capitanes de embarcaciones ha sido buena, hemos logrado que durante la observación de un grupo, las embarcaciones se retiren o mantengan la distancia adecuada para no acosar al grupo de ballenas, los cuales en su mayoría han sido madres con cría y escolta.  En el caso de las embarcaciones con permiso se le incita a que cumplan con la norma en distancia y tiempo, pues se han encontrado embarcaciones que tardan más de una hora con el mismo grupo, a estos se le invita a ir en busca de nuevos grupos de ballenas que les ofrecerán un  espectáculo diferente.

En algunas ocasiones, la respuesta es negativa o simplemente nos evaden y huyen cuando ven que nos aproximamos a darles la información, sin embargo nuestra presencia en el mar los fuerza a portarse mejor.



Durante el mes de noviembre de 2012 organizamos dos talleres de capacitación con el objetivo de conformar la Red Nacional de Atención a Ballenas Enmalladas (RABEN México); el primero de ellos se llevó a cabo en Puerto Vallarta Jalisco y fue impartido por David Mattila y Scott Landry de la NOAA , Comisión Ballenera Internacional  y Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Estos investigadores están altamente


capacitados y cuentan con suficiente experiencia para la capacitación de nuevos grupos, sobre todo en lugares donde el problema de enmalle de ballenas en artes de pesca crece continuamente. En dicho taller se capacitaron 6 grupos los cuales quedaron distribuidos a lo largo de la costa del Pacífico mexicano desde Mazatlán hasta Manzanillo.  Durante el taller se entregó a cada grupo la herramienta necesaria y adecuada para el rescate de ballenas enredadas en artes de pesca. También se les capacitó en mar para que cada rescate futuro sea atendido de forma segura y  sin exponer la vida humana, los rescates se realizan siempre a bordo de una embarcación.

El segundo taller fue llevado en la Paz Baja California, con el objetivo de capacitar a la península y donde también acudieron representantes de Latinoamerica, con el fin de tener un mayor número de personas capacitadas. Durante el primer día del taller se abordaron temas de veterinaria de mamíferos marinos enfocado a ballenas y estos temas fueron impartidos por el Dr. Michael Moore de Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution y La Dra. Frances Gulland de The Marine Mammal Center.   El segundo día se enfocó a la capacitación para el rescate de ballenas jorobadas, los temas fueron impartidos por David Mattila y Ed Lyman de la NOAA y Comisión Ballenera Internacional.   El tercer y último día fue totalmente práctico, donde se les entregó a dos nuevos equipos la herramienta necesaria para el rescate y las técnicas utilizadas en el mar para un rescate eficiente y seguro.

Estos talleres fueron llevados a cabo gracias al apoyo de la Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) y con la colaboración de la Comisión Ballenera Internacional y la  NOAA.

Podemos estar orgullosos de que en México contamos ya con 8 equipos capacitados y equipados para atender este tipo de eventos.










Previo a la temporada de observación de ballenas, se realizaron cuatro talleres de capacitación a tour operadores de observación de ballenas, con el fin de que dicha actividad sea practicada siguiendo los lineamientos publicados en la norma oficial mexicana NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010, informando a todos aquellos capitanes de embarcación y guías de turistas sobre los aspectos generales de la biología y comportamiento de la ballena jorobada, las recomendaciones para no incumplir con la norma, las posibles sanciones a las cuales pueden ser sujetos e información positiva sobre la actividad de observación de ballenas a nivel mundial.


El primer taller fue dado en el mes de septiembre en Oaxaca y se contó con la participación del Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas y tour operadores. La respuesta fue buena, sobre todo porque hasta antes de esa fecha, la actividad era realizada de manera irregular, sin permiso y sin la capacitación necesaria para ofrecer un buen servicio sin acosar a las ballenas.


El segundo y tercer taller fueron  realizados en Guayabitos y San Blas, Nayarit respectivamente, en estos talleres se contó con la participación activa de PROFEPA, SEMARNAT, CONANP  y el Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas. Fue dirigido a tour operadores y guías de turistas. Al final de cada taller se realizó un análisis FORD donde se plasmaron las fuerzas, oportunidades, riesgos y debilidades de la actividad de observación de ballenas en cada región con el fin de mejorar en futuro el servicio.



