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El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve on the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico – December 15th, 2009

27.7N 114.2W

December 15th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, created in 1988, is located at the center of the Baja California Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California). Located around the body of water just below the image center, with a landmass of over 55,555 square-mile (143,600 square km), it is the largest wildlife refuge in all of Latin America.

The animals and plants of this territory have adapted themselves to the region’s extreme desert conditions with little rainfall, intense winds and an ecosystem which has produced thousands of endemic species of plants and animal life found no where else in the world.

Animals that have adapted to these extreme conditions include a variety of nocturnals such as coyotes, rodents, and hares. The Vizcaíno is also the habitat of the Desert Bighorn Sheep, Baja California Pronghorn, Mule deer, and dozens of resident and migratory birds. On the coastline and islets there are four species of sea turtles and many marine mammals, such as Northern Elephant Seals, California Sea Lions, dolphins, and Gray Whales.

Southern California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico – December 24th, 2009

31.7N 114.7W

December 24th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

This image stretches from the southern half of the California Central Valley, USA, in the upper left quadrant, to El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, in Baja California, Mexico, in the lower right quadrant. In between the two, the Colorado River spills tan sediments around Montague Island into the Sea of Cortes, also known as the Gulf of California.

Several mountain ranges can also be observed, including the Sierra Nevada Range, which bounds the California Central Valley to the east, the Tehachapi Mountains, south of the valley.

East of the Sierra Nevada ranges lies the large desert of the Intermontane Plateaus a large, arid desert. The southern portion of this region, known as the Great Basin, contains salt flats, drainage basins, and many smaller mountain ranges running north to south.