This Monday, May 22 we celebrate the international day for biological diversity. We celebrate this day with gratitude for the many varieties of life forms. These life forms include genes, species, ecosystems, and landscapes, as well as their ecological and evolutionary processes. In Mexico we are particularly happy to honor this day, as Mexico is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries. In fact, Quintana Roo specifically is one of Mexico’s most bio-diverse states. 90% of Quintana Roo’s territory consists of low-stature forests and it is home to more than 1,000 flora, 376 species of birds, 105 mammal species and 83 species of amphibians and reptiles. To celebrate this international day for biological diversity, we are sharing facts on Quintana Roo’s biodiversity and some of the many life forms you can witness on your tour with KayTours.
The Mexican government preserves both land and marine ecosystems in more than a third of the state’s territory through the Protected Natural Areas Program. In Quintana Roo alone, there are 13 wetlands internationally recognized. These wetlands are populated with mangroves that provide food, shelter and breeding areas for many species. The mangroves also serve as a natural barrier against hurricanes.
The world’s largest shark species, the whale shark, congregates in the north of Quintana Roo, and this area was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2009. The whale sharks are drawn to this spot along with Manta rays for the enormous amount of plankton pouring out of the Gulf of Mexico and into the Caribbean. Whale sharks can be as long as 41 feet (12,5 meters), and they weigh up to 47,000 pounds (21.3 metric tons). Whale sharks originated about 60 million years ago.
While whale sharks do not have any natural predators, humans threaten them because some hunt for their fins. Whale sharks were recently listed as an endangered species by the IUCUN. We have more information here on why they were listed, as well as guidelines to protect these beautiful creatures.
Interested in swimming with whale sharks? Learn more about our private whale shark tour here!
Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve was established in 1986. In 1987, UNESCO declared Sian Ka’an a World Heritage Property. The combination of Mayan history and unique biodiversity make it a remarkable destination. At 652,000 hectares (1.3 million acres), Sian Ka’an is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean. It is the largest coastal protected area in Mexico. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world at 1300km. Sian Ka’an covers 10% of the state of Quintana Roo.
By 2015, 379 species of bird had been identified in the Reserve. Sian Ka’an is home to 115 species of mammals, 90 species of native bees, 47 species of dragonflies, 74 species of beetles, 276 species of crustaceans, 310 species of mosquitos and 318 species of butterflies. The barrier reef is made up of more than 84 species of coral. This biosphere is home to 1,048 species of flora.
Some of the amazing creatures you’ll find include manatees, four species of marine turtle, howler and spider monkeys, crocodiles, Jabiru stork, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, pink flamingos, toucans and tapirs.
See Sian Ka'an for yourself! Learn more about our private tour to Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve here.
Punta Laguna is a monkey reserve where you can canoe, bird-watch, and even camp. Made up of 5,367 hectares, Punta Laguna is a large natural protected area, and it is located 1.5 hours south of Playa del Carmen. Punta Laguna is most popularly known for its free-living spider monkeys.
Love monkeys? What are you waiting for?! Learn more and book your tour to Punta Laguna here.
Celebrate international biological diversity day by booking one of these educational tours! At the very least let this important day of recognition be a reminder to follow our general guidelines on protecting all forms of wildlife (listed below). In order to be lucky enough to enjoy the beautiful sites of Quintana Roo and around the entire world, we must always be conscientious of our footprint. Continue to live in an eco-friendly way so that you can help save all forms of life.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to write in the comment section below or send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.