Flora and fauna of Veracruz - Characteristics and species

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Veracruz is one of the most biodiverse states in Mexico, with a large number of exclusive flora and fauna species to value and protect; As it happens in other large cities, the threats to which the ecosystems of Veracruz are subjected endanger the associated biodiversity.

If you want to know more about the vegetation of Veracruz, the animals in the area and the threats they face, keep reading this article by Ecologist Verde on the flora and fauna of Veracruz.

Characteristics of the flora and fauna of Veracruz

The variety of climates and the particularity of other abiotic factors, such as the soil, the orography or the topography of the terrain, have shaped the flora and fauna of Veracruz, favoring the presence of numerous ecosystems each characterized by specific species. For this reason, it is possible to find grasslands, evergreen tropical forests, mountain mesophilic forests, pine forests and mangroves, among other vegetation systems that offer a unique landscape mosaic, of great ecological value, cultural and socioeconomic, with numerous habitats that allow the presence of a large number of rare endemic animal species that require special attention.

These needs of preserve the vegetation and fauna species of Veracruz They have increased in recent decades, due to the ecological deterioration caused by numerous anthropic activities associated with changes in land use or deforestation, as happens in many other parts of the world.

In this way, in order to show and value the exuberant and striking biodiversity that characterizes this state bathed by the Atlantic waters of the Gulf of Mexico, in a first step towards raising awareness in the protection of the natural environment, we consider that it is convenient to know what species of plants and animals are important in the ecosystems of Veracruz. For this reason, below are some examples of species of fauna and flora of Veracruz.

Flora of Veracruz

With more than 8,500 plants identified by scientists, with more than 5,400 vascular species, Veracruz is one of the most biodiverse states in Mexico in flora species. In this sense, it is important to highlight that it has almost a hundred endemic species, some of them being:

Acalocote (Pinus chiapensis)

The acalocote, ocote or pinocote, is a species of white pine native to Mexico and Guatemala, which presents a relictual or quite reduced distribution, being located mainly on low slopes of mountains and canyons in areas with high humidity and abundant rainfall. Beyond the natural regions of Veracruz, It is possible to find it in the states of Guerrero and Puebla, being even more prevalent in Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Oyamel (Religious abies)

The oyamel is another conifer native to Mexico and Guatemala that can reach up to 50 meters in height, and it is possible to find the slopes of the Cofre de Perote or Naupa-Tecutépetl volcano (its name in Náhiatl, a native language of Mexico) and in the Pico de Orizaba (the highest peak in the country).

This species widely known for being the preferred habitat of the monarch butterfly, but also its use as a Christmas tree, is a very important resource of the timber industry in the area, which has led to a decline in its populations, although currently according to the IUCN the degree of threat is of least concern (Least Concern, LC).

Strawberry tree (Arbutus xalapensis)

This ericaceous plant, which can develop in the form of a bush or a tree with smooth bark, is part of the mesophilic scrub as well as the pine and holm oak forests of Veracruz and is used mainly in the artisan manufacture of wood products.

Bromeliad (Mexican aechmea)

Bromeliads or tenchos, the name they receive in Veracruz, are non-parasitic epiphytic plants that live on other trees. Since the roots serve as support and support tools, these plants absorb water and nutrients through their leaves, which stand out for being wide and long and arranged in the shape of a rosette, with an inflorescence emerging from the center.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)

This endemic climber of Mexico, belonging to the orchid family, is one of the Veracruz plants more striking because it has been traditionally cultivated to obtain the essence of vanilla from its fruits. Among other peculiarities we highlight that it is a hermaphrodite plant, in which to avoid self-fertilization stamens and pistils are separated by a membrane; and that its flowers open on a single day and can only be pollinated by orchid or euglossin bees.

Other flora species of Veracruz

  • Glorious tidal wave
  • Maguey (Agave wendtii)
  • Hymenocallis longibracteata
  • Mañanitas (Zephyranthes miradorensis)
  • Philodendron subincisum
  • Cradle of Moses (Spathiphyllum uxpanapense)
  • Guaco (Aristolochiaceae A. veracruzana)

Fauna of Veracruz

As with the flora of Veracruz, the wild fauna is very abundant and diverse, with more than 7,000 species. Along these lines, this Mexican state stands out for its exclusive or endemic species, hosting a total of 203, of which 35 are freshwater fish, 44 amphibians, 66 reptiles, 28 birds and 30 mammals. Located mainly in mountainous areas and in the town of Los Tuxtlas, they stand out Veracruz animals What:

Staghorn CoralAcropora cervicornis)

This sessile organism that presents yellow elongated, tubular and branched colonies, inhabits shallow or shallow waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, being possible to find it in the Veracruz Reef System National Park, included in the Ramsar list in 2014. Currently This animal, threatened by tourism, by maritime traffic, by extractive activities such as fishing and, above all, by the already palpable consequences of climate change, has a conservation status of vulnerability according to the IUCN.

Lesser black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

The lesser black hawk or mangrove, is distributed from Mexico to Peru, being the populations of Veracruz more abundant than those present in other states of the country such as Jalisco and Querétaro. This black-colored bird with yellow legs, which lives in areas near bodies of water, mainly coastal mangroves and beaches, is not selective, being able to feed on snakes, reptiles, insects, crabs and frogs, even sometimes some birds.

