|Area||243.988 km2 (94.204 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||4,257 ft (1297.5 m)|
|Highest point||Mount Augusta|
|Official language: Spanish|
Guadalupe Island or Isla Guadalupe is a volcanic island located 241 kilometres (150 mi) off the west coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula and about 400 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of the city of Ensenada in the state of Baja California, in the Pacific Ocean. The various volcanoes are extinct or dormant. In 2005 Guadalupe Island and its surrounding waters and islets were declared a biosphere reserve to restore its vegetation (decimated by goats) and to protect its population of marine mammals and birds. The island is a popular destination for white shark cage diving. Guadalupe Island is inhabited only by scientists, military personnel operating a weather station, and a small group of seasonal fishermen. The island is mostly arid and has very little surface water.
The two other Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean that are not on the continental shelf are the Revillagigedo Islands and Rocas Alijos. Guadalupe Island and its islets are the westernmost region of Mexico.
The 2010 census recorded a population of 213 people on the island.In 2015, it was estimated to have fewer than 150 permanent residents. Guadalupe is part of Ensenada delegación, one of the 24 delegaciones or subdivisions of Ensenada Municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California. Ensenada delegación and Chapultepec delegación together form the city of Ensenada, the municipal seat of the namesake municipality. The postal code of Guadalupe Island is 22997.
Campo Oeste ("West Camp", also called Campo Tepeyac, with 15 buildings) is a small community of abalone and lobster fishermen, located on the western coast, 30,000 litres (6,600 imp gal; 7,900 US gal)[ citation needed ] of freshwater. The number of fishermen varies annually depending on the fishing season. Ten months of the year the 30 families of the fishing cooperative "Abuloneros and Langosteros of Guadalupe Island" are present.specifically on the north side of West Anchorage, a bay that provides protection from the strong winds and swells that whip the islands during winter. Generators provide electricity, and a military vessel brings
Additional temporary fishing camps are Campo Norte ("North Camp", four buildings), Campo Lima (Campo Corrals) (one building) and Arroyitos (four buildings).
At the southern tip, on Melpómene Cove, there is a weather station staffed by a detachment from the Mexican Ministry of the Navy.[ when? ] The site is called Campamento Sur ("South Encampment").[ citation needed ]
Campo Bosque was established as a temporary camp in 1999 in the cypress forest in the north. The camp houses members of the Cooperative Farming Society "Francisco Javier Maytorena, S.C. of R.L." and removes goats from the island and sells them in the State of Sonora, with permission of Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the support of the Secretariat of the Navy.
Campo Pista is located at the small airport, near the center of the island (1,200-metre-long (3,900 ft) runway. At the end of the runway near threshold 5 is the wreckage of a Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, which overshot the runway during landing. A North American B-25J-30/32 Mitchell, BMM-3501 (c/n 44-86712), bomber wrecked on the opposite end of the runway, after suffering serious damage in trying to take-off overloaded ( ). Based on historical Google Earth imagery, this B-25 wreckage appears to have been removed from the location between October, 2005, and June, 2006.[ citation needed ], elevation:592 m, direction:05/23). Airport Isla Guadalupe (ICAO Code MMGD) has a
Because Guadalupe Island is located within a biosphere reserve, anyone visiting the island must obtain a permit from the Mexican government; this means the communities on the island are closed towns.
Guadalupe Island has a rugged landscape composed of two shield volcanoes which formed on a now extinct mid-ocean ridge.They are overlain by lava flows and cinder cones that were emplaced along northwest-southeast and northeast-southwest trending fissure vents. The youngest shield volcano comprises the northern end of the island and may have formed during the Holocene epoch. A series of very fresh-looking alkali basalt flows along with trachyte domes in the northern shield volcano caldera represent the most recently formed rocks on Guadalupe Island.
The island measures 35 kilometres (22 mi) north-south and up to 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi) east-west, with a total area of 243.988 km2 (94.204 sq mi). It features a chain of high volcanic mountain ridges which rises to a height of 1,298 metres (4,259 ft) at its northern end (Mount Augusta). Its smaller counterpart on the southern end is the 975 metres (3,199 ft)El Picacho. The southern part of the island is mostly barren, but there are scattered stands of trees at at higher elevations of the northern part of the island and in the Twin Canyon area on the northeast coast. The coast generally consists of rocky bluffs with detached rocks fronting some of them. Two high and prominent islets are within three kilometres (1.9 mi) of the southwestern end of the island, separated from one another by a gap called Tuna Alley:
Elsewhere, the other islets are very small and close to the shore, all less than one kilometre (0.62 mi) away:
The island has two major climate zones: a very arid, semi-hot climate between 0 and 800 metres (0 and 2,625 feet) elevation, with mean annual temperature between 18 and 22 °C (64 and 72 °F) and a very arid, temperate climate above 800 metres (2,625 ft) elevation with temperatures over 22 °C (72 °F) in the hottest month of the year.
Most precipitation occurs over the winter months with a strong influence of northwestern winds and cyclones.
Rainfall averages 133 millimetres (5.2 in) near sea level at the south end but appears to be much more at the high north end. An estimate for the rainfall in the northern highlands is possible by way of taking Pinus radiata as an indicator, which is native to that area of the island. In other places where Pinus radiata is native, it grows best with about 750 millimetres (29.5 in) of rainfall but under some conditions can survive with as little as half that much. The effective moisture is much greater because of fog drip.
|Record high °C (°F)||27.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||18.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||15.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||11.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||3.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||16.3|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.16||2.00||2.55||1.10||0.37||0.14||0.12||0.07||0.17||0.82||1.89||2.32||13.71|
|Average relative humidity (%)||79||79||78||78||79||82||83||81||81||80||79||79||80|
|Source: Colegio de Postgraduados|
Guadalupe Island was a major destination for Russian and American fur hunters seeking the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) in the 18th and 19th centuries until they were nearly extinct by 1844. Captain Auguste Duhaut-Cilly reported in 1827 that a Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands) brig "had spent several months there and collected three thousand sealskins".The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) was also ruthlessly hunted for the oil in its blubber.
They were thought to be extinct in 1884 until a remnant population of eight individuals was discovered on Guadalupe Island in 1892 by a Smithsonian expedition, who promptly killed several of them for their collections.The elephant seals managed to survive, and were finally protected by the Mexican government in 1922. All surviving northern elephant seals share the same male ancestor.
Guadalupe shares the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion with the Channel Islands of California in the United States, but the island was at one time practically denuded of all plants higher than a few centimeters by up to 100,000feral goats.
Originally brought there in the 19th century by European whalers and sealers for provisions when stopping over, the population eventually eliminated most vegetation; the number of goats declined to a few thousand. Before this collapse, the main impact of the goat population was about the turn of the 19th/20th century. Naturalist A.W. Anthony wrote in 1901:
"It is directly due to the despised Billy-goat that many interesting species of plants formerly abundant are now extinct, and also that one or more of the birds peculiar to the island has disappeared, and others are following rapidly."
After the crash, the goat population once again grew, this time more slowly, until it had reached the new, lower carrying capacity at maybe 10,000–20,000 in modern times. The island had been a nature conservancy area since August 16, 1928, making it one of the oldest reserves in Mexico. Eradication of the goats was long envisioned, but logistical difficulties such as island size and lack of suitable spots for landing and encamping hunters and material prevented this. In 2002, the Mexican government (including SEMARNAT) and the conservation group Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas began eliminating the goats.In June 2005, after many years of false starts, the Mexican government had almost completed a round-up and evacuation of the remaining goat population. In 2007, the goat elimination program ended (10,000 feral goats were eliminated). Guadalupe Island was designated a biosphere reserve on April 25, 2005.
French sea captain Auguste Duhaut-Cilly remarked on the tall trees on the north of Guadalupe Island as he sailed past on January 2, 1827.Of the large tree species on Guadalupe Island (Guadalupe palm, Guadalupe cypress, island oak, and Guadalupe pine), there were only old individuals left; California juniper had entirely disappeared. As the goats ate any seedlings that managed to germinate, no regeneration of trees as possible. Water, formerly plentiful as the common fogs condensed in the forests of the northern end of the island, today only occurs in a few scattered pools and springs. Because the springs were a critical emergency water supply for the human inhabitants, protective measures including goat fences were installed beginning in 2000, allowing new seedlings of many species to survive for the first time in 150 years. Seacology, a non-profit environmental group located in Berkeley, CA, provided funding to the Island Conservation & Ecology Group for the construction of ten fenced exclosures to keep goats out of the most sensitive areas of Guadalupe Island.
In November 1850, U.S. Army Lt. George H. Derby passed the island on his expedition in the U.S. Transport Invincible. He described it thus: "This island is about 15 miles length and 5 in width. It is rocky + mountainous but capped with vegetation and is reputed to be thickly inhabited by wild goats of unusual size. Water is found upon the eastern shore and the Island is frequently visited by small vessels engaged in the capture of the sea elephant numbers of which animals are found upon its coast."
Many islands or marine species that reside on or near Guadalupe also frequent the Channel Islands, and vice versa. In stark contrast to the rampant extinction of terrestrial life that happened at the same time, Guadalupe was the last refuge for the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) in the 1890s. The island has been a pinniped sanctuary since 1975.
The movement of the cool, nutrient-rich water current promotes phytoplankton production and attracts both coastal and deep-water species, including great white sharks.
Guadalupe is considered one of the best spots in the world for sightings of the great white shark, possibly because of its large population of pinnipeds.The island has been recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International.
Before the removal of goats, surveys found eight major land habitats on Guadalupe:
A ninth habitat type, California juniper woodland and extending on the central plateau below the cypress forest, was entirely gone by 1906.What other endemic lifeforms underwent coextinction with it will forever remain unknown.
Numerous taxa have gone extinct due to the habitat destruction by the goats, which in turn rendered the endemic fauna vulnerable to predation by introduced cats and adverse weather by depriving them of shelter.
