|You are here: GulfBase > Bays & Estuaries > Ria Lagartos||•|
Lagartos is a hyper-saline estuary, located in the Northern corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Yucatan and permanently connected to the Gulf of Mexico through natural and artificial openings. The system is divided into three areas. The first area covers 14 square kilometers, and extends from the San Felipe Mouth to the channel, hosting vast amounts of sea-grass and micro seaweed. The second one, known as the Coloradas Basin, covers 34 square kilometers from the drainage holes of the saline production area to the Angostura, it is ample and shallow.
The third and biggest area, known as the Cuyo Basin, extends from the Angostura to the Eastern corner of the estuary covering approximately 46 square kilometers.
The system is permanently connected to the Gulf of Mexico through a natural and an artificial opening, both situated on the Western corner of the estuary.
It is considered both a Biosphere Reserve and a protected area where important marine turtle nesting and feeding areas are located. Since 1985, the Centro Regional de Investigacion Pesquera de Yucalpeten working under the Instituto Nacional de la Pesca (INP), have developed various projects in order to generate basic knowledge that can aid in the conservation of these species (reproductive Ecology, location of nests, tagged and measured nesting females). Lagartos and Colorados fishermen participate in the Dynamic Population projects, capturing live turtles and delivering them to the INP’s personnel, who mark, tag and later release the turtles. Finally in the Ecology of Feeding Areas project, scuba diving trips were taken to determine the distribution and abundance of juvenile turtles, characterizing their habitat by utilizing underwater photography and submarine video techniques.
The most important activities in the area are fishing, fish flour production as well as salt mining and tourism to a lesser degree. Fishing is affected by the North winds season, which creates bad weather conditions and lasts from December to March, keeping fishermen away.
The ecosystem of the Ria Lagartos, which constitutes an important natural resource with great biologic, aesthetic, cultural and economic values is exposed to pressures coming from human settlements, fishing refuges, industrial plants and tourism projects, which translate into both coastal development and accelerated decay of the estuary.
Coordinates: 21.55° N 87.80° W
Selected Characteristics: (Castañeda and Contreras, 2001)
Surface Area: 95 km2
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: Lagoon, Estuary, Biosphere Reserve, Protecte Area, Hyper-saline, Marine turtle
Update this bay's info
GulfBase is a project of the
Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
To give proper credit to the original authors, please cite information taken from GulfBase by the original source as displayed.
To cite GulfBase, use: F. Moretzsohn, J.A. Sánchez Chávez, and J.W. Tunnell, Jr., Editors. 2013. GulfBase: Resource Database for Gulf of Mexico Research. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.gulfbase.org, 24 May 2013.
|You are visitor since October 15, 2002.||GulfBase Team Contact Info|