Michael Malone is a naturalist and birder from Canada formerly employed by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).
I have enjoyed exploring this wild coast for the past 38 years in Puerto Escondido each winter for 4 months, and return north to operate a Nature Store for 8 months beside Canada’s premier birding destination – Point Pelee National Park.
After starting-up Hidden Voyages Ecotours in Puerto Escondido in 1981 I saw the need for detailed research on Manialtepec Lagoon and applied for $20,000. funding from the CWS to put 5 Mexican University students (UAM) to work here to complete their honours thesis’s. This was the first ever research on Manialtepec lagoon and now provides base-line data for current protection efforts on this lagoon. Two of these initial students went on to become biology professors at UAM and they continue field research on the lagoon today while bringing hundreds of Mexican university students here for biology field courses twice each year.
A second university – UNAM was invited to carry on marine science research on lagoon water quality and various marine organisms here. Such research on Manialtepec has established international interest and study of the lagoon with the end result being Oaxaca’s recognition of the Manialtepec Lagoon ecosystem as a biological treasure worth protecting for the long term. Slowly, local costenos are beginning to understand the fish, wildlife and economic wealth the lagoon provides for their well-being. As ecotourism service providers we strive to work with local people to instill pride in their rich wildlife resources and look for ways to help their conservation efforts on the lagoon.
Our explorations also include the Oaxaca Coast Foothills & Mountains above Puerto Escondido; it is my pleasure to guide you here in search of endemic & rare tropical birds, as well as to explore cultural highlights.
Our Boatman / Guide is always a local fisherman from the coast. For 35 years these boatmen have worked for and learned from us, and vice versa, to the point that several of them now operate their own ecotourism businesses. Our boatman operates the boat and motor leaving me free to speak in depth about lagoon and tropical ecology and answer your myriad questions about this coast, all the while spotting wildlife for you. When interesting bird life or plants are encountered the motor is stopped to ensure respect for the wildlife and allow for good quality photos. I believe we have the perfect mix and hybrid vigour of a northern Canadian naturalist guide and a local Mexican fisherman guide to interpret Oaxaca's incredible tropical ecology for you. MM