In 1979,Mexico established the
Rio Lagartos Bio-Reserve in the state of Yucatan.The reserve protects nearly 60,000 hectares(150,000 acres) of forest,dunes,
MANGROVES,estuary and beaches.
It includes the fishing villages of Rio Lagartos,San Felipe,
Las Colorados and El Cuyo.
388 Bird species(residents and
migratory) have been identified here along with 59 species of Mammals, and 80 species of Reptiles 99 species ofFish ,16Amphibians and a rich and diverse Flora.
VEGETATION ZONES AT RIO LAGARTOS
The 60 kilometers(35 miles) of beach is an important nesting site for Green and Hawksbill turtles (one of the three most important sites in the world) with ocassional visits from Loggerhead turtles.
The Maya knew the place as Holkoben and used it as a rest stop on their way to the nearby community ports for commerce in salt , (salt continues to be extracted, on a much vaster scale now).
Spanish explorers mistook the inlet for a river and crocs for aligators.
The conquistadors named
"Rio Lagartos" when they first
sighted "enormous reptiles
with large tails and huge jaws
in what they mistakenly thought was a river.
Over 43,000 Flamingos,have been counted along the Yucatan's coast,The majority nest and feed in the area of The Rio Lagartos
The eight vegetation zones that have been identified support a wide variety of life.
Very important among these are the petenes (fresh water springs in the midst of the savannas and wetlands.
FLOWERING PLANTS & FERNS
The fresh water ponds are
a gathering point for
spyder monkeys,deer and jaguars.
ANIMALS ASSOCIATED WITH SALTWATER
For a complete list of the Flora and Fauna in the Bio-Reserve See the Navigation bar.
Every year returning sea turtles
build build 800-1500 nests along a 22km stretch of coast.
The average Green turtle measures1.15m and weighs 100kg ,the largest measure about 1.5m and weigh 200kg
The average Hawksbill is 90cm and weighs 70kg.The largest measure 1.15 and weigh 100kg.
Loggerheads and Leatherback turtles (up to 2m) are occasional visitors
ALGAE FOUND ON BEACHES ALONG THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
Special bird events
YUCATAN BIRD FESTIVAL
RIO LAGARTOS CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT