Isla Guadalupe, Guadalupe Island or Guadalupe? What’s In a Name?
For shark divers across the globe one little island off the coast of Baja, Mexico has become a mecca for diving with great white sharks. But, what do you call this volcanic rock 220 miles from San Diego, California?
Isla Guadalupe, Guadalupe Island or Guadalupe?
According to Wikipedia, Guadalupe Island goes by two common names:
“Guadalupe Island or Isla Guadalupe is a volcanic island located 241 kilometres (150 mi) off the west coast of Mexico‘s Baja California Peninsula and some 400 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of the city of Ensenada in the state of Baja California, in the Pacific Ocean. The two other Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean that are not on the continental shelf are Revillagigedo Islands and Rocas Alijos.”
Guadalupe Island was a major destination for Russian and American fur hunters seeking the Guadalupe Island fur seal in the 18th and 19th centuries, until they were nearly extinct by 1844. The northern elephant seal was also hunted for the oil in its blubber, but managed to survive and the seals remain today. Goats were brought to the island in the 19th century by European whalers and sealers for provisions when stopping over. Their numbers have fluctuated over the years, peaking at 100,000 and in more recent times being about 20,000. Guadalupe Island has been a nature conservancy area since 1928, making it one of the oldest reserves in Mexico.
Wildlife at Guadalupe Island
Guadalupe Island shares the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion with the Channel Islands of California in the United States, but the island was at one time practically denuded of all plants higher than a few centimeters by up to 100,000 feral goats. The goats have continued to be a problem, and their destruction of any living thing has actually caused desertification on the island in the long-term. In more recent years, much of this has been prevented with goat fence installation, and the island is recovering. As of June 2005, the Mexican government has almost completed a round-up and evacuation of the remaining goat population. Many island or marine species that reside on or near Guadalupe Island also frequent the Channel Islands, and vice versa. In stark contrast to the rampant extinction of terrestrial life that happened at the same time, Guadalupe has been the last refuge for the northern elephant seal and the Guadalupe fur seal in the 1890s. The island has been a pinniped sanctuary since 1975, creating a large pinniped population – therefore, Guadalupe Island is now one of the best spots in the world for sightings of the great white shark.
White Shark Cage Diving at Guadalupe Island
We specialize in taking non certified divers, or first time shark divers, into the exciting world of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Dive with us and discover hands on shark research and shark conservation at Guadalupe Island. Shark Diving For Everyone is our commitment to showcase the incredible world of white sharks with a combination of 18 years of cage diving experience, a cage system designed exclusively for non divers, top notch shark staff and cage diving crews with years of hands on shark experience. We have been cage diving and naming many of the white sharks you’ll be diving with this year. From the incredible 19+ foot Deep Blue, most likely the largest great white shark in the Pacific, to many of our regular white sharks like Scarboard, Lucy, and Mau. These amazing animals have become more than just whites sharks to us as we encounter them year after year – we met Scarboard 16 years ago – they have become our sharky friends. Let’s dive!