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Estuario Casitas - Nautla
The Casitas – Nautla estuary is located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It is composed of the Nautla River and the Tres Bocas de Casitas marsh. The Nautla maintains a free connection with the ocean through an opening in the Nautla Barrier, a strip of land located in front of the mainland’s coastline, and a simultaneous connection with Casitas. It originates in the Sierra de Teziutlan under the name Altotonga or Alseseca River; it begins flowing from south to north picking up the waters from the Bobos River coming from Cofre de Perote and it turns northeast receiving the Quila River. In the coastal plain, it takes in the Maria Martinez de la Torre River on the left and the Chapachapa River on the right.
A total of sixty-seven species compose Casita’s fauna, fifty-three of which are fish, eleven are invertebrates, two are reptiles and one is amphibious. The Sciaenidae, Gobiidae, Gerreidae, Portunidae and Peneidae families are the best represented while Arius melanopus, Macrobrachium acanthurus, Callinectes rathbunae and Callinectes sapidus are the most abundant species. Moreover, Casitas has the second largest number of larvae and juvenile fish species after Laguna Alvarado, hosting twenty-six, while the Nautla hosts only seven species.
Casitas is a biological system that has been subject to many transformations due to the agricultural, industrial and cattle-raising activities in the area. Other sources of transformation like the port industry and fishing exploitation activities threaten to even change the physiography and ecology of the place. Resources subject to exploitation in the area are the shrimp, crab, large oysters, brim and mullet.
Coordinates: 20.25° N 96.78° W
Castañeda L.O. and F.E. Contreras. 2001. Serie: Bibliografia Comentada sobre ecosistemas costeros mexicanos 2001. Centro de Documentacion Ecosistemas Litorales Mexicanos. Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Division C. B. S. Depto. de Hidrologia. Publicacion electronica (CD). ISBN:970-654-912-9. Mexico, D.F.
Keywords: Estuary, Sciaenidae, Gobiidae, Gerreidae, Portunidae, Peneidae, Marsh, River, Nautla barrier
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