The Northernmost Mangrove Forest

During the next 5 months, conservation photographers Santiago Gibert and Octavio Aburto will travel around Mexico’s coastal areas to document the Mexican mangroves (, one of the most threatened ecosystems despite its countless environmental services that they provide to human wellbeing. This fantastic journey will culminate in an editorial publication that will be presented at the end of 2012, to increase awareness within the decision makers of the next Mexican presidential administration.

My first expedition was to document the northernmost mangroves forest in Mexico. I traveled to the Gulf of California, to Bahia de Los Angeles in the State of Baja California. The geographical northern limit of the red mangrove is a small forest on Isla Coronado (1). Hidden in a small cove, small evergreen trees flourish surrounded by black volcanic rock. They’re small trees, just two meters high, and survive with very little seawater. At dawn, the reflections are spectacular and show the great adaptations that these plants have to extreme conditions in the region.

Mangroves of arid regions are only found in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of California. These mangrove forests are distinguished from other, mainly of tropical ones, because they are present mostly in small bays as small isolated stands. Since the external nutrient sources are minimal in arid mangroves, and nutrient availability depends mainly on recycling process, these kinds of mangroves are very vulnerable to changes in their hydrological processes. In the following days I will travel around the peninsula of Baja California documenting arid mangrove forests.