What are the NATURAL REGIONS of MEXICO - Discover them all!

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Mexico is a land of sun and color. This country located on the American continent is full of wealth. Archaeological richness due to its incredible history with unique monuments such as those left by the Mayans and Aztecs. Gastronomic richness, its tacos, enchiladas and nachos with guacamole, among others, are known and appreciated globally. Cultural richness, characters like Frida Kahlo, Cantinflas or singers like Juan Gabriel have left their mark throughout Latin America and the world for their paintings, philosophy, humor and songs. And, above all, natural wealth, Mexico is a land of forests and sea, of desert and jungle and houses a great life inside, that is why, at Ecologista Verde we are going to talk to you about what are the natural regions of Mexico and what can we find in them.

Mexico states

Currently, Mexico is a federal republic divided into independent and sovereign states, as recognized in the Constitution signed in 1917. The Mexican republic is made up of 32 federative states, 31 of which are self-governing following a republican model in which each has its own constitution and congress, and the last of them corresponds to the Federal District, governed by the Mexican Federation and other organizations.

In detail, the 32 states are the Federal District and the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, State of Hidalgo, Jalisco, State of Mexico , Michoacán de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, Yucatán and Zacatecas.

Western Zone of Mexico

In this area, are the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán. These mainly occupy the Pacific coastal plain, the Sierra Madre Occidental, the main mountain range in western Mexico, the volcanic axis, the basin of the Balsas River, which is one of the longest rivers in the country, the Sierra Madre del Sur and it reaches the southwest of the Mexican highlands.

In this area of Mexico, we can find different natural spaces with characteristic flora and fauna. In the Nayarit valley, you can find plant species such as the ceiba, the guamuchil, the guava, the guácima, grasslands and the tolote. Among its fauna, are the tigrillos, ocelots, jaguars, coyotes, badgers and collared wild boars. On the other hand, in the mountain areas there are abundant trees such as pine, oak, juniper, strawberry tree or oak and animals such as white-tailed deer, puma and wild cat dominate the landscape. On the Nayarit coast, there are also the coconut palm, the cacahuananche, the jiote, the white stick and the pochote.

In addition, the Marías Islands, located 112 km from the State of Nayarit and immersed in the Pacific Ocean, are home to eight species of native seabirds and several species of reptiles.

On the other hand, in the State of Jalisco we find different zones of vegetation and fauna according to the three types of climates that exist. In areas with a warm climate, tropical forests predominate, in areas with a semi-dry climate, there are grasslands and in areas with a temperate climate there are trees such as pines and hazelnuts, ferns and shrubs. You can find animals such as the wolf, the coyote, the jaguar, the puma, the golden eagle and other raptors and various reptiles. Ethnic groups such as the Huicholes, Cuyutecos, Otomí, Nahuas, Purépechas, Pinomes, Tzaultecas and Xilotlantzingas also survive in this area.

Southern states of Mexico

In this area of the country, there are the states of Guerrero, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. These last three are found in the Yucatan peninsula.

  • The State of Guerrero is made up of 7 regions and 81 municipalities, where you can find different beaches such as Playa Paraíso or Playa Michigan, various historical museums and the Cacahuamilpa caves.
  • In Veracruz, divided into 10 regions, you can see El Ojo de Agua, El Salto de Eyipantla or the anthropological museum.
  • In Oaxaca, which has 8 regions, is Huatulco known for its nine bays, the Hierve el Agua waterfalls (waterfalls formed by calcium carbonate deposits), El Monte Abán that has a large plaza where the Aztecs played the famous "game de pelota ”, the city of Zicatela known by surfers and Mazunte where the Turtle Center is located.
  • In the state of Chiapas, which is divided into 9 regions, there are natural spaces such as the Sumidero Canyon, the Agua Azul waterfalls or the Chiflón, the architectural ruins of Terán Fuentes and San Cristóbal de las Casas.
  • On the other hand, Yucatán is a legendary land with important archaeological sites, stately cities, caves, cenotes, beaches, Mayan communities and a great culture (gastronomy, music, etc.).
  • Campeche, with its 11 municipalities, is famous for its fortified cities built to protect itself from pirates.
  • Finally, the State of Quintana Roo, located on the Caribbean coast, has Mayan ruins, sandy beaches and underwater caves. In addition, to the northeast is the tourist city of Cancun, the Nichupté Lagoon Nature Reserve and beaches with coral reefs. Off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is surrounded by reefs and is home to several nature trails.

