Wildlife displaced by urbanization near Cancun airport
Wildlife in the area of Puerto Morelos from the botanical garden to the vicinity of Cancun International Airport has been displaced by urbanization in recent years, said Javier Carballar Osorio, regional technical manager of Crococun Puerto Morelos Zoo.
“Quintana Roo is not exempt from the growth of the urban area caused by the significant population growth in the region, and conflicts with wildlife are increasing. By not giving them time to adapt to changes, they’re moved from their habitat and have to adapt to new conditions,” he said.
After the disruption occurs, species such as racoons and coatis return to the area, since they adapt easily; other species have more trouble doing it, such as the spider monkey, which began arriving in the region 15 years ago. Before that it was very rare to see them, he explained.
The zoo has an area of two hectares of well preserved tropical forest, with 40 species of the region sich as iguanas, white tailed deer, ocelots, crocodiles, snakes, parrots, iguanas, even monkeys.
They also have in the zoo animals confiscated by environmental authorities, which has enriched the zoo, and therefore the arrivals of spider monkeys.
He noted that when approaching the park people wouldn’t hurt them, besides at that time urbanization was far away, so individuals were born and would go in and out without any physical barrier to prevent it, he explained.
The biologist added that this is the last population of spider monkeys left in the coastal strip, and with the real estate development it is more difficult to leave the park, because they have destroyed their habitat.
Three years ago they built a residential area near that zone, so interaction with people grew, because workers gave food to those species, making the relationship more intense and conflicting.