Mexico is a country that has a great variety of ecosystems due to its geographical location, which favors the diversity of species, both flora and fauna. Thanks to this, it is among the 4 richest nations in the world in biological terms. However, in the last decades, this country is suffering the massive loss of some of its most exotic or emblematic species.

Animal extinction is a natural process of evolution, and throughout history there have been mass extinctions at certain times when environmental conditions changed. Today, however, many species are becoming extinct more rapidly than they did in the past. Man, directly or indirectly, is largely responsible.

Animals and species in danger of extinction in Mexico

Scientists warn that in the next 30 years half a million species may disappear around the planet . Obviously, Mexico is one of the nations that may suffer the most losses in this regard.

If you want to know which vertebrate animals are most at risk, below you can find a list with 16 species of animals that may become extinct in Mexico .

  • You may be interested in: “The 15 most poisonous animals in the world”

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and margay (Leopardus wiedii)

The ocelot and the ocelot are two very similar cats, with a long and strong body and rounded and erect ears. They are distinguished by their size, as the ocelot is somewhat larger. The ocelot is characterized by having a fairly long tail in comparison with its body. This animal is really curious and adorable, and is in serious danger of becoming extinct.

You can get a better idea of what it’s like with this video:.

2. Jaguar

The jaguar is one of the largest cats on the planet. In Mexico, it can be found mainly in the tropical forests of Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Its anatomy is unique, characterized by a large head and powerful teeth compared to other cats, which makes it have one of the most powerful and feared bites in the animal kingdom. This allows jaguars to face crocodiles and alligators. The jaguar is an important symbol in the Mexican culture , but at present there are about 4000 species left in this country.

3. Prairie dog

The prairie dog is more closely related to squirrels and marmots , and is a species generally found in northeastern Mexico. It feeds on the vegetation near its habitat and on some small seeds, cacti and climbing plants, sometimes also on insects. It is considered an endangered species since 1970.

4. Teporingo

The teporingo is the smallest rabbit in Mexico, and is located in the central part of the neovolcanic axis of this country , in high areas, where there is great abundance of pine forests and dense grasses. It is, together with the pikas, the only council that emits vocalizations as part of their habits.

5. Vaquita

It is one of the four most endangered marine species in the world. This species is endemic to Mexico, and stands out as the smallest cetacean on the planet. Currently there are just under 50 specimens .

The vaquita inhabits the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta, a nature reserve protected by the government of Mexico that lies between the states of Baja California and Sonora.

6. Ajolote

It is a salamander with the unusual characteristic of retaining its childlike features in adult life , which is known as “neoteny”. It is found in the lake complex of Xochimilco, near Mexico City. It lives permanently in the water, but in strange cases it decides to come to the surface. It can reach a length of up to 30 cm.

7. Coqueta de Guerrero

The coquettish Warrior (Lophornis brachylophus) is a tiny, exotic hummingbird , a kind of flying jewel, in reference to its striking coloration. Males have a reddish crest with bronze-green upperparts, reddish underparts and a glossy green throat. Females have no crest.

8. Mexican Tamandua

The Mexican tamandua is a type of medium-sized anteater that stands out for its colorfulness. It is a solitary animal, which is more active at night. It spends a lot of time in the trees and feeds mainly on ants and termites. The Mexican tamandua is one of the endangered species.

9. Bare Tailed Armadillo

The bare-tailed armadillo is an animal that is close to extinction. It is found only in the evergreen tropical forests of eastern Chiapas. It is not a species that suffers from hunting since its meat has a very penetrating smell. However, the inhabitants of the area believe that it is a bad animal and they kill it without consideration.

10. Tapir

The Central American tapir is also an endangered species, it can be found mainly in southeastern Mexico. It is not an animal prone to move, due to its poor agility and weight. Due to deforestation its population has decreased notably . There are around 1500 specimens left.

11. West Indian manatee

A harmless animal that has a great history in Mexico. In ancient times, the Mayans predicted the climate depending on whether these animals swam or not. This species belongs to the family of sirenian mammals and is similar to the sea lion. In recent times the number of manatee specimens has decreased considerably, largely because their meat has begun to be marketed. According to the latest data, there are less than 2000 specimens left.

12. Spider monkey

The spider monkey ( Ateles geoffroyi ) is in serious trouble, as it is in danger of extinction. This type of monkey is a species of primate that belongs to the family_ Atelidae_, and it is possible to find it in Central America, southern Mexico and even in Colombia and Ecuador. It is a large monkey, which can weigh up to 9 kg .

13 .Red Macaw

This beautiful species of macaws is highly valued today for its rarity and the richness of its colours . Already in ancient times it represented the Mayan god Vucub-Caquix. The reason for its more than possible extinction is the high price this bird has on the market, which sells for 1,000-2,000 dollars.

14. Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is one of the historical symbols of Mexico. It is an animal of unparalleled beauty, which stands out among the wildlife for its great speed when it takes flight. The reason why this bird is in danger of extinction is, of course, the invasion of man in its natural habitat. There are about 100 pairs left in the whole country .

15. Loggerhead sea turtle

Loggerhead turtles do not nest in Mexican territory; however, it is possible to find them when they migrate from Japan. This precious turtle is in danger of extinction, since the poaching of its eggs has caused that few specimens remain alive . This has forced the government to deploy a strong control device to prevent the species from disappearing.

16. Mexican Grey Wolf

This wolf species is smaller than the North American wolf . As a curiosity, it is necessary to point out that at the moment of its birth it is blind and deaf, and continues to be so until it reaches 65 days of age. In 1976 it was declared an endangered species, and has remained so ever since. At present there are 300 specimens left.