The number of species that exist on our planet is indisputable. However, they are not all everywhere, which makes them even more special. This time we want to delve into the endemic fauna that exists in the region of Mexico, one of the 12 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.
Location and main characteristics of Mexico
Mexico or, rather, the United Mexican States , is a country that is located in the southern part of North America. With an area of 1,964,375 km 2, Mexico is the fourteenth largest country in the world and the third in Latin America. It is bounded by its coasts bathed by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Mexico together with the Caribbean Sea to the east. As for its inhabitants, it is the eleventh most populous country, with a population of approximately 124 million people in 2017.
Its relief is very rugged and has a large number of volcanoes. In addition, there are the Madre Oriental and Madre Occidental mountain ranges, which are an extension of the Rocky Mountains.
Mexico has a very diverse climatic variety where the average temperature is around 19ºC, although we can find both cold climates in the mountainous areas and very hot climates in the areas near its coasts. The country is also divided into two very different areas by the Tropic of Cancer: an area with a tropical climate and another with a more temperate climate.
What are endemic species
Before continuing with the article we must make a little parenthesis. Do you know what endemic species are ? An endemic species is one that refers to a species whose distribution is restricted to a specific geographic location and which is not naturally found in other regions of the world.
However, an endemism does not specify how restricted it is. By this we mean that the scale is very variable, an endemism can be its own from a mountain to an island or a continent. Similarly, here we are referring to species, but you can also refer to other larger groups such as genera or families. With all this, the general thing is that it is indicated which taxon we are referring to (species, subspecies, family …) and from where.
What are the endemic species of Mexico: examples
As we said, Mexico is one of the most diverse countries in the world with 10% or 12% of the planet’s biodiversity that includes various species of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants.
Some examples of endemic invertebrates in Mexico are the canyon crab, the reigo, the hope butterfly or the Federal District tarantula.
Within the endemic vertebrate animals of Mexico we collect below a sample of species classified by groups in descending order of the number of total species:
- Fish: in Mexico there are 2,692 species of fish, of which 271 are endemic. Some examples of them are the Julimes puppy, the Alchichica charal ( Poblana Alchichica ) or Almoloya or the Yucatecan sardine.
- Birds: of the 1,096 existing species, 125 are endemic. Some examples are the dwarf chara, the Tamaulipas owl, the long-eared trogon or the mountain sparrow.
- Reptiles: 864 species are recorded, of which 493 are endemic, such as the Mexican spiny iguana, the mountain nauyaca, the Balsas coral reef, the four-swamp turtle or the pygmy rattlesnake. mexicana.
- Mammals: 535 species with 164 endemics, including the Cozumel raccoon, the banana bat, the vaquita porpoise or the pygmy skunk.
- Amphibians: 361, with 174 endemic. Examples of amphibians in Mexico are the Mexican axolotl, the cecilia oaxagueña , the frog of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the salamadra of the Sierra de Juárezor the toad of large crest