Biological Collections

The Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) has an ecological reserve and a number of biological collections including:


Responsible: Dra. María Concepción Lora Vilchis

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The CIBNOR Microalgae Collection houses 143 strains of marine, freshwater and brackish water microalgae, belonging to eight taxonomic groups: Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta, Eustigmatophyta, Haptophyta, Bacillariophyta, Dinophyta and Cyanobacteria.

The main objective of the collection is to maintain, increase, exchange and evaluate live strains of microalgae of scientific, academic and industrial interest.


Responsible: Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez Castañeda


The CIBNOR mastozoological collection houses a large number of endemic specimens from the islands of the Gulf of California and the [Baja] Peninsula, almost 96% of which are rodents and bats, kept in the order of importance of lagomorphs and carnivores. At present it is one of the most important in the country (geography and specimen quality), since many of the specimens are unique in Mexican collections.



Responsible: Dra. Lourdes Morquecho Escamilla


In order to support the goals of international research agencies related to the study of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), a project entitled "Towards the Establishment of the First Taxonomic and Biological Database of Dinoflagellates in Mexico" was submitted to CONACyT; the main objective was to establish the first living collection of marine dinoflagellates in Mexico. The results of this proposal were favorable and in October of 2000 work began on establishing the Marine Dinoflagellates Collection (CODIMAR) at the CIBNOR.

The primary function of the Collection is to provide dinoflagellate cultures to the national and international scientific and academic communities for use in research and teaching.


Responsible: Dr. José Luis León del la Luz

Currently, the collection of the Herbarium exceeds 30,000 specimens (phanerogams and pteridophytes), whose data have been captured in a database accessible for consultation, with geographic, ecological and curatorial information.

Most of the collection corresponds to specimens of Baja California Sur, specifically the regions of the Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, the Gulf of California Islands Reserve, La Giganta Range, El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, Sierra de Guadalupe, Sierra de San Francisco and the southern Cape Region. It has an exchange program with national and foreign institutions, which has allowed having a certain number of specimens from Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Sonora and Baja California; outside the country, from Southern California and Arizona.




Coordinator: Dr. José Luis León del la Luz

The El Comitán property belongs to and is the headquarters of the CIBNOR, consisting of 217 ha (536 acres) of which 115 have been considered by the management of the Center for dedication to research aspects: conservation of local biodiversity, diffusion of knowledge about nature, general research and the development of bachelor, master and doctoral students' theses.

El Comitán is located 12 km (7 mi) west of the city of La Paz, at the bottom of the La Paz Inlet, so the sea in its vicinity has the characteristics of a coastal lagoon. Its general geographical coordinates are 24°06'N, 110°26'W. The area belongs marginally to an alluvial plain known as the Carrizal-La Paz Valley, characterized by deep sandy soils with little slope, dissected by numerous drainages which flood after heavy rains.