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Playa Ceuta

Site Facts

Country, State, Province/Region:

Mexico, Sinaloa

Relative Location:

One hour north of Mazatlan in the south central part of the state of Sinaloa


24.16 N, 107.31 W



Basis for Designation:

More than 20,000 shorebirds annually.


1500 hectares (3706 acres)


January 2002

Site Owner/Steward:

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, State of Sinaloa, City of Elota

Site Partners:


Human Population within 100 km:




The vegetation in the area is made up of mangroves and patches of desert scrub and salt flats.  The dominant species of mangroves are Button mangrove (Conocarpus erecta), Red Mangrove (Rhyzopha mangle), White Mangrove (Avicenia germinans), and Black Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa).  Other important species include Turtleweed (Batis maritime), Southern Cattail (Typha dominguensis) and desert scrub such as cholla (Opuntia puberula), Nopal de Tortuga (Opuntia sp.) Tasajo ( Ratbunia alamosensis), Palo Colorado (Caesalpinia platyloba), Guayacán (Guayacum palmeri), and some species of graminias. The area itself has an area of tidal influence in the mouth located north of the Bay.


Ecology and Conservation


Aquaculture development is planned in the salt flats which would negatively affect the breeding colony of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus). In addition, the site in question is used for grazing livestock, which is negatively impacting vegetation of the area and indirectly the breeding birds. In the North Bay, there are a number of fish farms that use chemicals in their production processes, which sometimes are discharged directly to the Bay.

Major Causes of disturbance:

In the proposed area  agricultural activities use chemicals that could increase the process of eutrophication in the area. There is no control on fishing and a hunting club repels birds with the use of airboats. There are several aquaculture concessions that are operating in Bay tributaries, which have adversely affected the flora and fauna of the region and the ecosystem in general. Livestock development is seen in some areas and these disturb roosting sites, foraging and nesting birds. The illegal burning of agricultural plastics and bulrush areas adversely affect the area.


Special Information




Additional Resouces