Flora and fauna of Jalisco - Characteristics and species

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Jalisco is one of the states of the Mexican Republic that bathe the waters of the Pacific. Its geographical arrangement and heterogeneity of the relief favor the diversity of climates, among which stand out: the warm, the temperate and the dry. Due to the great variety of biomes that it presents, we can find from beaches, mountains and forests to jungles, semi-desert areas and wetlands. With all this, it is possible to think that Jalisco has a great biodiversity. In fact, it is part of the hotspot or Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot.

If you want to delve into the biocenosis of this Mexican state, keep reading this article by Ecologista Verde about flora and fauna of Jalisco where you will discover what species of plants are representative of Jalisco and you will also know some of the fauna species of Jalisco.

Characteristics of the flora and fauna of Jalisco

The Jalisco state houses a large number of species of fauna and at least 25% of the richness of the total flora of Mexico. This biodiversity, intrinsically related to the landscape, the characteristics of the relief and the climatic conditions, is more concentrated in the coastal areas, in forests and in jungles.

Next, some examples of flora and fauna of Jalisco are presented in order to know the important biological diversity that this state harbors.

Flora of Jalisco

The Jalisco vegetation it is different in each of the ecosystems. In general terms, throughout this Mexican state, coniferous and holm oak forests predominate, as well as jungles. Although the grasslands in the northwestern part and scrublands in the Los Altos de Jalisco region also stand out. These environments, as will be explained later, characterize the type of Jalisco plants. In fact, depending on the climates of the area, the distribution of Jalisco's ecosystems and their species vary, so that:

  • In the warm climate we find lianas, mosses, orchids, cedars, lemon trees, coconut trees and banana trees. Also noteworthy are the tropical forests of ceiba, widely resistant to times of drought, and mahogany.
  • In the temperate climate, the pines (including ocotes), firs, ferns and birches stand out. Also nanches, very important in forestry and ecology due to their rapid growth and adaptability to a wide variety of climatic conditions.
  • In the semi-dry climate, it is characterized in terms of flora by grasses, strawberry trees, copals -which have a great medicinal and religious tradition in the area-, wickers (from the willow family) and biznagas, such as the Jalisco biznaga (Mammillaria jaliscana), an endemic Mexican species of the Cactaceae family.

These are just some of the more than 7,000 species of vascular plants that exist in Jalisco. All of them can be classified into two large groups: angiosperms, plants that have flowers, and gymnosperms, plants devoid of flowers. On the one hand, angiosperms are the largest and most diverse group of plants in Jalisco. They predominate in the South Region and the South Coast. Among the flowering species, the following stand out: palm trees and cacti. On the other hand, among the Jalisco flora species, gymnosperms present a majority distribution in the westernmost area, specifically in the Western Sierra-Costa. In this group, firs or oyameles of the genus Abies predominate, very abundant in high mountain areas.

Jalisco fauna

Jalisco is one of the 5 states of Mexico with the greatest biodiversity of fauna. Such is this that it is home to at least 50% of the country's total bird species, 47% of the mammalian species and 15% of the reptiles in Mexico. Despite the ecological importance of this state, not all species have a good state of conservation and, as in other parts of the planet, in Jalisco biodiversity is also highly threatened.

Birds of Jalisco

This part of Mexico has a very rich birdlife, many of the Mexican species being endemic. The region of Los Altos de Jalisco stands out for its great diversity of birds, being possible to find specimens of: American kestrel (Falco sparverius), northern jacana (Jacana spinosa), common buzzard (Coragyps atratus), collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto), pijuy ticker (Crotophaga sulcirostris), collared duck (Anas platyrhynchos), common raven (Corvus cryptoleucus), red cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), etc.

Mammals of Jalisco

Mammals are the group of Jalisco animals most studied by researchers, also one of the most threatened. In the land mammal fauna of Jalisco, rodent species (Pacific gray squirrel or Sciurus colliaei) and bats (like bats) are the most abundant.

