Guide: Animals in Mexico

July 6th 2023 in Explore
Guide: Animals in Mexico

Animals in Mexico

From the arid deserts of northern Mexico to the rocky inclines of its many mountain ranges and the humid jungle of the south, Mexico has a climate designed to accommodate a wide diversity of animals.

Spider Monkey

The spider monkey is a cute tiny species with big eyes and long limbs. It is native to Mexico's tropical rainforest and woodland regions. You're likely to see these lovely critters in southern Mexico, and because they tend to congregate in groups, they're effortless to spot!

Chiapas, Yucatán, Veracruz, and other dense jungle areas are good places to look for them.


This strange-looking critter is in grave danger of extinction. The species has become something of a poster child for Mexican wildlife conservation. The word axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) derives from Nahuatl and refers to a species that lives in the rivers and lakes of Central Mexico (although it is currently almost exclusively found in Xochimilco).

Xochimilco is where you'll find them.


The cacomistle (Bassariscus sumichrasti), also known as the cacomiztle or cacomixtle, is a native Mexican mammal resembling a cross between a monkey and a cat. Yes, indeed! These hairy little fiends get their name from the Aztec language, Nahuatl and can be found in the southeastern forests. They are nocturnal and prefer to spend their time in trees, easily hopping from branch to limb.

Southern Mexico is where you'll find them.

Prairie dog

The Mexican prairie dog is neither a dog nor a grassland dweller. The Mexican prairie dog, typically found in tiny groups in northern regions, is more closely related to the groundhog than any other type of dog. Furthermore, they dwell in warrens rather than kennels. While it was once considered a pest, it is now regarded as critical to the ecosystems in which it lives.

Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosi, and Zacatecas are the states where you can locate them.


The ocelot is a sleek and elusive huge cat that prefers to sleep in trees during the day. The ocelot is frequently mistaken for a little jaguar at first, given their many similarities. These creatures can be found throughout South America and on several Caribbean islands.

They can be found in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Yucatán.

Vaquita Porpoise

The vaquita porpoise is one of the world's smallest and most endangered cetaceans, known in Spanish as vaquita marina (literally sea cow'). In fact, with only 30 remaining in the wild, it's nearly impossible to witness one in its natural habitat. Seeing a vaquita porpoise in Mexico's Gulf of California would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

They can be found in the Gulf of California.


The coati is a member of the raccoon family with a long nose, striking markings, and powerful double-jointed limbs. They love to dig and are quite intelligent due to their physiology. Coatis are primarily threatened by unregulated hunting and the degradation of their natural habitat, and there is widespread concern about their long-term survival.

Where to find them: Oaxacan, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo forests.


The cenzontle, also known as the northern mockingbird, can mimic the cries of other birds, animals, and even humans. While they can be found across Mexico, North America, and Cuba, they are uncommon in Europe.

Northern Mexico is where you'll find them.

Grey Wolf

The Mexican grey wolf is only about the size of a large domestic dog, yet it runs and hunts in packs and can be extremely aggressive. They were once critically endangered, but captive breeding and conservation initiatives in the 1970s ensured their survival.

Where to find them: They are most commonly found in northern Mexico, near the US border.


Because the xoloitzcuintli is a domestic dog breed, this may be the easiest native animal sighting. These odd-looking hairless dogs, an emblem of Mexico, are normally black, with patches of white skin. Despite their lack of hair, they occasionally have tufts of hair on the tops of their heads. The Aztecs ate the xoloitzcuintli and viewed it as a guardian and protector. They are still highly valued and pricey pets in modern Mexico.

They can be found all over Mexico.


Finally, we conclude our tour with a native bird that is more colourful and brilliant than the cenzontle mentioned above. The quetzal, a member of the trogon family, prefers to reside in tropical highlands. There are several species of quetzal, many of which can be found in the far south of the United States, Mexico, and even Guatemala. Quetzal is a Nahuatl word that approximately translates to 'big bright tail feather.'

They can be found in humid woods and forested places all over Mexico.