Alvarado Mangrove Coast
The Alvarado Mangroves Ecoregion in southern Mexico is an extensive area of mangrove swamps mixed in with other habitats such as reed beds and palm forests. The mangroves grow on flat coastal land interspersed with brackish lagoons fed by several small rivers. The swamps are brimming with life, from rays gliding in the calm waters to snails climbing the mangrove roots, whose tangled network protects many fish and invertebrates from predators. Bird life in and around the swamps includes the keel-billed toucan, reddish egret, wood stork, and several species of herons and kingfishers, while the mammalian inhabitants include spider monkeys and West Indian manatees. Some large areas of mangroves in the region have been destroyed, and those that remain are under pressure from logging, agricultural expansion, oil extraction, and frequent oil spills.