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Author: Subject: August 2017 Baja Bound Travel Article: Baja's Pronghorn (Berrendo) Center
David K
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[*] posted on 8-17-2017 at 08:05 AM
August 2017 Baja Bound Travel Article: Baja's Pronghorn (Berrendo) Center


https://www.bajabound.com/bajaadventures/bajatravel/pronghor...

Thanks to Shari of Bahía Asunción who suggested I see this place!! I reported on it first here on Nomad in my TRIP #5 report.

Thank you BajaGeoff for publishing the story and your sponsorship of Baja Nomad and my new road guide research.




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[*] posted on 8-17-2017 at 09:40 AM


Still never seen one in the wild. I remember protection efforts were happening even back in 1986. The population was down to 60 and coyotes were taking the newborns. Up to 200 now, good.
Thanks for the article David!
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shari
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[*] posted on 8-17-2017 at 10:02 AM


During whale season we take groups to see the pronghorn reserve and it is so interesting! I had the opportunity to work on the original project where there were 6 wild pronghorn taken to start the recovery program. It was fascinating to watch these amazing animals that are just a blur when they run top speed. Here is my daughter who is now 28 feeding the first animals who are now the grandparents of a whole new herd.



The Reserve has made arrangements with local ranchers to sort of lease some of their land so they dont graze cattle there. They keep the herd separate genetically so there is no inbreeding...offspring of the original 6 are kept separate.

The males outside the fence are ones they dont want breeding with those inside as they are relatives! The males are attracted by the female in heat and sweet talk them from outside the fence!





They have these feeding stations close to the entrance so people can see them.



here were 2 young bucks vying for attention from the female behind.



Thank goodness this project was initiated when it was as there were only 70 counted in the area and werent expected to survive. This gives me hope for the vaquita project.





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David K
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[*] posted on 8-17-2017 at 02:17 PM


Thank you, Shari, for the additional story and photos!

Baja Nomad is a great resource because of the combined input of interesting and helpful data! The friendships made here are priceless.




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shari
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[*] posted on 8-17-2017 at 07:39 PM


We didnt feed the original berrendos hay...we walked every day in the desert and collected the flowers they ate and I fed them those...then I would take them for walks in the desert to the plants I picked the flowers from and they started eating by themselves. Did you know they only eat flowers and are the fastest animals on earth for sustained speed....flower power!

Supposedly they are the best tasting meat but the reason they were nearly extinct is because of the goats introduced to the valley who ate all their food as well as poaching. The Vizcaino valley used to be called Valle de Berrendos...pronghorn valley.




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[*] posted on 8-18-2017 at 10:30 AM


Very cool Shari! Will make the reserve a stop on the next trip down there.
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Jinete Viejo
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[*] posted on 8-21-2017 at 09:01 PM


Is it possible to get a guided tour on the road that crosses the Berrendo Preserve?
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David K
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[*] posted on 8-22-2017 at 12:05 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jinete Viejo  
Is it possible to get a guided tour on the road that crosses the Berrendo Preserve?


I did, it's in my article: You park, and three of them (all of them walked me and my hitch hiking passenger) out to the pens and where the males were hanging out, waiting to "get lucky". We walked not more than a half mile... that's where the action was.

Use the contact info in my article and ask (in Spanish) of other tour possibilities.




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[*] posted on 8-22-2017 at 01:20 PM


Just a few corrections on the text

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
The director of the project is Ana Isabel Razo Zaragoza. She and two members of her staff provided the walking tour out to where a few wild machos (breeding male pronghorns) were near the pens that protected the females and babies. The tour was in Spanish, but would still be interesting even with a language barrier.


Ana Isabel its not the project leader, she started working as a guide for visitors just a few months ago and its part of the staff for the environmental education program.

The project its managed by Espacios Naturales (www.endesu.org.mx) together with CONANP (National Commission for Natural Protected Areas ) and the landowners. In 2017 the project is celebrating 20 years of uninterrupted work. So far we´ve reintroduced herds of pronghorn to its native grounds, and since 2012 there are pronghorns born in semi-captivity in the Llano del Berrendo, the plain that runs from El Tomatal to the banks of Laguna de San Ignacio, where they used to roam free before the ranches, towns, roads and cattle reduced the habitat to a few hundred miles.

The landowners and the ejidos are participating actively in the project, they work monitoring wildlife, improving wildlife habitat and sharing their experiences with other ejidos. All of the field personnel are locals.

So far we have 5 ejidos north and south of the 28th parallel involved in a national project about biodiversity protection for ecosystem services with funds from UNPD (United Nations Development Programme) and the NGO that´s in charge of the management. The goal is to change the land use for extensive cattle raising to wildlife habitat, this is done by reorienting the landowners to other activities, like the Ejido Juarez and the whale watching in the lagoon. So far we´ve successfully incorporated about 50,000 hectares.

Im working with the project since 2008, when we moved from Estación Berrendo where the first stage of the project started in 1997, that consisted in retrieving pronghorns and started breeding them; then we moved to La Choyita, an artificial island in the ejido land rented by ESSA, next to Laguna Ojo de Liebre. There the next phase of the project went on, bringing numbers up to about 60 new animals each year and starting the reintroduction to its native habitat to land lent by the ejidos

If interested in visiting the Llano del Berrendo facilities, contact ENDESU Guerrero Negro https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=endesu%20gn on its facebook site, or Valle de los Cirios office (615 157 2849) as the site provided in Davids text will not answer back. Also, if you drive directly to the gate, you may have to wait because the staff its usually working away and they can only be reached by radio.

The visitors center its not functional yet, but a visit can be arranged and part of the exhibit and items on display its the same used on the gray whale project.

Visit hours are Mon to Fry 9 am to 4 pm, weekends 10pm to 5pm, and please don't tip the staff, they all are paid workers. If you're happy and satisfied with the service let them know, just don't give them money.



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David K
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[*] posted on 8-22-2017 at 01:42 PM


Thank you for the corrections and additional information! Maybe she meant she was the on-site direcror or my Spanish was lacking. I hope my article creates more awareness and interest, even if the details were not perfect. Again, thanks for sharing what you did here.



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shari
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[*] posted on 8-22-2017 at 05:29 PM


it sure would be nice if there were someone on staff there to provide information in english or even a brochure with information in english would be great. On my last visit there in March there was work being done on a small information center...is it open yet?



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David K
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[*] posted on 8-22-2017 at 05:38 PM


Quote: Originally posted by shari  
it sure would be nice if there were someone on staff there to provide information in english or even a brochure with information in english would be great. On my last visit there in March there was work being done on a small information center...is it open yet?


It wasn't the day I left your place with that hitchhiker. Also, Archie says no:

"The visitors center its not functional yet, but a visit can be arranged and part of the exhibit and items on display its the same used on the gray whale project."




"So Much Baja, So Little Time..."

A NEW Baja Missions History book in 2016: http://oldmissions.com

My (over 40) Baja Bound Travel Adventure articles: https://www.bajabound.com/bajaadventures/bajatravel/

My Baja web site, to help you plan your adventure: http://VivaBaja.com

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