Islands in the seas of northwestern Mexico have the largest number of insular endemic species in North America. The islands have the greatest number of extinct mammalian taxa in Mexico, and many of the remaining taxa are rare, threatened, or endangered. Thus the Mexican government's plan to build 24 modern ports—the “Escalera Nautica” project—will place enormous pressure on island species, which are exceptionally vulnerable to human activities, including the introduction of alien species. The intensified port activities would most likely lead to an ecological disaster. Several mammal species inhabiting the islands are already close to the limit of their capacity to survive. For many endangered species, a small change in habitat can be the final push into extinction. In this article, we make some recommendations to try to prevent the extinction of species at risk.
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Vol. 56 • No. 10