Gray Whales

Baja California Peninsula and the sea that separates it from continental Mexico constitute a real natural sanctuary for many species, marine and terrestrial, thriving in an almost unspoiled environment. Some ecologists have recognized one of the last

Baja California Peninsula and the sea that separates it from continental Mexico constitute a real natural sanctuary for many species, marine and terrestrial, thriving in an almost unspoiled environment. Some ecologists have recognized one of the last intact wildlife refuges in this corner of the planet. This condition becomes more evident in winter , when Baja receives its most distinguished visitor: the gray whale.

One of the best examples of nature recovery and preservation programs is the gray whale case, once at the verge of extinction due to uncontrolled hunting. From the four populations existing at the beginning of the 20th century, only three remain. However, only the one of the Northeastern Pacific has recovered to the point of reaching the number of individuals estimated at that time.

Northeast Pacific gray whale sets out one of the longest mammal migrations every year. The trip starts in the cold waters of the strait of Bering and takes them along the coasts of Alaska, Canada and USA. Their destination is the warm inlets in Baja California, Mexico, abundant in food and not much human population, offering an ideal set for their survival rituals.

After a gestation of about 12 to 13 months, the female gives birth to a calve weighing an average of a 1500 pounds. Mother’s instinct is powerful in the gray whale and they have a violent defensive behavior when it comes to protect their babies. She keeps the calve by her side for about two years or long enough till it is able to manage on its own. Calves are curious and harmless, allowing friendly approaches with humans frequently. Proximity is restricted, however, to avoid a negative ecological impact.

Nowadays an ecologically planned and controlled development offers visitors the unique opportunity to observe these natural wonders at its best without harming them. Gray whales can be observed from the coast and many hotels and restaurants have specially arranged terraces for the purpose of respectfully watching the millenary odyssey of a colossus. If you decide to take a watching tour we recommend you to check that the operator has the Mexican Ministry of Environment permission.

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