Archipiélago de Revillagigedo: National Park and World Heritage Site (Mexico)

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Archipiélago de Revillagigedo: National Park and World Heritage Site (Mexico)

Located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is made up of four remote islands and their surrounding waters. Part of a submerged volcanic mountain range, the islands provide critical habitat for a range of wildlife and are of particular importance for seabirds.

Archipiélago de Revillagigedo

The Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, approximately 500 km (300 mi) south-southwest of the tip of the Baja California Peninsula and 595 km (370 mi) west-southwest of Cape Corrientes on the Mexican mainland. The archipelago consists of numerous volcanic islands covering a total land area of 830 sq km (320 sq mi).

The Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is a serial World Heritage nomination comprising four remote islands and their surrounding waters: Isla San Benedicto, Isla Socorro, Isla Roca Partida, and Isla Clarión. The islands are under Mexican federal jurisdiction. In November 2017, they were declared a Marine Reserve and a National Park of Mexico.

Ocean depths within the property's buffer zone reach 3.7 km (2.3 mi), particularly to the west of Isla Roca Partida and to the west and south of Isla Clarión. Due to their volcanic origin, depths around the islands increase abruptly at distances of between 10 - 12 km (6 - 7 mi) from the island shorelines.

The Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is part of a submarine mountain range with the four islands representing the peaks of volcanoes emerging above sea level. Apart from two small naval bases, the islands are uninhabited.

The islands' location represents an exceptional convergence of two marine biogeographic regions: the Northeastern Pacific and Eastern Pacific. More particularly, the property lies along the junction where the California and Equatorial current mix generates a complex and highly productive transition zone.

The islands and surrounding waters of the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo, informally known as "Socorro," are rich in marine life and recognized as important stepping stones and stopovers for wide-ranging species.

The property harbors abundant populations of sharks, rays, large pelagic fish, Humpback Whales, turtles and manta rays, a concentration of wildlife that attracts recreational divers worldwide.

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Each island displays characteristic terrestrial flora and fauna, and their relative isolation has resulted in high levels of species endemism and micro endemism, particularly among fish and bird species, many of which are globally threatened.

The islands provide a critical habitat for various terrestrial and marine creatures. They are particularly important to seabirds with masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, magnificent frigatebirds, and many other species dependent on the island and sea habitats. The Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is the only place where the critically endangered Townsend's Shearwater breeds.