Area of Protected Flora and Fauna called Yum Balam
In the Mayan language, Yum Balam means “Lord Jaguar.” The area with this name extends over 154,000 hectares or about 380,000 acres. It is located in the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas in the state of Quintana Roo. Yum Balam is bordered by the beautiful coasts of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. It includes Holbox Island, the Conil Lagoon and an extensive zone of mangrove swamp.
This is a protected area of flora and fauna, established in 1994 by Federal Decreem designated as a Natural Protected Area. In this place of beautiful scenery and crystalline waters, migratory birds, dolphins and domino sharks abound. It also contains large extensions of wetlands and tropical jungles, rich in flora and fauna, that harbor endemic species that are threatened and in danger of extinction.
The local communities of Chiquila, San Angel, Solferino, San Eusebio and Francisco May are found in the zone influence of Yum Balam, since they are located within a fringe of 15 kilometers, about 9.3 miles of the borders of Yum Balam. The head municipality of Kantunilkin is located about 23 kilometers or 14.3 miles from the area.
The Coral Reef System of Yum Balam
The Mesoamerican Coral Reef System is an area of great primary productivity due to the fact that the transition from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean is in this zone. The water is enriched by many nutrients coming from the deep currents that ply through the Yucatan Chanel. This generates an enormous production of plankton, touching off the presence of innumerable marine species.