Perfect for families, biology students or animal lovers, Mexico’s lands, seas and forests contain a variety of animal life. While traditional zoos, aquariums and dolphin encounters attract tourists, more natural animal-based attractions include whale watching and sea turtle migration/education. A diverse country, Mexico has over 700 known species of reptiles.
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With its large land size and miles of coastal areas, Mexico has the distinction of being the leader of reptilian biodiversity. Amphibians tend to be found in smaller numbers in Mexico but still number almost 300 known species. Being the most bio-diverse country for reptiles, Mexico is one of the Top 12 countries for having a biologically diverse population of amphibians and mammals.
Jungles, deserts, forests and beach areas are home to Mexico’s over 430 known species of mammals. This includes many endangered or protected mammals like the jaguar and ocelot. Due to poaching, deforestation and exportation, many of these endangered animals are now protected by the Mexican government. In fact, over 2,500 amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and sea life are currently under protection.
Travelers interested in visiting a protected plant and animal area can take advantage of Mexico’s 64 National Parks, 17 naturally-preserved animal sanctuaries and 34 biospheres. Many of these areas are found in the Yucatan Peninsula’s rainforest areas. Plants and animals here are protected but due to deforestation practices, are in danger of becoming extinct. When entering a park area, always remember avoid picking flowers and plants, or handle any animal life. Since there are thousands of plant and animal species protected, it is advisable to maintain a “hands-off” policy to protect both visitor and possible protected species.
Fortunately, visitors can plan many of their animal activities based on migration and animal behavior patterns. A nighttime excursion will allow for the viewing of nocturnal mammals while winter, daytime coastal visitors may be fortunate enough to view whale migrations. Wildlife in Mexico!