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Bahía de Tóbari

Site Facts

Country, State, Province/Region:

Mexico, State of Sonora

Relative Location:

Northwest Mexico, along the Gulf of California coast, in the Municipality of Benito Juárez

Latitude/Longitude:

27°07’33.7” N, 110°03’28.3” W

Category:

International

Basis for Designation:

More than 10% of the biogeographic population of the frazari subspecies of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus frazari)

Size:

16,700 hectares (41,267 acres)

Joined:

September 2014

Site Owner/Steward:

National Commission on Protected Natural Areas (CONANP)

Site Partners:

Pronatura Noroeste
Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABSC)

Human Population within 100 km:

134,000

Contact:

Ana Luisa Figueroa Carranza
Directora del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna "Islas del Golfo de California-Sonora"
National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP)
www.conanp.gob.mx

Roberto Carmona
Profesor, Investigador UABCS
beauty@uabcs.mx

 

About Us

Bahía de Tóbari is located along the Gulf of California in northwest Mexico, in the Municipality of Benito Juárez, Sonora. It contains 16,700 hectares (41,267 acres) of shorebird habitats, including Isla Huivuilai, a barrier island in the center of the bay. This area is part of the “Gulf of California Islands” Protected Area for Flora and Fauna, owned and managed by the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym).The bay is a WHSRN Site of International Importance for hosting more than 10% of the biogeographic population of the frazari subspecies of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus frazari)—federally listed in Mexico as being “in danger of extinction.”


American Oystercatchers, frazari subspecies. / Courtesy of Roberto Carmona

At least 44,000 shorebirds representing 17 species were recorded at Bahía de Tóbari in December 2013, including 2.3% of the biogeographic population of American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana); 1.2% of Willet (Tringa semipalmata), and 3.0% of Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa). The site contains grasses and algae, mangroves, mudflats, and sandy areas that provide food and shelter for both migratory and resident shorebirds as well as other wildlife.

Other designations for Bahía de Tóbari include:
- Priority Wetland for Migratory Waterfowl in Mexico (No. 16, DUMAC 2004);
- Priority Wetland for Migratory Shorebirds in Mexico (No. 13, SEMARNAT 2008);
- Important Bird Area (AICA by its Spanish acronym, No. 129, Cervantes & Valdés 2000);
- Priority Area for Marine and Coastal Conservation (No. 17, CONABIO 1998); and
- two recognitions for the “Gulf of California Islands” Protected Area for Flora and Fauna by UNESCO: Biosphere Reserve under its Man and Biosphere Program, and Natural Heritage Site for Humanity.

 

Ecology & Conservation

Bahía de Tóbari contains 16,700 hectares (41,267 acres) of shorebird habitats, including grasses and algae, mangroves, mudflats, and sandy areas that provide food and shelter for both migratory and resident shorebirds. The site also includes Isla Huivuilai, a barrier island in the center of the bay. In 2012, the 4-km bridge between the island and coastline was removed to restore natural water flow that had been impeded for 40 years. As part of the island’s community-supported Management Program, site partners seek to minimize threats, particularly disturbance, to shorebirds and habitats; remove and prevent invasive species; and involve the community in environmental education and bird-related conservation actions.

The site is also covered by a regional ecological ordinance that requires conservation projects, coastal and industrial fishing, and tourism to be carried out in a sustainable way. Predominant threats at the site, in addition to human disturbance of shorebirds and habitats, include contamination from metals and chemicals via human, agricultural, and aquaculture activities.

List of shorebird species registered (*) in Bahía de Tóbari, Sonora, Mexico, arrayed by source and conservation status according to the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan (Brown et al. 2001) and Mexican Government (DOF 2010).
REP = species breeds at this site. Baja = low concern; Moderada = moderate concern; Alta = high concern; Amenazado = threatened; En peligro = endangered; No aplica = not applicable.

