Mexico nature

Articles in ‘Mexico nature’

Tourist paradise – Coati opportunity!

July 29th, 2011

Idyllic Mexican beaches, the natural park of the Iguazu Falls . . . some of the most beautiful landscapes of Central and South America happen to be habitats of the coati, who has found in the tourist a new opportunity. Rather than fleeing the human invaders, coatis have become efficient at hoovering up their food scraps. They converge in numbers wherever pickings are rich, creating a forest of ringed tails, held high and upright as they scour the zone.

Tourists are enchanted with their fearless nature, and will even forgive blatant sandwich-snatching in return for a good photo opportunity.  Long coati snouts are good for investigating rubbish bins, and non-retractable claws are perfect for ripping open lunch bags, even as the owner is walking along.

So what is a coati? Some kind of giant rodent? The handsome stripy tail puts you in mind of a lemur. In fact, they are members of the racoon family.

More coati facts

  • The tails come in handy when the coati troop is in tall vegetation, visible when held erect.
  • Coati groups are made up of females and young males.  Mature males are solitary.
  • They nest and sleep in trees.
  • As versatile omnivores, their natural diet includes fruit, insects and worms. Larger males will capture rodents.
  • Found in Central and South America: Nasua nasua in the south of its range and Nasua narica in the north

The tourist-coati interplay means photographic evidence of their activities is abundant.  Some good selections here:

Vegetarian spider

October 12th, 2009 The first vegetarian spider has been discovered in Central America and Mexico. Bagheera kiplingi feeds mainly on the tips of the acacia plants. It also occasionally supplements its diets with ant larvae. BBC

Axolotl on edge of extinction in the wild

August 27th, 2009 The axolotl is a bit of an amphibian oddball. It uniquely spends its whole life in its larval form. Now, a new survey suggests that between 700 and 1,200 survive in six reduced and scattered areas within the Xochimilco area of the Mexican Central Valley, making its long term survival critical. Recent evidence suggests that the population has declined alarmingly in recent decades. For example, in 1998 there were thought to be around 6,000 axolotls per square kilometre of the Xochimilco. By 2004 just 1,000 lived in the equivalent area, and by 2008 around 100 animals survived per square kilometre: a 60-fold reduction in ten years. Water quality is one of the main factors driving the axolotl to extinction in the wild. Other factors include introduced carp and disease. BBC