viernes, julio 8

Valle de las Palmas Urban Development Plans Threaten Vernal Pools

Vernal Pools are very important ecosystems yet very little is known about them. These ecosystems behave in a very systematic way. Year after year, depending on the rainfall, they are host to a great variety of organisms that include insects, crustaceans, amphibians and even birds. They are found primarily in valleys and plateaus in clay or compacted dirt, making this ecosystem extremely attractive for agriculture, farming and urban development.

Matt Guilliams, observing plant species.
April, 2011.

In Baja California, vernal pools are found in the coastal regions of Colonet, Erendira and San Quintin. They are also found in the Ejido Valle Redondo and Carmen Serdan, and in Laguna Hanson and Valle las Palmas.

Valle de las Palmas is located between the cities of Tecate and Tijuana. It is a valley that is surrounded by hills and plateaus in which the main economic activities are agriculture, farming and mining. This valley’s vernal pools complex reflects both an interesting situation and, at the same time, worrisome pressure due to the Valle de las Palmas Partial Urban Development Plan.

Vernal Pools Map

The importance of this ecosystem lies not only on the ecological interest, but also on the series of native and endemic species that inhabit vernal pools. There have been very few studies done on this ecosystem, and its main threats are human related activities and the growing urban development that started two years ago.

Vernal Pools Complex Los Dos Álamos. Area used as praire.
April, 2011

In order to protect it, it is necessary to lobby for environmentally friendly public policies, implement private legal mechanisms or other strategies to protect these sites.

Sergio Mata
Director of Conservation
Terra Peninsular, A.C.

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