Know the Mexican species  

That are about to disappear from the planet 

Since human beings left the African savanna and began to conquer the world, its presence has meant devastation and extinction for other species. Thousands of years ago we ended the life of large mammals like mammoths, giant sloths, saber-toothed tigers, and many more species. 

It is proven that, as soon as men reached some territory, the extinction of many animals accompanied them. It is part of evolution, it is part of development, however, today, it is in our hands to be more aware of the consequences of how our presence affects the environment and, with that knowledge, do something about it. We should care and be more responsible with the species with whom we share our home. 

Thanks to the incredible variety of ecosystems in Mexico, we enjoy enviable biodiversity, but this should only concern us more and make us more responsible for nature. The first step in doing something about it is knowing the species that are in danger. Here, I’ll tell you a little more about endangered species that are endemic to Mexico. 

Ajolote 

Ajolote endangered
Daniel Lombraña

This is an endangered amphibian that lives in the channels of Xochimilco. Its name is an axolotl, but the language has evolved into how we know it nowadays. This curious animal has attracted the attention of scientists because it is the only vertebrate that can regenerate its limbs when they are lost. Their regenerative capacity is impressive, as they can even recover their spinal cord after an injury and function again as if nothing happened. 

Its natural habitat is in the middle of one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, so it is in danger of disappearing completely due to little planning and awareness of this living being. It can only inhabit the channels of Xochimilco, in Mexico City, so it’s very important to take care of it and maintain its habitat. 

Jaguar          

Jaguar endangered
Martinus Scriblerus

One of the most beautiful animals that inhabit the earth. This great feline has been used by the Mayas as the highest distinction for their warriors. It is a strong, imposing animal, agile, and with incredible skin. These same characteristics make it one of the main targets of poachers. 

In addition to the hunters, it is an endangered species due to the decrease of its habitat and lack of food due to the excessive and careless growth of the cities. This animal lives in the jungles of the south of the country, which continue to be consumed by the felling of trees and unmeasured growth of cities such as Tulum, Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and many others that prefer to continue building hotels to attract international tourism rather than care of its natural vestiges.              

Mexican wolf          

Mexican Wolf endangered
Antonio Bello

This species of wolf is the smallest in size that inhabits northern Mexico. It is a nocturnal canine that lives in deserts, semi-arid areas, and forests of Mexico, occupying a large territory of the country. 

The threat to their existence comes from the humans hunting for their food, which is deer, sheep, antelope, hares, and rodents. By reducing the amount of prey, they began to attack livestock, which caused farmers to start hunting them, significantly reducing their population. 

Today, the Mexican government carries out important campaigns to raise awareness and care for the animal. In 1950 they had disappeared into the wilderness. Yet, thanks to these efforts, it is estimated that by 2012, 75 specimens were living in their natural habitat, and by 2014 the first birth of a wolf was seen in nature. There is still a long way to go to get this important wolf back to the place that belongs to him. 

Black bear          

Black Bear endangered
Martinus Scriblerus

The black bear lives from northern Mexico to Alaska. It survives in cold, temperate, or semi-arid climate habitats, making it easy for it to adapt. However, with poaching and the fragmentation of their habitat, their population has been reduced by 80% in just 25 years. 

Human practices are directly related to the decline of this species. In the United States, garbage dumps have caused a change in their behavior, as bears associate that they are a source of food. Therefore, they approach areas populated by humans, entering houses and causing their hunt. 

Currently, the actions carried out in the three countries involved are not enough. Studies are still being carried out to conclude what are the best actions to stop their disappearance and prevent their extinction. 

 

Porpoise          

Porpoise endangered
SEMARNAT

This is one of the species that has been the focus of public attention due to its critical situation. However, despite all the attention and measures, its status remains unchanged and it is an endangered animal that needs all of our attention.

The main threat to the porpoise is fishing nets. Many of them are trapped, without being the main target, but they die when they fall into them. 

The protection of this animal has become complicated over the years, as the demand for totoaba fish arose in China. The porpoise falls into these traps. 

This species lives in the Gulf of Mexico. Our government has overseen maritime, land, and air patrols, as well as inspection posts for fishing boats. But the road ahead is still long, the fight against poaching must be more severe. 

Scarlet macaw          

Scarlet Macaw endangered

This beautiful bird is typical of Central and South America. They live in the jungles of southern Mexico and live long lives, reaching up to 50 years in captivity and 40 years in the wilderness. Once again, illegal hunting is the main threat to this species and the decrease of its natural habitat. 

In Mexico, there are two protected areas for the scarlet macaw and there is the Xcaret conservation program, which is responsible for reintroducing specimens into the wild. This program has already achieved births in nature!  

Ocelot       

   

Román Díaz Valenzuela

The ocelot is like a small jaguar. It extends from the southern United States to Brazil and Paraguay. Despite its wide habitat, it is an endangered animal due to the presence of humans. 
Illegal trade, the destruction of its habitat, and poaching are the main causes of their endangerment. Some associations are responsible for its protection and have managed to reduce the threat of this species, but we need to do even more to protect it.

Manatee          

BrianWpic

The Caribbean manatee is in danger of extinction due to human expansion that has radically reduced its habitat. One of its last sanctuaries is in Guatemala. 

Another of their threats is that they ingest toxic or metallic substances mixed in the vegetables they eat, as well as motor injuries. 

Quetzal         

Quetzal endangered
Mike Pulido

It’s a sacred bird, the Mayas and the Mexica considered it a divine manifestation. Its name comes from the Nahuatl quetzalli, which means beautiful or sacred. 

In pre-hispanic Mexico, the feathers of this bird were considered a valuable currency, however, it was not hunted. Their feathers were removed after the breeding season and then released. At that time, killing a quetzal was considered a crime and merited the death penalty.

Currently, this bird lives in the south of the country. Due to illegal hunting, the population has decreased dramatically. Until recently, it was considered that it was impossible to reproduce quetzals in captivity, which complicates its conservation. However, in 2018, birth was possible, which modified the perspective of this endangered animal. 

Tapir         

Tapit
Michael Smith

The Central American tapir is also a victim of habitat reduction and excessive hunting. This curious animal is known as anteburro, (which is translated as “donkey”), as it was believed to be a mix between a donkey and a pig. It inhabits humid jungles, cloud forests, and mangroves. 

Their main threats are the big cats; however, the human being is the one who threatens their existence. 

Cozumel raccoon          

Racoon
Christopher Gonzalez

This species is critically endangered. It is endemic to Mexico and has the important job of dispersing the fruit seeds on which they feed. This causes damage to the crops, for which it is hunted and poisoned. They are also persecuted for their skin, as it is traded despite its low value. 

It only has a small, protected area on the island of Cozumel, so the actions we need to take care of it are not enough. 

As you can see, the main threat to all these species is the human being himself. Our most daily activities represent a serious affectation for them. 

Let’s be more aware with our housemates, let’s remember that the planet belongs to all the living beings that inhabit it.