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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Behind the Scenes at Vallarta's Natural Protected Area

Isabel Cardenas - Fideicomiso Estero el Salado
October 14, 2012

Welcome to the quarterly newsletter from Estero del Salado where you can become acquainted with our natural protected area, located just south of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport.

The objectives of Estero del Salado is creating actions and guidelines involved in conserving, restoring and maintaining the resources of the protected natural area as well as the other areas of the Puerto Vallarta/Banderas Bay region.

Dr. Sergio Guerro Vazquez

Let's get to know Dr. Sergio Guerro Vazquez, who lends his knowledge and research to Estero del Salado.

Dr. Vazquez is a graduate of Science from the University of Guadalajara, where he made his undergraduate studies in Biology. He obtained his Master's Degree in Science with specialization in Wildlife Management in the University Autónoma de Nuevo León and earned his PhD in Biological Science with specialization in Ecology in the same university.

Currently, he is a teacher-researcher of the University of Guadalajara and Director of the Center of Studies in Zoology at the University Center of Biological and Agricultural Sciences.

Dr. Vazquez has taught courses in evolution, ecology of communities, mammals and techniques sampling and analysis of data for Wildlife in the Bachelor's degree in Biology of the CUCBA.

His work in research is related to ecology and conservation of mammals, environmental impact studies, and other areas in which he has published various articles.

He is a member of the Scientific Council of Estero del Salado and has worked in the area of Puerto Vallarta for over ten years.

Fauna Studies

The Estero del Salado has been collaborating in the knowledge of the vertebrado fauna, making studies of mammals and other groups of vertebrates, in conjunction with a group of researchers at the Center of Studies in Zoology.

Animals with an internal skeleton made of bone are called vertebrado fauna (vertebrates). Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates, rodents and marsupials.

In the natural protected area and the surrounding areas of the Estero del Salado, studies have been conducted regarding the vertebrado fauna, i.e. of vertebrate animals that inhabit and use the stream to perform any of their biological duties.

Studies have been made by the researchers from the Center of Studies in Zoology, Central University of Biological and agricultural Science from the University of Guadalajara, integrated by Dr. Sergio Guerrero Vazquez, the teacher Agustín Camacho Rodriguez, Dr. Silvia Zalapaand, biologists Daniel Cruz-Saenz and Hector Romero Rodríguez.

Researchers have found 73 species from 67 genera, 37 families, 18 orders and four classes. Mammals and fish with 25 species, accounted for 15% and 18% of those present in the State of Jalisco, respectively; While reptiles and amphibians with 18, and five species corresponding to the 14% and 12%, respectively.

Eight of the species recorded in the study are endemic to Mexico and 11 are included in the NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 under special protection.

Land Crabs

The cajos are large land crabs that you live in the Mexican Pacific coasts to Ecuador. They are crustaceans that live near the coast, in marshy places and mangroves.

The males measure up to 12.3 cm, but the females are smaller. The shell is a vibrant blue color, legs are orange and the claws or clamps are light, which makes them very showy.

In the El Salado estuary, which is a protected zone, lots of crabs are seen in the rainy months and they will burrow in the dry season.

The cajos are endangered by animals such as raccoons. It is relatively easy to capture them and there is also the added threat of people who enter the reserve illegally. Most people are unaware that the crabs are an important component of the ecosystem, as they help to recycle organic matter and ease the aeration of the soil.

Currently, Dr. Horacio Vázquez-López and the intern Biologist Elias Matamoros Contreras, of the Faculty of Higher Studies Iztacala, UNAM, are carrying out research about the population of crabs living in the El Salado estuary and results will propose an adequate management of this valuable species.

Iguana and Crocodile Release

In September, the Estero protected area released 100 iguanas ranging from 2 months of age, which were born in the UMA Reptilario Cipactli.

In addition, 50 crocodiles from 2 to 3 years of age, were released, which ranged from 60 cm to 1 meter in length. Some of these crocodiles were born in the protected area of Estero El Salado and were raised and cared for by managers and team collaborators of the UMA Cipactli of the University of Guadalajara.

The crocodiles were returned to their homes after giving them a better chance of survival. More than 150 people lived the wonderful experience of having participated in the release. Those attending the event were students of secondary Technical Fisheries No 15, staff that works in the protected natural area of Estero El Salado, as well as the UMA Cipactli,  the International Center Puerto Vallarta Convention of SEMARNAT, managers of the University Centre of the Costa, the Office of Conventions and Visitors of Puerto Vallarta, local and foreign journalists, and numerous Vallartenses of all ages interested in the conservation of natural resources.

Waste Disposal

In the 2012 Annual Operating Program, natural resource management is considered a scheduled activity in the protected area, using solid waste disposal collection year-round with maintenance personnel and through cleaning with voluntary participation campaigns.

In August, all of the ANP and the valuable staff support of 5 elements of the Naval Zone VIII carried out the cleaning of the mangrove in a length of 150 metres, between the main channel and the corner south of the estuary, adjacent to the Av. Medina Ascencio.

The extraction of 1,500 kilograms of inorganic waste, 18 tires and large automotive plastic pods was accomplished. Most deposits were located in the bed created by a discharge of rainwater which forms a runoff at that point from the summer storms.

These runoffs come from colonies adjacent to the Estero and if residues are not removed, they flow directly onto the channel that connects with the sea.

The polluting affects the soil, water and air in the mangroves. A ton and a half of garbage was in this small area, as an example of the volume of waste entering the estuary dragged by rainwater flowing with the fresh water currents.

The problem is mainly a result of the lack of properly disposing of household waste by the inhabitants of the surrounding area. This waste becomes contaminants.

Aventúrate por el Salado

After 5 months of initiating the project, "Aventúrate por el Salado," (Venture by the Salado), we received our first visitors during the Summer on our guided tour through the channel on the "Aventurera" boat.

We were pleased to have a large number of local visitors, children and adolescents from different schools. The summer course for the students was developed by our local Police, Firefighters and Civil Protection Municipal Corporations.

The project has had great acceptance on the part of the different media and those who have supported by giving the information to the general public, and we thank you for your help and support.

Another achievement of the project is in conjunction with Plaza Gallerias where a promotion is being launched with the Liverpool Department Store where the shoppers having at least $250 in purchases will get a courtesy tour through the Estero del Salado.

We welcome Julio César Llamas Paz to our team, who will be in charge of attention to groups in the journeying in El Salado project.

The guided visits in the channel of the estuary are available every day, with previous reservation. For more information, read more here or contact us at (322) 226-2878 or by email at reservas@esterodelsalado.org.
Upcoming Events

From October 15-19, 2012, the 14th Symposium of Zoology will be conducted in the Multiple Use Auditorium of the CUCBA.  This symposium will present the work of "management actions for the conservation of the river crocodile (Crocodylus Acutus)" in the natural protected area of Estero del Salado.

The second Mexican Congress of Mangrove Ecosystems shall be carried out from October 22-26. Estero El Salado will assist with the purpose of requesting to be headquarters for the next Congress in October, 2014.

This year, Conservation Week, organized by the National Commission or Protected Areas (CONANP), will be at the end of October with a rally that will last two days in four different protected natural areas with four teams that will be selected. Interested parties can contact Isabel at (322) 628-7822 or email isabel@esterodelsalado.org.

Students who wish to perform social services and professional practices, please contact Jaime at (322) 628-7822 or email to jaimetorres@esterodelsalado.org.

Special thanks to photographer, Frank Mc Cann, for allowing us to use his photos.

Translated by Team Angels

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