Category Archives: Environment

Letters sent to presidents urge protecting monarchs

AP – Dozens of writers, scientists and activists have signed an open letter to the presidents of the United States, Mexico and Canada warning that logging and mining threaten the reserve where monarch butterflies winter in the mountains west of Mexico City. The letter by Mexico’s Group of 100 warns that plans to revive an old gold and silver mine threatens water supplies in the reserve.

Goats being removed from Espiritu Santo island

AP -Environmental authorities in Mexico have begun removing 800 to 900 wild goats from Espiritu Santo island off Baja California. The goats will be taken by boat to the Baja peninsula, where the first 100 will be given to a local university for research. The others will be given to goat herders on the peninsula.

Mexico fights to save totoaba, a species ensnared in China’s black market

Fish maw drying outside a dried goods store in Hong Kong
Fish maw drying outside a dried goods store in Hong Kong

By Laurent Thome and Dennis Chong / phys.Org

The high-speed navy boat stopped on the moonlit waters of Mexico’s Gulf of California as sailors looked through binoculars for small vessels conducting illegal activities under the cover of darkness.

While naval forces patrol the seas to thwart drug trafficking, the sailors were not searching for cocaine ships that night off the coast of San Felipe, a fishing town.

They were hunting for poachers using banned gillnets to catch totoaba, a critically endangered fish whose swim bladders are dried and sold for tens of thousands of dollars on the black market in China despite an international prohibition.

The government beefed up patrols on the upper Gulf of California a year ago because the vast nets have also led to the near extinction of the world’s smallest porpoise, the vaquita marina (“little cow”).

Authorities have detained around 80 people while seizing more than 100 boats and hundreds of totoaba swim bladders.

“There is less illegal fishing,” said Joel Gonzalez Moreno, wildlife inspections director at the federal environmental protection prosecutor’s office.

Gonzalez Moreno said China only began to acknowledge the totoaba smuggling problem in January but is now collaborating with US and Mexican authorities to exchange information.

Lupillo Rivera cancels tour after kidnap attempt

Latin Times -Lupillo Rivera has officially canceled his concert tour in Mexico. According to Arturo Cruz, the man in charge of the singer’s booking, his life and “El Toro del Corrido’s” life could be in danger after a group of armed men tried to kidnap Rivera and his entourage in Puebla on Saturday.

Mexico closes beach because of too many tourists

AP – Mexican environmental authorities say they will temporarily close a popular beach off the Pacific state of Nayarit because of damage from too many tourists. The unusual beach is a small crescent of sand at the bottom of a hole in an island that is accessible only by swimming in through a tunnel.

In Mexico City, the return of terrible smog

NPR – Last month, for the first time since 2005, Mexico City officials declared a Phase 1 smog alert. Based on license plate numbers, every car must be kept off the road one day a week and one Saturday a month through the end of June. Last week the pollution was so bad — more than twice acceptable levels — the city ordered even more vehicles off the streets.