Tag Archives: Baja California

Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. mcgregori (Anthony)

McGregor’s House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. mcgregori)

Described in 1897, this subspecies was restricted to the Isla de Cedros and the Islas San Benito in Baja California, Mexico.

The finches were originally described as having been very abundant and having been found all over the islands they inhabited; however, at the beginning of the 20th century, the populations begun to crash – almost certainly due to predation by introduced feral cats. The last sighting took place in 1938, then the birds were finally extinct.


The photo below shows an individual of another endangered island subspecies, the Guadaloupe House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. amplus) from the Isla Guadaloupe, Baja California, Mexico.


syn. Carpodacus mcgregori Anthony, Carpodacus mexicanus ssp. mcgregori (Anthony)


Guadaloupe House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. amplus)

Photo: gborn


edited: 26.08.2022

Peromyscus pembertoni Burt

Pemberton’s Deermouse (Peromyscus pembertoni)

Pemberton’s Deermouse was restricted to the Isla San Pedro Nolasco in the Culf of California, Baja California, Mexico.

The species reached a legth of about 21 cm (including the tail), its fur was cinnamon-colored and flecked with some fine darker lines the head was slightly ligther colored and the belly was white.

Pemberton’s Deermouse was described in 1932 based on 12 specimens that had been collected on December 26, 1931 by Dr. William Hendy Burt of the California Institute of Technology, it was never found again. 


edited: 23.01.2020

Peromyscus guardia ssp. ‘Isla Estanque’

Estanque Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia ssp.)

The Estanque Deermouse was endemic to the Isla Estanque, a tiny, only 0,83 km² large islet south to Isla Ángel de la Guarda in the Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico. However, this particular population apparently was never officially described and may in fact have been identical to the nominate subspecies inhabiting Isla Ángel de la Guarda. 

Anyway, whether endemic or not, the deermice of Isla Estanque are gone now, the whole population appears to have been wiped out within a single year (1998 to 1999) by a single feral cat! [1]



[1] Ella Vázquez-Domínguez; Gerardo Ceballos; Juan Cruzado: Extirpation of an insular subspecies by a single introduced cat: the case of the endemic deer mouse Peromyscus guardia on Estanque Island, Mexico. Oryx 38(3): 347-350. 2004


edited: 23.01.2020

Peromyscus guardia ssp. mejiae Burt

Mejia Island Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia ssp. mejiae)

The Mejia Island Deermouse, described in 1932, was a subspecies of the Guarda Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia Townsend) and was endemic to the tiny Isla Mejía in the Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico.

This mouse was last recorded in 1973 but disappeared sometimes after that date due to predation by introduced cats and competition by likewise introduced mice and rats. [1]



[1] Erik Mellink; Gerardo Ceballos; Jaime Luévano: Population demise and extinction threat of the Angel de la Guarda deer mouse (Peromyscus guardia) Biological Conservation 108: 107-111. 2007


edited: 23.01.2020

Caracara lutosa (Ridgeway)

Guadalupe Caracara (Caracara lutosa 

The Guadalupe Caracara was described in 1876, it was restricted to the Isla Guadalupe in the Baja California wher it was the top predator.

The species is one of the few who disappeared directly due to hunting by humans; the birds were condemned by farmers to be vicious goat killers, which, of course, was complete nonsense, since the birds almost certainly did not hunt the goats themselves but just fed on deceased animals.

The species was already nearly extinct when on December 1, 1900 the infamous American collector Rollo Beck, in the course of a scientific epedition, encountered what probably were the last eleven existing birds. Not knowing that these might be the last surviving individuals of their species, he shot 9 of them and thereby eradicated the species quite incidentally.


edited: 21.09.2020

Colaptes auratus ssp. rufipileus (Ridgeway)

Guadalupe Flicker (Colaptes auratus ssp. rufipileus 

The Guadalupe Flicker was a subspecies of the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus (L.)) that was endemic to the Isla Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

The bird reached a size of about 30 cm; it differed from most other subspecies by having a rather brown – instead of greyish crown.


