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Agua Verde and Punta Mechudo Expedition (2003)

A team of approximately 30 scientists were invited to take part in this expedition focused on exploring the Sierra de La Giganta mountain range in Baja California Sur. The scientists represented multiple disciplines, including botany, herpetology, mammalogy, ornithology, entomology, and paleontology. For 19 days beginning November 5, 2003, these researchers from Mexico and the United States conducted fieldwork at the southern end of the Sierra de la Giganta between Agua Verde and Punta Mechudo.

The primary goal of the expedition was to observe, record, and collect information on the biodiversity and geology of the study site. This scientific endeavor also provided a unique opportunity for the data gathered from field research to be applied to conservation efforts currently in process to preserve this important area. Besides the biological value of the region, archaeological remains of indigenous cultures have been found in the Sierra de la Giganta. Of additional cultural interest is the old mission trail that passed through the study area, connecting to the mission (now in ruins) at Los Dolores.

Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of this area, it has had very little scientific investigation or documentation. As a consequence, the region is a biogeographical void whose distributions of flora and fauna have not yet been assessed. An advantage of this isolation is that plants and animals are relatively untouched, with presumed little impact from non-native species.

Below is the documentary produced by KPBS highlighting the expedition. KPBS Reporter Eric Niiler accompanied scientists on this expedition to document the findings, the challenges they faced, and the ecological significance of the region.

Expedition Baja

A binational expedition to a remote region of Baja with the San Diego Natural History Museum to search for new species of plants and animals. The film was produced by Chris Pyle and Eric Niiler for KPBS Television in San Diego.