Yucatan Peninsula Wildlife

Pink Flamingos at Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Pink Flamingos at Celestun Biosphere Reserve

The Wildlife found in Mexico’sYucatan Peninsula is a direct result of the geographic location, weather and proximity to the sea, all of which support the habitats and food source that everything living here depends on.

Anyone that loves Mother Nature and who is intrigued by the relationships and growth that occur between nature, wildlife and human beings is going to be exhilarated with everything that there is to see in the dense forests of Mexico.

The ancient Mayan people called the Yucatan Peninsula home and learned to live with the wildlife that you might catch a glimpse of while traveling here. From the iconic to the little known, the Yucatan holds some of the most interesting, evolved and beautiful animals in the world, so keep reading to find out more about what you can expect to see and enjoy as you go.

The jaguar, called Balam by the Mayans

The jaguar, called Balam by the Mayans

There are some animals and birds in the Yucatan Peninsula that everyone wants to see when they travel to the area, mostly because they are so iconic and native to this part of the world. The trouble is that a lot of these animals know exactly how to avoid people, the advantage of being in their natural habitat.

To get the best experience, it is beneficial to every traveler to take a more in depth tour or experience with a local guide who knows exactly where and how to look for the animals and other wildlife that are of interest to you.

Species like the armadillo, yellow bats, the margay, coati and even the Jaguar are all indigenous to this area and a delight to catch a glimpse of in the beautiful forests that fill so much of the area. If you get the chance, try to see some of these and plenty of other forms of wildlife in their natural environment.

Even though it might take some work to get to these areas and the moment will be fleeting, it is a true experience and does not happen for everyone. If you are unable to delve into the lush rain forest there are plenty of other options available to you that will enable you to still enjoy the natural habitat and  wildlife in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico while vacationing here.

Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Places such as nature reserves, biological and research stations, refuges and rehabilitation centers abound, and all of them work to ensure that the wildlife of the area prospers and thrives for as long as possible. While doing their work, these centers realize that it is important for them to reach out to the public, including tourists, in order to ensure their stability and future through conservation and habitat projects.

In many instances, you can either plan to take part in guided tours into the reserves, where you will have a better chance of seeing wildlife and even get up close with some of the animals that are being treated and rehabilitated.

Many of these animals are kept in as natural living conditions as possible, both for care and educational purposes. There are also ethical centers caring for animals that benefit and provide work in the communities where they are located.

Please don’t participate with street shows or photography involving animals, these animals are often mistreated.
It is best to work with a travel agent, hotel or other reputable travel guide to find ways and experiences that are in the best interest of the animals that are being viewed.

While you may not always be able to see the specific animals you have in mind, the overall benefit and adventure of a planned trip is well worth the time and effort that are put in to them, and will make your vacation that much more special.
Now that you know where you can best experience wildlife in the Yucatan Peninsula, let’s take a look at the huge variety of wildlife that you will get the chance to view.

This area has several native mammals, some that might be entirely new to you and others that you are familiar with, but  have never seen in their own habitats.

The Northern Tamandua

The Northern Tamandua

The jaguar, tamandua, white tailed deer, coati and margay are some of the larger mammals you might come across. The coati, jaguar and margay will take a little work, unless you are able to visit a reserve or research center that is working with some of these animals.

Most people are familiar with the jaguar and the white tailed deer, but are surprised to find they share the same habitat.
The coati, margay and tamandua are often unfamiliar names to first time visitors in the Yucatan. The coati resembles a rabbit, only with a long tail and the ability to run up and down trees. The margay is a feline ,resembles a leopard and is hard to spot as a rule because it sticks to the upper canopy of tree limbs, and . Finally, the tamandua is a species of anteater that has the coloring of a skunk.

Most tourists are impressed by the number of bird species here as well as the sheer number of them in general. The birds come to life every morning, so if you are staying near dense forest be prepared for the early morning cacophony of bird calls.

Small reptiles and insects will round off the wildlife that you can expect to see while on vacation here and every one will be unique in colouring and size. Lizards, spiders, snakes and bugs abound.
So make sure you always keep an eye out and be aware of clever camouflage and hidden crevices.

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