The Guadalupe Flicker was last seen in 1906 when also the last 12 specimens were collected; its extinction was mainly caused by the complete destruction of the island’s native vegetation by introduced feral goats. 


Photo: Arthur Chapman

(under creative commons license (2.0))


edited: 02.11.2020

Halictus pinguismentus Janjic & Packer

Guadalupe Sweat Bee (Halictus pinguismentus)  

The Guadalupe Sweat Bee was described in 2001 based on four specimens that had been collected almost 100 years prior (an exact date was not documented) on the Isla Guadalupe offshore the Mexican Baja California Peninsula.  

The original flora of this island is almost completely lost, thus this bee species is thought to be very likely extinct.  


edited: 23.03.2018

Peromyscus guardia ssp. guardia Townsend

La Guarda Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia ssp. guardia)

The La Guarda Deermouse, also known as Angel Island Mouse, was described in 1912, the species is restricted to the Isla Ángel de la Guarda and several of the nearby smaller islets in the Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico.

The nominate form inhabited the largest of the islands, Isla Ángel de la Guarda.

The La Guarda Deermouse with all its subspecies is now considered extinct, it fell victim to predation by introduced feral cats as well as competition by likewise introduced House Mice (Mus musculus L.), which now are found all over these islands.


edited: 23.01.2020

Oceanodroma macrodactyla (W. E. Bryant)

Guadelupe Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma macrodactyla)  

The Guadelupe Storm-Petrel, a 23 cm long sea bird which was locally named as Paino or Petrel de Guadalupe, bred exclusively in the native pine resp. cypress forests of the about 280 km² large island of Guadalupe about 240 km offshore the Baja California peninsula. Almost the entire vegetation of this island was destroyed by feral goats that had been introduced in the 19th century, hence many of the native birds lost their habitat.  

Storm-Petrels are very good flyers, which find their food by flying along the surface of the sea, picking up everything edible.  

For breeding, however, they need to come to land, where they breed in self-dug burrows. As soon as they land on the forest floor and waddle towards their breeding burrow, they are extremely vulnerable to predation by introduced feral cats – and indeed feral cats are the main reason for the extinction of the Guadelupe Storm-Petrel (and at least four additional endemic bird forms).  

The last Guadalupe Storm-Petrel was seen in the year 1912.  



[1] Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986 
[2] Errol Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987  


Depiction from: ‘Frederick Du Cane Godman: A Monograph of the Petrels (Order Tubinares). London: Witherby & Co. 1907-1910’ 

(public domain)


edited: 17.10.2020

Hesperelaea palmeri A. Gray

Palmer’s Hesperelaea (Hesperelaea palmeri)  

This species was described in 1876, it was the sole member of its monotypic genus.  

Palmer’s Hesperelaea was a rather compact tree-like shrub, 6 to 7 m tall, the leaves were up to 5 cm long and broadly lanceolate, the flowers were pale yellow.  

The species was endemic to the Isla Guadalupe, located 241 km off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. It was already restricted to a relict population in a single canyon on the east side of the island when it was discovered in 1875.  

The island was heavily destroyed by introduced goats, which ate almost the entire vegetation, Palmer’s Hesperelaea was only one of several victims of their unappeasable hunger.  



[1] Reid Moran: The flora of Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 19: 1-190. 1996  


Photo from: ‘Reid Moran: The flora of Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 19: 1-190. 1996’ 

(under creative commons license (3.0)) 


edited: 07.11.2017

Peromyscus guardia ssp. harbisoni Banks

Granito Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia ssp. harbisoni)

The Granito Deermouse, described in 1967, was a subspecies of the Guarda Deermouse (Peromyscus guardia Townsend) and was restricted to the small Isla Granito in the Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico.

The whole species, including its three named and one unnamed subspecies, is now extinct.


edited: 23.01.2020