El cuarto taller se llevó a cabo en Nuevo Vallarta Nayarit, el cual contó con el apoyo activo de SEMARNAT, CONANP, PROFEPA y el Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas. Este sucedió a la par de la entrega de permisos para la observación de ballenas para la región de Bahía de Banderas por lo que conto con autoridades de los estados de Nayarit y Jalisco así como prestadores de servicios turísticos de toda la bahía. Durante este taller también se dio un reconocimiento especial al Sr. Justino Nieblas y al Sr. José Angel Salcedo por su amplia trayectoria en la observación de ballenas, su compromiso con la investigación, conservación y protección de las jorobadas y por sus buenas prácticas de navegación.





Que promueve buenas prácticas de navegación  para no molestar a las ballenas, en dicha campaña se están entregando folletos para incitar las buenas prácticas de navegación y se está premiando a aquellos tour operadores con buen servicio enfocado principalmente en el cuidado de las ballenas, el objetivo final es que cada uno de los tour operadores y empresas que ofrecen el servicio reciba un reconocimiento y el resultado sea que la Bahía de Banderas se considerado como el mejor lugar para el avistamiento de ballenas jorobadas en función del buen servicio ofrecido así como el cuidado y respeto a las ballenas y su entorno.





Para que la gente extreme precauciones o disminuya su velocidad y no atropelle a las crías de ballena jorobada. Dicha campaña está dirigida principalmente a embarcaciones privadas o sin permiso de observación de ballenas, con el fin de que se les informe la presencia de ballenas en la bahía y que atiendan los lineamientos encontrados en el norma oficial de observación de ballenas, donde se les invita a navegar con extrema precaución y disminuir la velocidad para no provocar colisiones con embarcaciones  y no poner en riesgo la vida humana, de la ballena y daños en la embarcación.







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Boats and/or Companies Authorized by SEMARNAT

Biol. Astrid Frisch Jordán


¡Ayúdanos a cuidar a las Ballenas! Sólo utiliza embarcaciones o compañías autorizadas para realizar la observación de ballenas.  Ellos tienen experiencia y obligación de cumplir con las normas de observación de ballenas NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010.

Embarcaciones y/o Compañías Autorizadas por SEMARNAT para Realizar la Actividad de Observación de Ballenas en Bahía de Banderas, Jalisco-Nayarit, 8 de Diciembre 2012 al 23 de Marzo 2013. Este año SEMARNAT entregó una banderola rosa con morado con el logotipo de SEMARNAT y una ballena jorobada para poder identificar a las embarcaciones autorizadas.  Si la embarcación no tiene este distintivo quiere decir que NO tiene autorización para realizar observación de ballenas esta temporada.

  • Abundia I y II
  • Alamar
  • Albatros
  • Ally-cat
  • Ana I
  • Ana Lilia
  • Blak Rooster
  • Brianna Nicole
  • Cachito II
  • Caiman
  • Catalina III
  • Cesarin I
  • Chica Locca
  • Cielito Lindo
  • Columba, I y II
  • Coral I y III
  • Dadaiky
  • Delfines Gemelos I y II
  • Don Marro
  • Eco Explorer
  • Ecotours de México
  • El Andariego
  • Estefania
  • Esther
  • Explora Vallarta
  • Fortuna
  • Galia
  • Galilea
  • Geronimo
  • Gredna
  • Grimar
  • Halcón del Mar I
  • Humu Humu
  • Islas Marias
  • Ivette II
  • Jangada
  • Jenifeer y II
  • Jetzemani
  • Juana
  • Karen III y IV
  • Kevin
  • La Costeña  2
  • La Dolorosa
  • La Lupita II
  • La Segunda Ola y II
  • Los Tres Amigos
  • Lucero
  • Mañana y II
  • Max Beer II
  • Mike´s Tours
  • Mismaloya Divers
  • Mixtlan
  • Miyeni
  • Monalisa
  • Moon and Star
  • Mundo Silencioso
  • Nahuy
  • Obrera
  • Ocean Friendly
  • Paulina III
  • Pegasso Chartering
  • Perla del Pacífico, I, II y III
  • Polaris
  • Prince of Whales
  • Punta de Mita  Iguana
  • Que Barbara
  • Quetzalcoatl
  • Reaccion
  • Rockyn Robyn
  • Rosa del Mar
  • Salma
  • Sarape
  • Savanna
  • Sayula I
  • Shark
  • Siempre Viva
  • Soarcamaya
  • South Wind
  • Spearo One
  • Strike One
  • Thania II
  • Tlaloc
  • Tranquilo
  • Tres Estrellas
  • Tuna II y III
  • Vallarta Adventures
  • Vallarta Sol
  • Vanessa
  • Viento Negro
  • Wahoo
  • Whalecome Vallarta
  • Xiuhtla
  • Y-knout
News Sin categorizar