In addition, Mexico has several types of natural regions that we will describe below.

Rainforest of Mexico

The humid jungle It can be found in the regions of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas and Veracruz. The greatest exponent of these forests is the Lacandon jungle, located between Chiapas, Yucatán and Guatemala

The climate of these ecosystems is characterized by abundant rains, which in addition to favoring the existence of an important arboreal canopy, humid and leafy environments, creates very mighty rivers. The temperatures in these areas are mild and range between 23 ° C and 25 ° C.

The flora of this place includes orchids, trees such as mahogany, ebony, banana, guayacán, and the like. Among the great diversity of its fauna, mammals such as the jaguar and an immense variety of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and fish stand out.

Dry forest of Mexico

This ecosystem extends from the Coastal Plain of the Pacific Ocean, through the Balsas River Depression, Sinaloa, the southeastern peninsula of Baja California and some areas of the Sierra Madre del Sur until reaching Guatemala.

The dry forest it is not as lush as in the previous case and the vegetation is characterized by being smaller and not occupying all the available territory. In addition, in this case, the arboreal vegetation is mixed with shrubs that are smaller in size and, in addition, many of them have transformed their leaves into thorns to avoid the loss of water. It is an adaptation to a less humid climate and higher temperatures.

However, these areas continue to host a huge diversity of species. Among the flora, the cactus, colorful, copales, huizaches, mesquites and papelillos stand out among thousands of other species. Finally, the fauna includes mammals such as squirrels, armadillos, skunks or weasels, there are birds such as chachalacas, reptiles such as snakes, iguanas and turtles, as well as species of insects and worms.

Learn more about the ecosystem of the Dry Forest: characteristics, flora and fauna in this other Green Ecologist article.

Deserts of Mexico

The deserts They are of great scenic importance in this country, since almost half of the country is desert. Unlike in the jungles, in these places the water is scarce and the temperatures are very high during the day, due to the absence of vegetation, the nights are terribly cold.

In these places we can find highly adapted and specific species of them, such as thorny and / or succulent plants. They stand out, above all, The Cactus, and that is that Mexico has 60% of the planet's cactus species.

As for the fauna, the coyotes, roadrunners and pronghorn stand out, as well as species of reptiles, especially snakes and lizards and dangerous species of arachnids, such as scorpions.

Without a doubt, the most important deserts in Mexico are The Chihuahuas Desert, the Sonoran Desert and the Tehuacán Valley.

Here we explain in more detail the Characteristics, flora and fauna of the desert ecosystem.

Forests of Mexico

Forests are mainly made up of pines or oaks. Mexico is home to 50% of the total diversity of pine trees on the planet. These are located in the mountain systems of the Sierras de Chiapas, Baja California, the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Transversal Volcanic System and Oaxaca.

Also of special relevance are the cloud forests, which are characterized by their humidity due to the presence of the fog that covers the forests continuously. Unfortunately, these ecosystems are disappearing due to the increasing advance of coffee crops, fruit trees and extensive livestock farming.

Shrublands and grasslands in Mexico

The scrub and grassland landscapes are not very abundant in the Mexican region, but they are of vital importance, since numerous plant species of grasses, many of them are cultivable like wheat. They occupy around 12% of the territory and are found in the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Zacatecas and others.

The scrub and grassland ecosystems They are inhabited by grazing species, but also by steppe birds, such as quail or falcons, and mammals such as wild boars, prairie dogs, and coyotes.

Marine region of Mexico

The marine region is located on the coasts of the country. Mexico is bathed by the Atlantic Oceans, to the east, and the Pacific, to the west. Communities of living beings are adapted to the specific conditions of each ocean (temperature, currents, salinity) and, therefore, are very diverse. There are communities adapted to both sandy and rocky substrates.

The marine species richness of Mexico is extraordinary:

  • There are more than 300 species of jellyfish, corals and anemones.
  • More than 4,000 species of mollusks, including octopus, snails or clams.
  • More than 5,000 species of crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, crabs and lobsters.
  • About 2,500 species of fish (swordfish, sailfish, branches), sharks and rays.
  • More than 50 species of marine mammals.
  • More than 11 species of turtles and crocodiles.

Unfortunately and as always due to human action, in recent decades, many of the species have been classified as in danger of extinction due to overfishing and little care for the marine environment.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are the natural regions of Mexico, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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