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

The ocelot, also known as the crabbing tiger, is one of the largest cats in America, specifically the third after the puma and the jaguar. This nocturnal carnivore is widely distributed throughout the state, and can be found in tropical forests, pine and oak forests, and mangroves.

Threatened by the destruction and fragmentation of its habitat, by hunting and by conflicts with local populations, this species is included in Appendix I of CITES and although according to the IUCN it is of minor concern, the state category of vulnerability established by the NOM -059 says it is in danger of extinction.

Multicolored hummingbird (Lamprolaima rhami)

This bird of the Trochilidae family stands out for its intense coloration, its green back and head, its red wings and its purple tail. Located in cloud forests, pine forests, holm oaks and ecotones, its presence is strongly associated with that of the epiphyte Echeveria rosea, on which it feeds in its reproductive period.

Currently, the multi-colored hummingbird is threatened by the destruction of its habitat as a result of the changes that are being made in land uses. Despite this, IUCN considers the degree of threat to be of Least Concern (LC).

Tepezcuintle (Cuniculus paca)

The lepezcuintle or common paca, whose name means mountain dog, is the largest nocturnal rodent that exists. Widely distributed throughout Central America, it inhabits forests, mangroves and riverbanks, which is why they are good swimmers. This species solitary character is frugivorous, as it feeds on roots, fruits and seeds, highlighting in its diet the consumption of mango, avocado and corn.

Other species of fauna of Veracruz

  • Tuxtla partridge pigeon (Geotrygon carrikeri)
  • Shrew (Cryptotis nelsoni)
  • Topote (Poecilia catemaconis), exclusive fish from Lake Catemaco.
  • Pepesca (Bramocharax caballeroi)
  • Snake Snake (Sibon linearis)
  • Scorpion lizard (Mesaspis moreletii)

Endangered animals in Veracruz

As we have already been commenting, despite the great biodiversity that characterizes this Mexican state, degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitats are some of the main causes that have led to almost more than 800 species of fauna of Veracruz are in danger of extinction (PE). Some of these animals are:

Porion Jicote (Argyripa porioni)

This black beetle with irregular yellow spots inhabits the tropical forests of Veracruz, Oxaca and Chiapas in Mexico. Characterized by its nocturnal habits, the jicote is strongly threatened by anthropic activities that destroy the environment in which they are found, which leads to consider that their state of conservation is in danger of extinction.

Tlaconete (Chiropterotriton lavae)

The opossum is a small, dark-colored salamander that feeds mainly on insects and insect larvae. It is possible to find this amphibian in pine and holm oak forests, where they take refuge in the bromeliads of the tree canopy. This species has only been observed in the state of Veracruz, specifically in an area of volcanic origin known as La Joya. Despite its exclusivity, the tlaconete is a critically endangered species as a result of the various threats to which it is subjected, which have led to the destruction of its habitat, such as mining activities, urbanization and livestock.

Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii)

The Morelet's crocodile, a swamp or black lizard, distributed from the northern Gulf of Mexico to Central America, inhabits mainly fresh water bodies. In Veracruz it is possible to find it in mangrove areas, swamps or coastal lagoons. This species is in danger of extinction since it has been threatened by the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting.

Real duck (Cairina moschata)

This large duck, with black plumage with white spots, is distributed from Mexico to Argentina and Uruguay, occupying regions with a tropical and subtropical climate, specifically wetlands, lagoons, streams or rivers. Regarding its conservation status, this species is heavily threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and domestication.

Saraguato or brown howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana)

This primate that inhabits tropical forests, cloud forests and riparian mangrove forests is considered an indicator species. Despite its ecological importance, its conservation is also subject to various threats such as: hunting, illegal animal trafficking, deforestation, fragmentation and destruction of its habitat, etc.

Other endangered animals in Veracruz

  • Hawk butterfly (Thysania agrippina)
  • Tuxtla partridge pigeon (Geotrygon carrikeri)
  • Yellow-headed parrotAmazona oratrix magna)
  • Sea cow (Trichechus manatus manatus)
  • Green jicote with hammer (Cotinis sphyracera)
  • Mayate de Catemaco (Phyllophaga catemacoana)

Now that you know more about how is the flora and fauna of Veracruz, we encourage you to continue learning about biodiversity with these other posts:

  • Flora and fauna of Jalisco.
  • Flora and fauna of Chiapas.
  • Flora and fauna of Mexico.
  • Animals in danger of extinction in Mexico.
  • Plants in danger of extinction in Mexico.

If you want to read more articles similar to Flora and fauna of Veracruz, we recommend that you enter our Biodiversity category.

  • Atlas of the flora of Veracruz. A natural heritage in danger. Veracruz State Government, 1810, 1910, 2010 Veracruz and University of Veracruz. Recovered from: http://docshare02.docshare.tips/files/23198/231988277.pdf
  • Hernández Baz, F. and Rodríguez Vargas, D. U. (2014). The red book of the fauna of the State of Veracruz. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalredlist.org/files/2015/11/El-libro-rojo-Fauna-del-estado-de-Veracruz-Mexico-2014-COMPRESSED.pdf
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