Creation of a new natural reserve in Quintana Roo is now underway to preserve and protect local wildlife and the environment.
Located in northeastern Tulum, the highly-anticipated project, called the Jaguar National Park, will be the second-largest protected area in the state at 2,258-hectares after Sian Ka’an, which occupies 528,147 hectares.
The initiative was first announced in late 2022 by the Mexican government, with the goal of protecting the country’s natural, cultural and historical wealth by preventing further urbanization.
Román Meyer Falcón, head of the Ministry of Agrarian, Land and Urban Development (Sedatu), specified at the time that the project will promote territorial planning by taking care of the natural and cultural wealth of the Riviera Maya and will be carried out with the support of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).
“The aim is to stop excessive urban growth, particularly in the city of Tulum and other surrounding areas, and to be able to preserve the environment,” Falcón said. “Sedatu and Semarnat are collaborating to turn the park into a space for healthy coexistence with the environment and an international benchmark for the conservation of ecological heritage.”
Falcón further explained that the new park will include the restoration of degraded areas, the development of productive activities, such as beekeeping to care for the ecosystem, strategies for the conservation of flora and fauna with an emphasis on endemic species, such as the jaguar to promote their protection and reproduction, in addition to delimiting the surface to avoid future disruption.
The project will also create passageways so that the local species can circulate freely. Mexico’s natural protected area is home to 928 species, the majority of which are endemic with some on the brink of extinction, including the jaguar, after which the park is named. In an effort to preserve the area’s native plant and animal life, the new regulation makes it a crime to introduce genetically modified organisms or invasive species, extract plants, animals, soil or ground cover, while any destruction of habitats within the protected area will be strictly prohibited.
Tulum has surged in popularity in recent years due to the magnetism of its beautiful beaches, lush landscape and rich ancient history that melds with modern resorts and entertainment offerings that appeal to a diverse and cosmopolitan crowd. The uniqueness of Tulum’s environment has, in consequence, led to rapid development and soaring prices that have put some of its treasured natural resources in danger. Jaguar National Park is an important step to preserve and nurture the area’s native fauna and flora, while also educating those who live and visit to enjoy and take care of Tulum as an eco-tourist destination. Beachgoers will also soon be able to access the park and archeological zone directly from seven different locations.
Learn more about Tulum’s new Parque Nacional del Jaguar by watching the video below. English subtitles can be applied.