The State of Quintana Roo is named after Andres Quintana Roo, Yucatan’s first poet. In a fateful paradox, this was the first landfall of the Spanish conquistadors (1517); but the last part of Mexico to be conquered. It was designated a federal territory on 1902, but it was not until 1974 that it became a fully-fledged Mexican state, just in time to build Cancun.
Yellow-headed Parrot Amazona oratrix
Quintana Roo has a population of almost 1 million people living in several cities (Cancun, Chetumal, Cozumel, Carrillo Puerto, Isla Mujers and Playa Del Carmen); and many little Mayan towns throughout the state. The climate is hot and humid inland but ocean breezes cool the coastline. It rains in the summer.
The vegetation is mainly low and medium jungle, with a big section of mangroves and some savannah. The whole of the state is rich in both marine and land wildlife; we have part of the second largest coral reef in the world and a big Biosphere reserve where many animals and plants find shelter from development.
Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis
The main protected areas are: Siankaán, Holbox, El Eden, Puerto Morelos, Cozumel reefs and Isla Contoy where ecotours are available so one can enjoy the wildlife. Furthermore, Quintana Roo has probably the friendliest people of all of Mexico (together with all the Yucatan in general).
Siankaán was established as a Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and incorporated into UNESCO`s list of natural world heritage sites in 1987. Covering more than 1.5 million acres along the central coast of the State of Quintana Roo, it is one of the largest protected areas of Mexico. The reserve is composed equally of semi evergreen tropical forest, wetlands & savannas and marine habitat.
The Yucatan peninsula has over 527 bird species in 62 families of which 12 are endemic with 4 endemic subspecies. Siankaán itself is home to more than 345 bird species, including over 1 million wintering migratory songbirds from the US and Canada and the rare Jabiru stork.
The challenge in the area is to promote rational and sustainable use of the natural resources that is compatible with the conservation of the reserve and at the same time beneficial to the local inhabitants; integrating environmental policy into regional development planning.
Text Source: Fatbirder
Photo Source: Ecotours
Map Source: Google Maps