Animal Prints Banderas Bay

Animal Prints Banderas Bay
By: Fabio Cupul / Guadalajara University

Banderas Bay region which includes the urban development of Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta, is embedded in a diverse landscape that includes islands, ocean, beaches, mangroves, rivers, mountains, forests and tropical deciduous subcaediza, palm trees and even forests pine and oak. The wide variety of environments and ecosystems of the bay, supporting the growth of a wide range of animal and plant life that represents your true wealth and which supports its appeal and tilt tourism.Banderas Bay is geographically shared by the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, housing over half of the vegetables that are environments in both entities. It is considered one of the richest regions in butterflies from Mexico and the state of Jalisco, as they have been little more than 480 species. It is also recognized as a hot spot or “hot spot” for birdwatchers, who enjoy the contemplation of about 369 species of birds (about 35% of species documented for the country) of aquatic and terrestrial habits.

Bay of Whales
Life is constantly renewed in the mosaic of habitats that make up the bay. So, every year during the months of November to April, gentle giant mammals become the warm coastal waters in a maternity ward in an enclosure watery for love and sex. It is precisely the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) who, after a long journey of several thousand kilometers from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chuckchi-move into these waters to give birth to their calves and sow seeds that will become the next generation of cetaceans. In the past, the bay was known as “whales”, probably because the impact caused mammals in the minds of those early observers.

The arrival of life
The sandy beaches are fertile fields for the development of new litters of living beings. This is stated in the annual arrival of turtles, reptiles adapted to the ocean environment but linked to its ancient past Earth, which forces them to return to the sandy shores of the bay to deposit their precious cargo of eggs. Of the five species of sea turtles that potentially reach the Mexican coast, olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is that almost all nests on the beaches of the region. Importantly, the work of protection and conservation of nests and eggs of turtles annually make the government, educational institutions and NGOs.

Also, below the surface of the ocean life is recreated in strange animal forms which by their booths structures, we would risk calling plants. These vegetables are ways that resemble coral, real animals that form colonies in limestone structures that give strength to his biological organization. The bay is home to at least twelve species of coral, stone called (by its rigid nature), which form colonies in which they gather great diversity of fish and other species that forage, shelter, rest or partner.

Natural Nursery
The islands and mangroves are nurseries where natural cycles of creation constantly occur. The Marieta Islands, north of the bay, purely marine species such as blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) and brown (Sula leucogaster), the terns and bridled tern species (Sterna anaethetus), brown booby (Anous stolidus ) and real (Sterna maxima), Heermann’s gull (Larus heermanni), the Brandt cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus), among others, breed in large colonies ranging from 300 to 30,000 individuals. On land, mangrove systems as the stream El Salado, Laguna El Quelele, Boca de Tomates estuary and Boca Negra, adequate space to provide food and protection for the reproduction of aquatic species. But of them all, stands for filing Boca Negra nesting thirteen species, most aquatic herons.

