ProFaunaBaja is a society of ecologists and naturalists dedicated to ecological and cultural conservation of the Cape Region of Baja California Sur by combining environmental education, ecotourism, and research.
Vision – We envision preserving the culture and ecology of Baja California Sur for generations to come by promoting responsible travel and supporting local communities.
Stephanie Rousso is the founder and lead wildlife biologist for the project. She began ProFaunaBaja while teaching biology at a private school in San José del Cabo. She started the first ecology club for the school with students in prepa (high school). The students successfully raised enough money through a Film Festival to purchase a satellite GPS tag to place on an olive ridley marine turtle. CaboTortugas.org and ProFaunaBaja.org, among other partners were fascinated as they watched the migration of an adult female “Picabby” from November 2011 through June 2012.
Stephanie began a marine turtle research project at Rancho San Cristobal with ASUPMATOMA and Ecology Project International. The project´s goal is to evaluate the spatial distribution of nesting olive ridleys in efforts to expand the federal protected zone. Currently, coastal development in the dunes threatens nesting habitat and provokes erosion of beaches. These beaches are not only important nesting areas for marine turtles. They also provide the basis of tourism activities in the region. Loss of coastal dunes to tourist development projects equals loss of beaches, a loss of natural protection against hurricanes, and loss of tourism. This project involves students and tourists in research to promote conservation of the coastal dunes and conservation regional planning design in areas where coastal development is currently proposed.
Anibal Lopez is a naturalist and native of La Paz. As a professional photographer, Anibal is creating a photo book with detailed explanations of the indigenous paintings around Baja California Sur. He works closely with staff from the National Institute of Anthropology and History. His book is ready for print and promotes conservation and public access through sustainable ecotourism to various registered archaeological pictograph sites.
When he is not exploring the Sierra mountains for more paintings or finding sponsors for his project, he is underwater cleaning hulls or surfing. He finds peace, quiet, and solitude in the water as well as in the mountains.
Anibal and Stephanie found each other through their independent projects and decided to join forces. A Paceño and a Tejana, they are quite a combination of laughter, passion, and dedication. Together, they strive to provide educational expeditions to help fund their work and raise awareness of the ecological and cultural diversity. Future projects include funding a rancher cooperative to help strengthen the local community economy of the guardians of these diverse ecosystems and protect the preservation of indigenous culture.
When we are not exploring indigenous rock art or counting turtle eggs, we´ll get back to you via email!
ProFaunaBaja@gmail.com -OR- Stephanie@ProFaunaBaja.org