Links to Naturalist Jim Conrad's
excellent information on Coastal Yucatan. Jim spent a year
With Diego Nunez and his guides studying the Bio Reserve.
He is now the Naturalist at Hacienda Chichen (next to the
ruins at Chichen Itza)
Diego Núñez y Familia
Río Lagartos Adventures
Vegetation zones in The Rio Lagartos Bio Reserve
Flowering Plants of the Beaches and Coastal areas
Selected algae along the Yucatan's
Flowering Plants and ferns
Animals associated with Salt Water
SEE THE DROP DOWN MENU FOR BIO RESERVE FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF FLORA & FAUNA
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.
395 Bird species(residents and
migratory) have been identified here along with 59 species of Mammals, and 80 species of Reptiles 99 species of Fish ,16 Amphibians and a rich and diverse Flora.
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 Reserve..
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.
The fresh water ponds are a gathering point for spider monkeys,deer and jaguars.
Every year returning sea turtles
build build 800-1500 nests along a 22 km stretch of coast.The average Green turtle measures 1.15 m and weighs 100 kg ,the largest measure about 1.5 m and weigh 200 kg
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