Species

Van Rossem & Hachisuka 1937

Palacios & Mellink 1995

Carmona & Danemann 2013

Conservation Status
(USA) 

 

Conservation Status (Mexico)

Pluvialis squatarola

*

*

*

Moderada

 

Charadrius nivosus

 

REP

*

En peligro

Amenazado

Charadrius semipalmatus

*

 

*

Baja

 

Charadrius wilsonia

*

REP

 

Alta

 

Haematopus palliatus

 

REP

*

Alta

En peligro

Himantopus mexicanus

*

 

*

Alta

 

Recurvirostra Americana

*

 

*

Moderada

 

Tringa melanoleuca

 

 

*

Moderada

 

Tringa semipalmata

*

*

*

Moderada

 

Tringa flavipes

 

 

*

Moderada

 

Numenius phaeopus

*

*

*

Alta

 

Numenius americanus

*

*

*

En peligro

 

Limosa fedoa

*

*

*

Alta

 

Actitis macularius

*

 

*

Baja

 

Arenaria interpres

*

 

*

Alta

 

Calidris canutus

*

 

 

Moderada

En peligro

Calidris alba

*

*

 

Alta

 

Calidris mauri

*

*

*

Alta

 

Calidris minutilla

*

 

 

Moderada

 

Calidris alpina

*

 

*

Alta

 

Limnodromus spp.

*

*

*

No aplica

 

Total Species

17

11

17

 

 

 

Contacts

Ana Luisa Rosa Figueroa Carranza
Directora del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas del Golfo de California-Sonora
Comisión de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
afiguero@conanp.gob.mx
http://www.conanp.gob.mx/

Jesus Ventura Trejo
Personal del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas del Golfo de California-Sonora
Comisión de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
jventura@conanp.gob.mx

Alma Yudith Valenzuela Moroyoqui
Personal del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas del Golfo de California-Sonora
Comisión de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
yudith_jrvd28@hotmail.com

Antonio Zúñiga Carlón
Integrante del Grupo de Monitoreo Local de Aves.
Comunidad de Las Aceitunitas.
Tel. cel.: 6441467141

Gustavo Danemann
Director Ejecutivo, Pronatura Noroeste
gdanemann@pronatura-noroeste.org
http://www.pronatura-noroeste.org/

Carlos Valdés Casillas
Responsable de la oficina Álamos
Pronatura Noroeste
cvaldes@pronatura-noroeste.org
http://www.pronatura-noroeste.org/

Miguel Ángel Cruz Nieto
Director del Programa de Conservación de Aves
Pronatura Noroeste
mcruz@pronatura-noroeste.org
http://www.pronatura-noroeste.org/

Roberto Carmona
Profesor Investigador
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
beauty@uabcs.mx

José Alfredo Castillo Guerrero
Investigador Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Unidad Mazatlán.
alfredocas@gmail.com

 

Additional Resources

Andres, B.A., P.A. Smith, R.I.G. Morrison, C.L. Gratto-Trevor, S.C. Brown y C.A. Friis. 2012. Population estimates of North American Shorebirds 2012. Wader Study Group Bull., 119(3): 178-194.

Beman, J. M. y C. A. Francis. 2006. Diversity of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in the Sediments of a Hypernutrified Subtropical Estuary: Bahía del Tóbari, Mexico. Applied and environmental microbiology 72: 7767–7777.

Brown, S., C. Hicky, B. Harrington y R. Gill. 2001. United States Shorebird Conservation Plan. 2nd ed. Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences. Massachusetts. 60 p.

Carmona, R. y G.D. Danemann. 2013. Monitoreo de aves playeras migratorias en 11 sitios prioritarios del Noroeste de México y reconocimiento invernal de cinco sitios adicionales. Reporte Final para la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. 223 p.

Carmona, R., Arce, N., Ayala, V.,  Hernández-Alvarez, A., Buchanan, J. B., Salzer, L. J., Tomkovich, P., Johnson, J. A., Gill, Jr. R. E.,  McCaffery, B. J., Lyons, J. E., Niles, L. J. & Newstead, D. 2013. Red Knot (Calidris canutus roselaari) migration connectivity, abundance and nonbreeding distribution along the Pacific coast of the Americas. Wader Study Group Bull. 120(3): 168-180.

Carmona-Islas, C., Bello-Pineda, J., Carmona, R., y Velarde, E. 2013. “Modelo espacial para la detección de sitios de alimentación para aves playeras migratorias en el Noroeste de México”. Huitzil, 14: 22-42.