Magnificent reptiles
Mangroves are environments in which still includes the magnificent figure of the crocodile, beings whose ancestors witnessed the birth and demise of the dinosaurs. Despite having survived the natural world by some 250 million years ago, today we see with sadness how are diminished and corralled into the bay by thirst expansionist human limits (in the past were depleted by commercial hunting for obtaining your skin), and the innate fear we experience the presence of a predator.More than eight decades ago there were hundreds or even thousands in the region, but now only survive in the bay a couple of hundreds of species of crocodiles in the river or American (Crocodylus acutus), native to the Pacific coast of Mexico and much of Central and South America, manages to live and reproduce successfully in this environment almost urbanized.There is a crocodile that represents danger to humans, however, he fears and flees from his presence.

From fantasy to reality
Other animals that have captivated people in the bay, are those that recall the fantastic, mythical, cruel sea snakes. For many years people of all ages and social status, recount their encounters with mysterious large marine snakes that ply the coastal waters of the town. These snakes have the peculiarity of occasionally beach themselves attracting the attention of people.But a detailed analysis of inert bodies, can transmute from snakes to fish chimeric peaceful. In reality the snake is a long chimeric fish called golden body rowing (Regalecus Glesner), up to 11 meters in length, holds his head in a fin-shaped scarlet plume. Its silhouette resembles those described in sea snakes medieval bestiary.

From reality to fantasy
Contrary to the myth oarfish that became reality, some other animals that inhabit the bay have been transported from reality to myth. The transformation experienced allowed them to play important roles within the cosmic culture of the peoples of indigenous Mexico. Of all animals, white-tailed deer (Odoicoleus virginianus) stands out from the point of view of nutrition and ritual. For the Huichol ethnic group in western country, was and is a symbol of life and fertility. The jaguar (Panthera onca), which fortunately can be found in the rainforests of north and south of the bay, he was associated with political power and the hidden forces of the wizards. The ancient Mexicans said their beautiful mottled skin was the night sky. The green feathers of the macaw (Ara militaris) had great value as an ornament of the gods and men of yesteryear. Today sees its bright green color copies the skies rumbled and nest high in trees in the southern mountains of the bay. Hummingbirds, whose diversity in the area is about thirteen species are of small size and erratic flight faster than in the past were identified by the Aztecs as symbols of blood and war. They believed that the souls of warriors killed in combat, were transferred to the bodies of the hummingbirds.

The dye of the snail
The ethnicities Mixtec, Nahua, and huaves Chontal of Mexico, are appreciation, respect and veneration for a particular species of snail, the purple snail, which is distributed along the coast of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco. This particular snail secretes a whitish fluid, frothy, milky, that gradually changes color when it is ejected to the outside. In contact with air, the fluid acquires shades ranging from yellow to blue-green until it finally reaches its stabilization in a beautiful and intense purple hue. The purple dye gives its name to the snail (scientifically called Plicopurpura pansa patula) and is responsible for its use by the pre-Hispanic men to dye their clothes, because that shade a symbol of greatness and power. A story that loses its origins in real time, that during the conquest of Mexico, took a combative encounter between the natives of the bay and the Spanish adventurers. The story goes that about 20,000 Indians had dressed in their clothes carrying weapons of war and decorated with small flags pigment dyed purple shell. In this not very pleasant meeting, was derived the present name of the bay: flags. New to science Banderas Bay is a tremendous box biological surprises because, when it was believed that the tenants knew everything about animals, science discovers a new species: that is, bring to life creatures that neither deep our imagination conceived their existence. In 1994, he achieved the discovery of a beautiful tarantula Brachypelma ocher klaasi dubbed. Three years later, the mud turtle, Kinosternon Chimalhuacan, described for the southern state of Jalisco, but it was not until 2003, when it is discovered in the bay. More recently, in January 2006, published the discovery of a new species of freshwater leeches (Haementeria lopezi). The discovery of new species as described above, invites us to reflect on the need to know and understand the animal nature within the Bahia de Banderas, because only then can the conservation and use to ensure their future existence. But the enthusiasm and financial resources to do so should not be limiting, the constraints are time and indifference, unfortunately, have the table set for a couple of decades (unless we do something drastic), annihilate what nature has built millions of years of evolution. As quoted by Dr. Juan Luis Cifuentes Lemus, a leading Mexican biologist and naturalist, “who knows the nature and its elements, wants and who wants to protect and conserve.”