However, among the more than 173 species that this state harbors, it is also possible to find important Mexican terrestrial endemisms that do not belong to either of these two taxonomic orders, such as the pygmy skunk (Spilogale pygmaea) or the gray hare (Lepus callotis).

Aquatic animals of Jalisco

With regard to aquatic species, fish, cetaceans and amphibians stand out. On the one hand, freshwater fish are the most abundant aquatic vertebrates, which is why they are widely distributed in rivers and other bodies of water in the Lagunas, Valles and Ciénaga regions. The most significant species can be found in the Cienega region, specifically in Lake Chapala. It's the catfishIctalurus dugesii), of great importance and commercial pressure, whose state of conservation is threatened.

On the other hand, frogs are the type of amphibian that has a greater distribution throughout the state of Jalisco. Among the most outstanding species are: the leopard frog (Lithobates megapoda), the neovalcanica frog (Lithobates neovolcanicus) and the waterfall frog (Lithobates pustulosus). In addition to frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians (which look like a worm) are very common, especially in regions with good water availability such as the South Coast, Central, Western Coast-Sierra, Valles and Sierra de Amula.

In marine and coastal environments, cetaceans such as whales (Balaenoptera edeni, Balaenoptera musculus Y Megaptera novaeangliae), the Dolphins (Delphinus delphis, Feresa attenuata, Grampus griseus, Pseudorca crassidens) and beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.).

Now that you know what the flora and fauna of Jalisco is like, you may want to expand the information by knowing what the Flora and fauna of Mexico is like in general.

Endangered animals in Jalisco

There are currently around 19 species of animals in danger of extinction in Jalisco, of which 8 are birds, 5 are mammals, 2 are fish and 4 are reptiles. Knowing these data, we want to highlight some aspects about the situation of animal species in this Mexican state.

  • As we can see, birds and mammals are the most threatened groups of animals in Jalisco.
  • Among the mammals in danger of extinction, the felines stand out, specifically the jaguar or Panthera onca, the ocelot or Leopardus pardalis (threatened by poaching and the degradation and destruction of their habitat) and the tigrillo o Leopardus wiedii.
  • Also in danger of extinction is the long-tailed shrew from Guadalajara (Sorex mediopua) as a consequence of deforestation and the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) due to illegal trapping and hunting.
  • Of the most threatened bird species we find the lesser grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus), the neovolcanic quail-coluda (Dendrortyx macroura) which is a Mexican endemism, the white-tailed hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) and the goldfinch bugle (Myadestes occidentalis).
  • It should also be noted that all the cetaceans of Jalisco have some type of special protection.

Learn more Animals in danger of extinction in Mexico in this other post.

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

  • Ortega-Ortiz, Christian & Torres, Evelyn & Juarez Ruiz, Ariadna Erendira & Dueñas, María. (2013). Cetaceans off the coast of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275045538_Cetaceos_de_la_costa_de_Jalisco_Colima_y_Michoacan
  • Relevant Mastofauna of Jalisco. M. C. Sergio Guerrero Vazquez. Center for Studies in Zoology, CUCBA. University of Guadalajara. A. P. 1-1919 Guadalajara, Jal., Mex. C. P. 44101. Recovered from: http://siga.jalisco.gob.mx/moet/SubsistemaNatural/Fauna/EspeciesRelevantes/masto.htm
  • Drafting ParatodoMéxico. (March 15, 2022). ParatodoMexico. Fauna of the State of Jalisco. Recovered from: https://www.paratodomexico.com/estados-de-mexico/estado-jalisco/fauna-jalisco.html
  • SECOND SECTION. SECRETARY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. Official Mexican NORM NOM-059-ECOL-2001, Environmental Protection - Mexican native species of wild flora and fauna - Risk categories and specifications for their inclusion, exclusion or change-List of species at risk. Retrieved from: https://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/pdf/NOM-059-ECOL-2001.pdf
  • Birds of the Highlands of Jalisco. iNaturalist. Recovered from: https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/3728
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