Carrera E. y G. de la Fuente. 2003. Inventario y Clasificación de Humedales en México. Parte 1. Ducks Unlimited de México, A.C. México. 239 p.

Cervantes, A.M. & C. C. Valdés. 2000. Sistema Tóbari. Pp 85-86 en: del Coro Arizmendi, M. y L. Márquez Valdelamar. 2000. Áreas de Importancia para la Conservación de las Aves en México. CONABIO. México. 440 p

Clay, R.P., A.J. Lesterhuis, S. Schulte, S. Brown, D. Reynolds y T.R. Simons. 2010. Conservation Plan for the American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) throughout the Western Hemisphere. Version 1.1. Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Manomet, Massachusetts.

Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF). 2010. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, Protección ambiental-Especies nativas de México de flora y fauna silvestres-Categorías de riesgo y especificaciones para su inclusión o cambio-Lista de especies en riesgo (segunda sección). Secretaría de Medio ambiente y Recursos Naturales. 1-77 p.

Domínguez Sánchez L. 2010. Descripción del sistema ambiental y señalamiento de la problemática ambiental, detectada en el área de influencia del campo pesquero el Paredón Colorado y el Paredoncito, Bahía del Tóbari, Municipio de Benito Juárez, Sonora, para el establecimiento de infraestructura pesquera.  Revista  Sistemas  Ambientales 3 (2): 18 - 61.

Escofet, A., L.C. Bravo-Peña. 2007. Overcoming environmental deterioration through defensive expenditures: Field evidence from Bahía del Tóbari (Sonora, México) and implications for coastal impact assessment. Journal of Environmental Management 84: 266–273.

Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, A.C. 2004. Programa Intercomunitario de Desarrollo Sustentableen las localidades de la Bahía del Tóbari-Isla Huivulai, Municipio de Benito Juárez, en la costa sur de Sonora. Informe técnico entregado a CONANP. 195 p + Anexos.

 GS, Ingeniería Integral. 2008. Manifiesto de impacto ambiental, modalidad particular, para la obra de dragado en la Bahía del Tóbari, Municipio de Benito Juárez, Sonora. Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación. 193 p.

Harrington, B.A. 1993. A coastal, aerial winter shorebird survey on the Sonora and Sinaloa coasts of Mexico, January 1992. Wader Study Group Bull., 67: 44-49.

Harrison, J. y P. Matson. 2003. Patterns and controls of nitrous oxide emissions from waters draining a subtropical agricultural valley. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 17 (3): 1-13.

Jara-Marini, M.E., J.N. Tapia-Alcaraz , J.A. Dumer-Gutiérrez , L. García-Rico, J. García-Hernández y F. Páez-Osuna. 2013. Distribution and accumulation of Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn in the surface sediments of El Tobari Lagoon, central-East Gulf of California: An ecosystem associated with agriculture and aquaculture activities. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering 48: 1842-1851.

Montalvo-Corral, M., G. López-Robles y J. Hernández. 2011. Avian Influenza Survey in Migrating Waterfowl in Sonora, Mexico. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 58: 63–68.

Morrison, R.I.G., R.K. Ross y S. Torres. 1992. Aerial surveys of Neartic shorebirds wintering in Mexico: some preliminary results. Canadian Wildlife Service Progress Notes 201. 11p.

Morrison, R. I. G. y R. K. Ross. 2009. Atlas of Nearctic Shorebirds on the Coast of Mexico. Special publication /Canadian Wildlife Service. 126p.

Palacios, E. & E. Mellink. 1995. Breeding birds of esteros Tóbari and San José, southern Sonora. Western Birds 26: 99-103.

Secretaria de Media Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT). 2008. Estrategia para para la Conservación y Manejo de las aves playeras y su hábitat en México. Dirección General de Vida Silvestre. Distrito Federal. 90 p.

Van Rossem, A. J. & M. Hachisuka. 1937. A further report on birds from Sonora, Mexico, with description of two new races. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 8:321-336.

Van Rossem, A.J. 1945. A distributional survey of the birds of Sonora, Mexico. Louisiana State University, 21: 86.