Cozumel, a small island of Mexico, is best known as a tourist hotspot. Even so, it has a wide array of birds and other animals, both endemic inhabitants and migratory visitors, several of which are endangered. Many birdwatchers love to explore the island and see these interesting birds.
One of the rarest endemic birds is the Cozumel Thrasher, which is nearly, if not completely, extinct. A part of the mockingbird family, it is brown and white with a long, curved bill, and said to make a complex, scratchy warbling. After Hurricane Gilbert in September of 1988, the species began a rapid decline. The latest reports of sightings were in 2006, after two more severe hurricanes hit the island.
The beautiful island of Cozumel, once sacred to the Maya Moon Goddess, Ix Chel, became a place of refuge for 17th century pirates. More recently, Cozumel was a place of agriculture, the fishing hundreds of tropical fish, and hunting crocodiles.
American Crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, have claimed their home in many of the fresh or brackish waters of river estuaries, coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps and wetlands. They have also been known to inhabit shallow areas such as ponds and creeks. Living throughout Southern Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, some thousand of these carnivores also take up residence in areas of southern Florida.
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