Protecting Endangered Species in Xel-Há
Species in Danger
Taking Care of Our Natural Wonder
In Mexico there are thousands of species in danger of extinction. It is important to take collective responsibility of the critical state of our evolutionary process, since the environment and food chains have been altered by human action, such as: pollution, fishing, hunting, trafficking and illegal catch, among others activities.
The extinction of flora and fauna has serious impacts in ecosystems, especially those regarding food chains. Damage from ancient times has been accelerating because of food scarcity and environmental degradation.
In Xel-Há, we seek to take care of the flora and fauna as part of our natural wonder. Xel-Há is a natural reef that was formed 5 thousands of years ago and like the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula, presents permeable calcareous soil with high vertical erosion. Hence, the fragility of nature is important when considering goals we want to convey with our visitors.
Three endangered species in the Park have been a priority in Xel-Há:
Scientific name: Caretta caretta
Brown tortoise from the back and yellow at the front. The shell is 90 to 114 cm. The loggerhead is carnivorous and feeds on sponges, jellyfish and marine organisms. Highly migratory species reproduce from May to September. It is located in the United States, Yucatan, Veracruz, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua and Brazil.
In Xel-Há, loggerhead is taken care by: Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico Association.
Scientific Name: Strombus gigascol Rosa
It is known as pink conch or queen conch because its shell is pearly pink. It’s invertebrate reproduction is internal. It’s located among the plankton. In the adult stage is larger than 20 cm and weighs up to 2 kgs. Predators are: rays, octopus, turtles, but the biggest predator is the human being. The beauty of its shell and its valued meat make the queen conch an endangered species. For this reason, Xel-Há and the Cinvestav-IPN, Merida Unit, joined several years ago to establish a scientific and educational agreement and the diffusion of science for the sustainable management of this important marine resource of the Caribbean Sea.
Scientific name: Ntritechus manatus
Manatees are herbivores that spend most of their time searching and ingesting plants.
In 2008, as part of a rescue by federal authorities in Tabasco, 2 specimens of manatees were delivered into the custody of Xcaret and then became part of Xel-Há’s family. Here, manatees receive veterinary care, feeding according to their age and weight, and are monitored around the clock. Manatees are part of a research project of organisms in captivity as they are an endangered species in Mexico and the Caribbean. As a result of the care received in the park, a manatee was born in captivity.