Isla Hermite is a tiny island in the Gulf of California, Mexico. With a land area of only 0.06 square kilometres (0.022 sq mi), it is one of the most fragile islands in the world. The island is home to an extraordinarily diverse and threatened population of less than 30 individuals, all of which are descended from a single pair of animals – the maned wolf.
The island has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its biological importance and because it is one of the few places on Earth where maned wolves still live in the wild.
Isla Hermite was first sighted by Europeans on January 26, 1602, while sailing along the Gulf of California. The island was named after Bernardo de los Hermosos y Borja, a Spanish nobleman and ambassador to Rome. It remained uninhabited until 1938, when a group of American entrepreneurs sailed to the island in an effort to create a manatee refuge. Instead they found only three maned wolves – two adults and one pup – who had been hiding from hunters on the island for several years.
The new inhabitants soon allowed other animals to settle on the island, bringing with them new stories and ideas. Seals mated on the island, producing some of the first colonies of Magellanic penguins seen at sea level anywhere; two-thirds being hybrids between maned wolves and southern fur seals (the same traits by which both species are known).
The breeding pair – a large male named Chico, his mate Ines – became famous for their care for each other during separation periods: once separated from her partner in mid-long gestation period intervals over four years because he was accidentally shot during hunting season by blasting him out to sea before he had completed getting her pregnant; a second time, she was shot and placed in an island shelter with the pup some months later.
When he tried to rescue his mate, hunters scuttled him from San Pedro Island on a raft of plastic bags. After rescuing Ines, Chico stood guard over her for two weeks as hunter helicopters hovered overhead searching for him before finally leaving her behind again while they continued their hunt and efforts to kill or trap more maned wolves on other islands.
The island has a humid subtropical climate, with warm, moist summers and cool to mild winters. The island experiences occasional frosts in the winter.
History and etymology
The island, San Pedro, was named in 1522 by Spanish conquistadores to honor Saint Peter because they could not find any other island that had a church on it. The name therefore can not be linked directly with the manatee.
However, elsewhere this is another story: “It was customary for navigators to give names after saints when a sighting of land challenged their faith.” This brings us back to Mani Islands again… Reptile and mammal species, island map The manatee is endemic to the archipelago.
The island has a rich reptile life, which can be seen on its beaches of white sand: three-and four foot (1 m) long iguanas glide through the emerald green thickets; solitary jaguars rest peacefully under palm trees; wading birds fish in estuaries close to where eels sleep beneath river boulders at water’s level during low tide.
The island’s culture is largely influenced by its history, as it has been continuously inhabited for over 300 years. Islanders are predominantly Catholic and practice subsistence farming, with a focus on the production of fruits and vegetables such as cacao, maize, plantains, avocados and guava.
Tourism is also an important source of income for the islanders. The island is a primary nesting site for the endangered green turtle, and loggerhead sea turtles come to lay their eggs every spring.
The island has both IUCN-listed as well marine protected areas: Anacapa Island Marine Life Sanctuary, Elkhorn Slough State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Piños Bay State Marine Reserve. Several small beaches on San Pedro are closed in order to protect these nesting animals during the mating season of females between March through July.
On November 25, 2009, San Pedro voters approved a new island-wide Council structure that divides the island into six wards. The wards will each elect one councilmember who then serve staggered three-year terms (with the possibility of reelection).
Each ward is represented by a Municipal President and Vice President, both of whom are elected at large for a three-year term. San Pedro received ISO 9001:2008 certified certification in March 2010 from BCDI Quality Assurance Certification Services, LLC., an independent third party facility specializing in quality assurance and auditing programs for small to medium size organizations around the globe, for BCD.S’ new island-wide council structure as voted on by the San Pedro voters in 2009.
The island is administered by a mayor and six councilmembers, each of which are elected to staggered three-year terms.
The island has its own police force, Port Police, who serve as the municipal law enforcement arm. There is also a fire department consisting of 20 paid firefighters and 4 unpaid volunteers. Medevac services are provided by Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) resources when required.
Isla Hermite Island is a remote and pristine island located in the Gulf of California. The island is home to a number of endemic and endangered species such as the loggerhead sea turtle and the least tern. The island is also a nesting ground for numerous seabirds, including the Chilean flamingo, the Andean condor, and the white-fronted tern.
1 . How Many People Live On Isla Hermite?
There are only 30 individuals that reside on the island, all of which are descended from a single pair of animals – the maned wolf.
- What Is The Climate Like On Isla Hermite?
The temperature varies depending upon the time of year, but it typically ranges between 18°C and 26°C. The island experiences very little rainfall, with an average annual precipitation rate of just 4 mm (0.16 in).
- What Kind Of Vegetation Can Be Found On Isla Hermite?
Most notably , there is a rich diversity of wildlife on the island, with at least 140 species described. The main type of vegetation found on Hermite are eucalyptus trees, although other native plant species can also be seen such as saguaro cacti and desert thistle flowers.
4.- What Animals Visit Isla Hermite?
The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is one animal that regularly visits the island to hunt for deer, hare, rabbits and birds including flamingos – a nearly vanished endangered bird from South America which used to nest season ally on the island.
5- What Does Isla Hermite Look Like?
Located approximately away from Puerto Penasco and a short distance off the mainland – located in one of Mexico’s most remote areas, it is not an easy island to find, but there are several government offices that will help you get directions if you have any questions relating to ferry services across the Gulf of California or access issues including boat transfers etc.