Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve
Natural Areas > Quintana Roo
The Banco Chinchorro complex is part of one of the most diverse Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems, as more than 1,013 species have been recorded here. The practices that have been implemented in this area have managed to maintain it in an excellent state of conservation. It has over 20% coverage of live coral and is also an ideal place for the reproduction of snails, lobster and other marine life.
It is located in the Caribbean, off the coast of Quintana Roo, and forms part of a set of emerged sandy beaches: Cayo Norte (0.9 km²), Cayo Centro (5.6 km²) and southern Cayo Lobos (0.2 km²). It is separated by 30 km of coastline, so it can only be reached by sea from Majahual and Xcalak.
Of the marine fauna, sea grasses and algae are the dominant vegetation. The most common land vegetation is red mangrove and coconut tree. The fauna of the coral reef includes species such as elkhorn coral, fire coral, mountain coral, star coral, lettuce leaf coral, brain coral, staghorn coral, giant conch and spiny lobster. It has nesting and resting area for migratory birds. The spawning areas of loggerhead, hawksbill and white turtles can be seen in its northern and central cays. The species of crocodile that inhabits this reserve has been protected by law under the special protection category.
Banco Chinchorro is a unique feature in Mexico due to its geology, size and marine biodiversity.