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Mythology Entomological

Mythology Entomological
By: Fabio Cupul

Throughout history, not all human cultures have viewed with disdain upon the insects, since some of them came to link with the divine, which no doubt gave an important place in its system of myths and legends. The role of insects in the worldview of the ancient cultures is highly symbolic, as it came to represent both religious values, and philosophical and even psychological. That is, the image display of an insect derived directly from a cultural meaning. For example, “Cora,” a town in western Mexico, that the soul of a dead body flies away material in the form of a bumblebee. For its part, Papalotl was the word used by the ancient Aztec civilization to name the butterflies. The Aztecs believed that these beautiful insects were fire related and were the reservoirs of the souls of soldiers killed in combat. The butterfly was also related to the supreme god Quetzalcoatl, who resurrected to life as a chrysalis. Today, the modern inhabitants of Mexico with Spanish continuing to use the word “kite” to refer to comets that children thrown into the air. The use of butterflies as symbols of resurrection, is quite widespread in human cultures. Most authors believe that this symbolism is related to the particular history of life as the insect, which involves an egg stage which gives rise to a caterpillar (life), it is transformed into a chrysalis (death) and which freedom emerges a completely different organism: the reborn butterfly (resurrection). On the other hand, an Australian Aboriginal legend tells how the tribe spent much of his time by storing food for winter. This good deed, caused them to eventually be transformed into bees and survive. In contrast, another tribe of the same locality, lazy and frivolous, not made any provision to survive the winter, so that its members were transformed into flies and died. This ancient story, portrays much of the widespread idea that humanity has on the fly as being obnoxious with negative connotations. Meanwhile, bees symbolize positive aspects around the world. For example, in Hinduism it is related to the love aspect of the god Krishna. Denote royalty in Egypt, but one of the most consistent and significant symbolism is that of sexuality and fertility, mainly for their participation in the processes of pollination of plants. One of the most appreciated of the bees is honey for sweetness same as was used by the Egyptians to flavor their food, although it was also a basic ingredient in the process of mummification of the dead. The Babylonians and Sumerians offerings of honey to their gods in religious ceremonies. Curiously, the former German Christians believed that bees were created by God to provide the wax used in the manufacture of the sails of their churches.The insects are beneficial and transcendental beings in the functioning of biological cycles, since a large variety of them are important agents in the pollination of plants, some others provide products of commercial value or are a source of food for birds, fish and even man himself. In addition, parasites or predators to other insects, helping to keep them under control.Certain species, being scavengers, they act as scavengers preventing infectious outbreaks. There is no doubt that the conduct described above was admired by the ancient Chinese culture, as some representatives of this tiny world, like ants, were and remain a symbol of patriotism, virtue, self-interest, order and bonded indefatigable. Such was the admiration that had some people by the ants, the native Hopi, the Southwest, they believed that the first settlers were people of the world shaped ant. For the Nahua people in western Mexico, the ants are still part of their agricultural cycles, and to ensure that the rains of the season, put ears on the nests to attract it. By contrast, some West African communities in the nests are home to demons.

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The dolphins in Banderas Bay

The dolphins in Banderas Bay
By: Biol. Astrid Frisch Jordán

Banderas Bay is considered a place of great importance among cetólogos commercial whalers and some from the late nineteenth century. Studies conducted in 1988 by Salinas and Bourillón in the Bay are 12 different species of Cetaceans, 9 of which belong to the suborder Odontoceti suborder Mysticeti and 3. In the odontocetes are the mottled Sthenelus (Stenella attenuata), the whirling Sthenelus (Stenella longirostris), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sinus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), killer whales (Orcinus orca) and Mesoplodonte. (Mesoplodon sp.) Of the baleen whales are the humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), the Bryde (Balaenoptera edeni) and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), the latter being an occasional visitor.


