Mexico has a great diversity of ecosystems, endemic species, because of our unique geographical location, capable of different climates and landscapes. In fact, we are one of the countries with the largest number of endemic species in the world and many to them have lived throughout our history.
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What does endemic mean?
By endemic species we mean every living being that lives in a specific place. That means, is native to a single region and nowhere else in the world. They have particular or limited habitats and their classification depends on the species and the location. For example, there are high mountains, lakes, caves, rivers, jungles, and many others.
We made a list of the top 10 endemic Mexican species, although there are way more to know of.
The axolotl is considered one of the most beautiful types of salamanders. We may find them in Lake Xochimilco and it has become a national symbol. One of its characteristics is that it has the ability to regenerate all of its organs. This amphibian is an endangered species and there are many organizations and programs to protect them.
Mexican prairie dog
Despite the name, this species is not a canine, it’s a kind of rodent. These are endemic to Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi. They have a ‘dog’ name because the sound they emit when they are afraid resembles that of a dog. They are vegetarian and feed of seeds and herbs.
This cute little creature lives in Mexico’s volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. It is characterized by having round ears, and unlike other rabbit species, they have quite short legs.
This majestic Mexican cat has been a symbol of strength, war and courage since pre-Hispanic times. They usually prefer humid habitats but are able to adapt to several environments. Sadly, they are marked as a threatened species.
This species live in the tropical forests of our country. The given name is because of its ability to jump from one tree to another. They usually travel as a group and are very social. However, deforestation has made them part of the endangered species list.
The vaquita is an endemic cetacean found in the Reserve ‘Alto Golfo’ de California. It is characterized for being the smallest of its kind. It is listed on the highest rank of endanger and, some researches consider it already extinct because there are very few of them left.
Parrot from Yucatan
This beautiful bird is endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula, and is characterized by its short neck. It has a pale yellow beak and a round body with squared tail. This bird enjoys open areas, but may also be found on artificial fields.
Tropical road runner
This running bird, as the ones in cartoons, is a predator that feeds on insects, lizards, and snakes. They are related to the roadrunner of the north.
Tuza de Colima
This rodent is located on the surroundings of Colima. They are so smart that they do not fall asleep if they don’t feel safe. They stand out for being great tunnel diggers.
The ocelot is a feline distinguished by its medium size, it is smaller compared to others of its kind. It stands out for its beautiful eyes, big ears and dots. It is one of the smartest predators thanks to their legs that have pads allowing them to walk and attack without making any noise.
We shall continue on preserving our endemic species.
Our list ends here, but as you may notice, many of them are endangered because of us. If you want to help, look for projects that promote their preservation.
Check out more Mexican endemic species here.
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