There have been 5–6 extinctions of birds:
Globally extinct plant taxa from Guadalupe Island are:
and one species of plant Incertae sedis
Its time zone is Pacific Standard Time
Triteleia is a genus of monocotyledon flowering plants also known as triplet lilies. The 16 species are native to western North America, from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming and Arizona, with one species in northwestern Mexico. However they are most common in California. They are perennial plants growing from a fibrous corm, roughly spherical in shape. They get their name from the fact that all parts of their flowers come in threes.
Socorro Island is a small volcanic island in the Revillagigedo Islands, a Mexican possession lying 600 kilometres (370 mi) off the country's western coast. The size is 16.5 by 11.5 km, with an area of 132 km2 (51 sq mi). It is the largest of the four islands of the Revillagigedo Archipelago. The last eruption was in 1993.
Alboran Island is a small islet of Spain in the Alboran Sea, part of the western Mediterranean Sea, about 56 km (35 mi) north of the Moroccan coast and 85 kilometres from the Spanish mainland. The main buildings are an automated lighthouse built in the 19th century, a small cemetery and a harbor.
Quercus tomentella, the island oak, island live oak, or Channel Island oak, is an oak in the section Protobalanus. It is native to six islands: five of the Channel Islands of California and Guadalupe Island, part of the State of Baja California.
Lobos is a small island of the Canary Islands (Spain) located just 2 kilometres north of the island of Fuerteventura. It belongs to the municipality of La Oliva on the island of Fuerteventura. It has an area of 4.68 square kilometres (1.8 sq mi). It has been a nature reserve since 1982.
Cedros Island is an island in the Pacific Ocean belonging to the state of Baja California, Mexico. The dry and rocky island had a population of 1,350 in 2005 and has an area of 348 square kilometres (134 sq mi) which includes the area of several small nearby islands. Cedros Island is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 1,205 metres (3,953 ft). The economy is based on commercial fishing and salt mining. Cedros has a distinctive flora and the traces of some of the earliest human beings in the New World. The ocean around the island is popular with sport fishermen.
Cupressus guadalupensis, the Guadalupe cypress, is a species of cypress from Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean off western North America.
The Seal Islands are a group of small islands and rocky islets lying about 7 km north and north-west of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. They extend east–west for about 5 km, and are separated from Elephant Island by Sealers Passage. The group takes its name from the largest island, which Captain William Smith named Seal Island in 1820 because of the number of seals killed there.
Isla Todos Santos is a pair of islands about 19.3 km (12.0 mi) off Ensenada, Baja California, atbest known for surfing. Access is only by boat, which can be rented in Ensenada, or La Bufadora. The waves off the smallest island are among the biggest in North America. There are no facilities on the islands except for two lighthouses and a fish farm operation.
The Guadalupe junco is a small bird in the New World sparrow family that is endemic to Guadalupe Island off Pacific Mexico. Many taxonomic authorities classified it in 2008 as a subspecies of the dark-eyed junco. In 2016, it was classified as a full species.
Brahea edulis, the Guadalupe palm or palma de Guadalupe, is a palm endemic to Guadalupe Island, Mexico, although a few stands have been planted elsewhere. It is a fan palm which grows 4.50 to 13 metres tall. It grows on the island between 400 and 1,000 metres above mean sea level (ASL).
Isla Espíritu Santo is an island in the Gulf of California, off the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It is separated from Isla Partida by a narrow canal.
The Islas San Benito lie in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, 25 km west of Cedros Island. They are part of the Cedros Island delegación, a subdivision of Ensenada (municipality), Baja California.
Isla Natividad is an island in the Pacific Ocean 6 km west off Punta Eugenia, the northwestern headland of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. 200 meters off its northwestern end lies Roca María at, with an area of 0.074 km2. Isla Natividad is separated from the mainland at Punta Eugenia by Canal de Dewey, and from Cedros Island, which is 15 km to the north, by Canal de Keller.
Cupressus forbesii, now reclassified by some as Hesperocyparis forbesii, and with the common names Tecate cypress or Forbes' cypress, is a species of cypress native to southwestern North America.
Baeriopsis is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae, containing the single species Baeriopsis guadalupensis. It is endemic to the Guadalupe Island archipelago along the coast of Baja California in Mexico. It grows in Guadalupe mesa scrub habitat.
The California coastal sage and chaparral is a Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregion located in southwestern California and northwestern Baja California (Mexico). It is part of the larger California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion.
Hesperelaea is a plant genus with only one species, probably now extinct. Hesperelaea palmeri was found only on Guadalupe Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Mexican state of Baja California, about 400 km (250 mi) southwest of Ensenada. The last collection of the plant on the island was in 1875, so the species and the genus must now be presumed extinct. An intensive search for the plant in 2000 was unsuccessful.
The Guadalupe Island Biosphere Reserve,, is located in the Pacific Ocean and is part of Baja California state of Mexico. The Reserve consists of Guadalupe Island and several small islands nearby plus a large expanse of surrounding ocean. The Reserve was created by the government of Mexico on 25 April 2005 and is located 250 kilometres (160 mi) from the mainland. The Reserve is 4,770 square kilometres (1,840 sq mi) in size of which 263 square kilometres (102 sq mi) consists of land and the remainder of water.
Dudleya guadalupensis is a succulent plant endemic to Guadalupe Island.