World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Laguna de Términos

Article Id: WHEBN0001925106
Reproduction Date:

Title: Laguna de Términos  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Spanish conquest of Yucatán, Zacatal Bridge, Protected areas of Mexico, Landforms of Campeche, Lagoons of Mexico
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Laguna de Términos

Laguna de Términos

Laguna de Términos is the largest and one of biologically the richest tidal lagoons located entirely on the east coast of Mexico, as measured by water volume. Exchanging water with several rivers and lagoons, the Laguna is part of the most important hydrographic river basin in Mexico.[1] It is important commercially, as well as ecologically by serving as a refuge for an extensive number of flora and fauna; its mangroves provide an important role as a refuge for migratory birds.[2]


  • History 1
  • Environment 2
    • Geography 2.1
    • Flora and Fauna 2.2
      • Bottlenose Dolphins 2.2.1
  • Threats 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6


The Boca de Terminos was discovered during Juan de Grijalva's expedition in 1518.[3]:30–31



Laguna de Términos (Términos Lagoon) is made up of a series of rich, sediment-laden lagoons and tidal estuaries connected by two channels to the Bay of Campeche in the southern part of Gulf of Mexico, in Carmen Municipality in the southwestern part of the Mexican state of Campeche. Its shores are swampy and support mangroves. It is fed by several fresh water rivers, including the Mezcapala, Grijalva and Usumacinta Rivers, and includes several lagoons such as Pom, Atasta, Puerto Rico, Este and Panlau.[1] It is about 112.5 square km in area (about 50 miles long and 20 miles wide).[4] Every nine days, approximately 50% of the lagoon's water volume is renewed, primarily through the effect of ocean tides.[5]

On the surrounding barrier islands, beach ridges, and mangrove coastline there are several Late Postclassic Maya sites.[6] The city of Ciudad del Carmen is located on Isla del Carmen, between the lagoon and the Bay of Campeche.

Flora and Fauna

Twenty-nine percent of the lagoon is covered with seagrass.[7] The lagoon was designated as a federally protected area for flora and fauna in 1994 by the Mexican government because of the importance of the biological ecosystems provided by its estuaries.[8] There have been identified 1,468 fauna species found within the protected area of Laguna de Términos; 30 species are endemic to Mexico and 89 are threatened; 132 species are consider to be commercially important. Identified are 279 bird species, 74 insect (considered an incomplete listing), and 34 mammal species. At least 367 species of fish are listed.[9]

It is a known breeding and nursery area for the Yellow stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis); seagrass is reported to be important for its parturition.[10]

Campeche and Tabasco holds wetlands consisting of mangrove zones, swamps, and lagoons serving as important habitats for aquatic reptiles such as crocodiles (American, Morelet's, Brown caiman).[11] Nationally endangered Hawksbill, Green sea, and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles come on sandy shores to lay eggs especially setting a special protection on Kemp's Ridley turtles.

Mangroves around the Lagoon of Términos provieds a migratory collider for at least 33% of the Mississippi - migratory birds.

Of about 134 mammalian species from 27 families present in the area, rare and endangered species are including felines (Jaguar, Ocelot, Margay), primates (Geoffroy's spider monkey), and marine mammals including cetaceans and West Indian manatee.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are well-known to visit the lagoon regularly, but their safety could be endangered due to several artificial factors. A conservation group called Instituto Via Delphi which is specially designed for protection of local dolphins along Mexican gulf regions were founded to focus understanding of biology of these dolphins and to strengthen their protection.


The biggest influence on the area and a possible threat are the operations of state-owned oil company, Pemex operating within the protected area.[12] The drilling of oil wells and the construction of pipelines can destroy habitat. Additionally, oil spills are a continual threat.[13] Other possible threats include habitat change through population growth in the surrounding area.[14] Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area as a whole is considered to be critically threatened.[15]

Although Pemex is both the biggest influence and the biggest threat to the protected area and its biodiversity, it is also economically important to Mexico. Currently there is a petroleum boom which presents an opportunity for the management of the protected area to offer to cooperate with the industry and coordinate use of the resources. There are local residents and

  • Changing tides: twilight and dawn in the Spanish Sea, 1763-1803 By Robert S. Weddle
  • Laguna de Términos (Spanish)

External links

  1. ^ a b "GulfBase - Laguna de Términos". Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  2. ^ "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Geography". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  3. ^ Diaz, B., 1963, The Conquest of New Spain, London: Penguin Books, ISBN 0140441239
  4. ^ United States. Hydrographic Office (1902). The navigation of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, Volume 2. United States. Hydrographic Office. p. 187. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  5. ^ Laura T. David, Björn Kjerfve. "Continental Shelf Research : Tides and currents in a two-inlet coastal lagoon: Laguna de Términos, México". Continental Shelf Research 18: 1057–1079.  
  6. ^ "Athena Review Image Archive: Laguna de Terminos: Satellite image and map of Maya sites". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  7. ^ "Laguna de Términos". Oceana North America. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  8. ^ Leslie Bach; et al. "Managing free water flows to estuaries" (PDF). USAID. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  9. ^ "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Biodiversity". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Urobatis jamaicensis (Yellow Stingray)". Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  11. ^ The Center for Tropical Conservation of  
  12. ^ a b "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Conclusions". Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  13. ^ "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Threats". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  14. ^ "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Recommended solutions". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  15. ^ "Laguna de Términos Flora and Fauna Protection Area - Park Profile - Summary". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 


See also

Local populations of crocodiles and sea turtles in the areas are in serious dangers due to their values for commercial industries.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.