The Agiabampo estuary lies along the border of Sonora and Sinaloa on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortes. It is one of the most unique and understudied ecosystems in the world. The 15,000 hectare Estuary is driven by tidal forces and border over much of its 200 miles of shore lined by three species of mangroves. Dozens of bird species migrate through and winter in its waters . Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins are resident along with numerous fish and other marine animals. Indigenous and non-indigenous people have depended on its bounty for centuries. Pitayal is a desert ecosystem that is visually dominated by Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi).. After the summer rains this abundant cactus flowers, providing nectar for all levels of pollinators, and produces abundant fruits called pitayos that have been a mainstay seasonal food source of the local people and fauna for millennia. The cactus also furnishes building material that is widely used throughout the region and at Navopatia Field Station. The estuary and surrounding thornscrub are home to over 800 species of tropical and sub-tropical plants and over 250 species of resident and migratory birds. In 1998 it was designated by the Mexican Government a Zona Prioritaria for bird conservation and least appropriate for development.
Alamos Wildlands Alliance personnel began studying the Agiabampo estuary in 2002. It was clear from the outset that the area the area was incredibly beautiful, and it wasn't long before the hazards to its persistence were made clear. It took mere minutes for all involved to realize the inimitable beauty the area possessed, as well as the danger to its existence. The staff of the Alamos Wildlands Alliance then began forming friendships and contacts in the area with the generous help and support of Kenny and Maggie Dessain. With their help and generosity, the Navopatia Field Station was established and has been the center piece of our efforts to protect the surrounding area since. AWA has several projects involving aquatic and land bird surveys, vegetation sampling, small mammal surveys, mistnetting for passerine birds, large mammal assessments, and inventories of snakes, lizards, and amphibians. Our overall goal is to establish a reserve in the area that will protect its unique biological and cultural diversity. One of the main objectives of the reserve will be to foster an appreciation for the region and provide economic motivation to maintain an intact ecosystem for future generations. Our efforts have involved local families and community members, Mexican non-profits, U.S. and Mexican colleges and universities, ecotourism providers, and researchers. Through support of our members, staff, and other organizations this ambition will be reached. Please visit the support area of our website if you are interested in helping.