Mexican Animals and Wildlife

A vast variety of diverse Mexican Animals inhabit the landscape of the map of Mexico. The country is home to a wide range of fauna and flora and one of the largest levels of biodiversity in the world.

The national animal is the Xoloitzcuintli (which is also known as Xoloitzcuintle or Xolo for short). The Xolo is a rare native species which is often described as the 'hairless dog'.

The existence of the Xoloitzcuintli dates back in excess to 3000 years in the history of Mexico. The species were held in high regard and were even believed to have mysterious healing powers by the ancient civilizations of the time.

Creative representations of the Xolo can often be spotted in the early artwork depictions and craftwork remains of both the Aztecs and Mayans. They were considered to be loyal companion dogs in the early days, a role that they still hold for many people today.

Xoloitzcuintli

Reptiles and Amphibians

Due to the climatic conditions, a large proportion of reptiles and amphibians can be located in the country.

It is estimated that over 700 different species of reptiles are currently in existence here (that's the largest proportion of reptile diversity in the world). Some of the most common reptiles include the American Crocodile, the the Green Sea Turtle and the Spiny Tailed Iguana.

The Spiny Tailed Iguana tend to gather in groups and can easily appear to be camouflaged into their surrounding environment. They can move at a fairly fast pace if they fell threatened or vulnerable to predators.

If you're planning a holiday to Mexico you will have many opportunities to explore and discover Mexican animals. Have a look around the grounds of many Riviera Maya Resorts for a start and you will be surprised at what you may find.

We came across many iguanas whilst on holiday. My wife adored them and seemed to be constantly on the lookout for them. The majority of them seemed to be more than happy sitting in the sun and were not at all bothered by us walking past or even taking the occasional photo from a relative distance. There are also a range of eco parks (including Xel-Ha and Xcaret), where you can experience the sight of exotic Mexican animals at close proximity.

Iguana in Mexico

The Jaguar and Central American Spider Monkey

The national mammal of Mexico is the Jaguar. The Jaguar is yellow with block spots and is the largest cat in the American continent.

There are many varieties of unique and unusual mammals in the country including the American Tapir and the Collared Peccary.

The Tapir is a large black and grey coloured mammal which can usually be found in damp, swampy conditions.

The Peccary on the other hand could probably best be described as a grey pig with thick, long hair. There are also many species of deer that can be located in forest environments.

Another animal that is often found in the forest is the Central American Spider Monkey. This primate species is very clever and they are quick to learn and adapt to changing circumstances. Spider Monkeys are one of the most popular varieties of Mexican animals.

It has been estimated that in terms of intelligence, they are within the top five primates in the world. At times the Central American Spider Monkey will show various traits and behaviour patterns that are remarkably similar to humans. These fascinating primates can live for up to 45 years.

Central American Spider Monkey

The American Flamingo

On our first vacation to the Mayan Riviera I remember waking up to the lively sound of birds singing on the horizon.

My wife also loved this experience, she could not wait to pull back the curtains every morning to look out at the surrounding birds hovering over the beautiful beaches and Caribbean Sea.

When visiting one of the local eco-parks we came across a variety of equally inspiring Mexican wildlife. We encountered many different species and its difficult to pick a favourite. On reflection though I would say it just has to be the impressive and commanding American Flamingo.

The American Flamingo is a colourful species with striking scarlet and deep pink feathers. The flamingos congregate in large groups and display regular playful and social behaviour patterns. It is fascinating to observe the actions of the birds within their natural habitat.

Mexico is home to a large variety of birds, there are over 1000 different species here in total. The Yucatan Parrot is commonly located in forests and jungles, this distinctive looking parrot is green, yellow and red in colour.

The exotically named Blue-Crowned Mot-Mot is a large green bird which is also inhabits the forest. The national bird is the Golden Eagle, if you manage to catch a view of this iconic bird in full flight it is an amazing experience.

American Flamingo

Threats to the Biodiversity

There are many enchanting varieties of Mexican Animals to discover on holiday. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the beautiful beaches (and I know that's easier said than done), then you can find out more information about the fascinating range of wildlife, fauna and flora and biodiversity.

It is of course important to be aware of potential environmental damage though and to take care at all times.

As a general rule, don't touch, feed or scare any Mexican animals that you may encounter, observe from a safe distance and respect your surroundings.

Unfortunately within the current climate and landscape of the modern day world, variations of wildlife face threats from a range of sources.
A seemingly increasing number of animals suffer due to a relative rise within pollution and deforestation.

One example of a habitually neglected animal in the country is the Mexican Donkey. In some cases donkeys can be subjected to hardworking conditions and it is not unusual for them to be overworked and underfed.

There seems to be an increasing number of Mexican donkeys under threat. There are a variety of charities however, and a large proportion of people who dedicate their precious time and energy to helping the vulnerable Mexican animals. Long may their good work continue.

Mexican Donkey



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