The greatest concentration of species occurs during winter and summer decrease significantly in the spring, and being the most common species Stenella attenuata, Stenella and Tursiops truncatus longisrostris. Tursiops truncatus and Stenella attenuata are present all year and both species have been recorded in the coastal form (Stenella attenuata and Tursiops truncatus gilli graffmani). Among these species, one of the best known and appreciated is the bottlenose dolphin, known by some as the famous “Flipper.” Bottlenose dolphins belong to the Order Cetacea, suborder Odontoceti and Family Delphinidae. The genus Tursiops Tursi comes from the Latin meaning porpoise and the Greek suffix meaning ops face and the truncatus species comes from the Latin root meaning truncated truncated, this in relation to their short snout, compared with those of other dolphins.

The bottlenose dolphins or tursiones are medium in size ranging from 2.4 to the 4.2mts. are robust, short face, conical and thick. The dorsal fin is triangular, slightly falcate and broad-based. Their coloration is highly variable, but usually the back is gray to almost black (Watson, 1981; Urbán, 1983). The tursiones are distributed worldwide, avoiding high-latitude waters only. In Mexico you can find them in coastal and oceanic waters in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. In the Pacific gilli recognized subspecies of coastal habits distributed from the U.S. border to the south including the Gulf of California to the border with Guatemala, extending throughout Central America and the subspecies nuannu habits in the ocean tropical Pacific (Walker, 1981; Urbán, 1983).

In Bahia de Banderas are distributed throughout the bay, and you can submit birth throughout the year, being the most common time of the autumn-winter. The tursiones have been observed in interspecific associations with different species and in the specific case of the bay have been found with Sthenelus spotted (Stenella attenuata), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), killer whales (Orcinus orca) and humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae). They are known as an opportunistic species in their habits, and type of animals being fed is very diverse and includes fish, molluscs and crustaceans, in the case of Bahia de Banderas have been observed feeding mainly on horse mackerel (Caranx hippos) and mackerel (Scomber japonicus). Usually found in groups of less than 15 dolphins and grouped in herds consisting of several mature females and their offspring up to age 2, where regular, adult males and subadults, and young females swim in the periphery.



There are also herds of juveniles, which in some cases can be single sex. Sometimes several herds can meet in one group forming large flocks of up to several hundred people traveling together during very varied. They have a complex social organization open structure where members can be exchanged continuously and, in the case of coastal species may also possess a defined home range. However, different species and even different populations of the same species have variety in their social structure in response to environmental conditions, such as availability and distribution of food, the density of predators and physical characteristics of the environment (Scott et al . 1990). It seems that females play a more important role than males in the training and integration of the groups. It is usually associated with other females in groups known as very stable bands.



Descripción: C:UsersClauDocumentsWoRkecobacsitioimagenesnovedades-01-c.jpgOn the other hand, males are not associated with any particular band, rather they move from one band to another in search of receptive females, and this search can even take them beyond the limits of their communities. Sometimes males can associate in groups even more stable than those of females in pairs or threes, apparently in such associations to cooperate males corral steal them females or other males, and to establish some control over the community and thus have greater reproductive success (Connor et al. 1992). Similar associations between males are also present in some primate species with a strong dominance hierarchy, as is the case of macaques, chimpanzees and baboons, where such associations to improve their social status and access to receptive females and to defend them from other young males. In all cases the male partnerships are part of a strategy to obtain greater reproductive benefit (Felix, 1997).



Bottlenose dolphins are also known for their interactions with ships, as they enjoy the advantage of the waves and currents they generate, but it is important not to harass them because we can interfere with activities of breeding or feeding.Remember that you can not use jet skis or engage in commercial and sport fishing or close to the dolphins. Please do not throw any kind of objects into the water, especially plastics, cigarette butts or any synthetic material as they can cause problems for animals if the were to accidentally swallow. We want the dolphins still cheering the waters of our beautiful bay, they are counting on you to survive.