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  D. A New Approach for Designing Marine Reserves

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new approach for designing marine reserves in an effort to protect biodiversity and threatened species in the Gulf of California has been developed by researchers at the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Diving surveys, led by Scripps' researcher Enric Sala, were conducted at sixty sites along the gulf, which is also called the Sea of Cortés.

Sala: During these surveys, we obtained the first large-scale biodiversity survey in the Gulf of California. We started studying coastal communities and re-fished communities and we studied reproduction, also the connectivity between different habitats and populations all along the Sea of Cortés.

Narrator: The researchers then input all this information into a computer software program.

Sala: We used a geographic information system and a mathematical model to put all the information we have been collecting on a map, basically. And our mathematical model plays with all the different variables that we have been studying and selects the best objective location for a network of marine reserves that should protect biodiversity and endangered species in the Sea of Cortés.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.