Published On: Mon, Aug 6th, 2018

40 coatis to be removed from Cozumel for being considered ‘harmful to tourists’

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A total of 40 dwarf coatis, an endemic species of the island, could be moved to the continental zone of Quintana Roo and released in the area of ​​Puerto Morelos. After the General Directorate of Wildlife (DGVS) of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), authorized the administration of a hotel in the southern zone, to capture these animals as they consider them “harmful” to the tourists who visit the premises.

Guadalupe Álvarez Chulim de Azueta, an environmentalist in the municipality, announced that she has already filed a complaint with the corresponding authorities for the violation of environmental laws and putting endangered species at risk.

The Nasua narica nelsoni is included in the Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (INUCN), and species at risk within the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010.

Since 2012 experts from the Institute of Ecology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), warned that the accelerated destruction of natural habitat on the island, as a result of human activity, caused the decline of more than 70% of the species. The biodiversity of Cozumel is endangered by the disorganized construction of buildings, infrastructure and forest clearance.

The dwarf coati, which is smaller than its relatives in the continental area, is one of the six endemic vertebrates that inhabit the island along with the rat, the “collector” mouse, the “big ear” mouse, the boar, and the raccoon.

The president of the environmental group Cielo, Tierra y Mar (Citymar), announced that she has information that the management of the Occidental Hotel is already ready to “get rid of the annoying wild animals” which according to them are considered a “plague”.

He regretted that the international hotel chain that chose Cozumel for its beauty and natural attractions, now says that the species that inhabit the area are a nuisance for its guests.

On July 26, the president of Citymar sent the complaint 07/026/07/2018 to José Luis Pedro Funes Izaguirre, the Director General of the Internal Organ of Semarnat.

(Photo: SIPSE)

The conservationist emphasized that these wild organisms are unique in the world and that regardless of whether taking them to a different habitat will only cause the genetics of these specimens to change or disappear in the continental area when exposed to other organisms of the region.

The Occidental Hotel is located on the southern coastal road at kilometer 16.5 and belongs to the Barceló consortium. Barceló operates 245 hotels and 700 travel agencies on four continents, it has its headquarters in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Source: SIPSE

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