Wetland Studies

Investigating coastal regions incredibly rich in biodiversity

 
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The estuaries along the Sonoran coast are incredibly rich in biodiversity and hold a very high importance as nurseries for hundreds of species of invertebrates and fish, many of which are harvested commercially. Migratory and resident birds use these estuaries as stopover, wintering, feeding, and breeding sites. Additionally, coastal wetlands are the only suitable habitat in Sonora for certain federally protected species like the Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris).


There are three small to medium-sized estuaries on the central Sonoran coast south of Bahia Kino: Esteros Santa Cruz, Cardonal, and Tastiota. These precious coastal environments are increasingly threatened by development and tourism activities. Since 2000, the shrimp aquaculture industry has expanded dramatically along this coastline.  These estuaries have received little research or conservation attention while aquaculture has rapidly encroached on these sensitive and unique ecosystems. Prescott College is promoting effective and collaborative estuary conservation and research efforts by working with conservation and community groups to discuss the problems define objectives and strategic actions to achieve increased protection of these estuaries.

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