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Islas Marietas Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

The Islas Marietas, an archipelago made up of two islands and two islets, are located in the transitional zone between the Nearctic and Neotropical biogeographic regions, thus, both on land and in the marine zone, species cohabit which are found at the southern and northern respective limits of distribution.

Likewise, these islands are located in an area of confluence of three water bodies, the California Current, the current from the Coast of Costa Rica and the body of water of the Gulf of California (Wyrtki, 1965).

Designation date: 2008


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 1,383 ha

    • Core area(s): N/A
    • Buffer zone(s): N/A
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: N/A

    Administrative Authorities

    Bahía de Banderas

    Jorge Antonio Castrejón Pineda

    Director RB Islas Marietas

    Parque Nacional Islas Marietas
    Condominio plaza Marina, Locales f-19 a F-22, 
    Col. Marina Sol, Puerto Vallarta, 
    C.P. 48354, Jalisco

    Tel.: 01 323 285 1003


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Marieta Islands are an archipelago comprising two larger and two smaller islands. They are located in an area where three water masses converge: the California Current, the Costa Rican Coastal Current, and the mass of water from the Gulf of California.

    This convergence has enabled a habitat to develop where marine species characteristic of the Mexican centre and south Pacific cohabit with those from the Gulf of California and the Pacific Coast of Baja California. The islands are characterized by their wealth of bird and fish fauna.

    They are a fundamental part of the reproductive processes of endangered species, such as the Humpbacked Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and harbour the largest nesting colonies in Mexico of the Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), the Bridled Tern (Sterna anaethetus) and the Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus); and for the Pacific, the Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla).

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Fishing and tourism based on nautical sports.


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    Last updated: December 2018