Flora and fauna
Strolling along the Costalegre you will recognize an infinity of banana orchards, for their immense leaves, for the green of the valleys in which they grow, for the mysterious and shady roads that surround them. In this region of Jalisco grow six types of banana: dwarf, Dominican, male, apple, pear and rattan. The plantations offer an important source of income for farmers. The production process is long, and the plantations require a lot of care.
It starts with planting the head of the plant in the earth, which grows and forms its first stem. They reproduce by creating secondary stems, which, when cut, allow the fruit to grow faster, which is fully grown not earlier than six months after planting the crop. Once the banana is ready to be cut, it is washed and packed in situ. This food is an important source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
Palm trees are a fundamental part of Costalegre landscape. In Cihuatlán, the extensions of palm plantations are simply spectacular. On the road from the municipal seat to Melaque you can see in the distance a huge area of land in which a large plantation of palm trees saturates the environment with wonderful green tones.
There are two types of palm trees. The sheet is essential to identify them. One is the palmate type (the shape is like a fan). Another is the one with pinnate leaves as a bird. An example of these are the palm trees that produce dates. Besides being beautiful, palm trees are used to make different products such as furniture, ceilings, baskets, hats, ropes also constitute an excellent source of food such as coconut, oil, wine, liquor, honey, etc.
The scientific name of the palms is Arecaceae or palmae. They are monocotyledonous plants and the most valuable species, from the productive point of view are the coconut tree, date palm, palmetto and rattan.
The Costalegre is an area with a large presence of various species of birds, 270 to be exact, 22 of them endemic. In autumn and winter migratory birds visit from the north. Some of the best known are the American Avocet, which usually lives in estuaries, lagoons and marshes; The Tricolor Heron, a mainly aquatic bird that nests in shrubs near the ground or the ground itself and is recognized by its yellowish neck and bluish beak.
The gray and humpback whales travel from the northern seas to give birth to their young in the winter months. They live up to 40 years and can stay in the water for up to 30 minutes. The impressive spectacle of sighting the marine giants can be enjoyed watching them jump on the horizon, listening to their songs below the water, or approaching to accompany them in their swim from a boat.
On moonless nights, or where the clouds cover the brightness of the stars, when swimming in the sea you can see how light beams form, like fireflies in the water. This interesting phenomenon is called Bioluminescence and occurs when there is a high concentration of unicellular microalgae Dinoflagellates, which when disturbed by the waves generate a chemical reaction that produces flashes of light.
At the beginning of the fall the female turtles, native of the area, return home to nest. For 45 days the eggs the size of golf balls will remain exposed to the temptation of poachers. At birth they will have to climb the shell to the surface of the sand and reach the sea, avoiding all kinds of natural predators such as crabs and seagulls.
Those who manage to reach the water will then have to make their way between streams, hungry fish, sharks and humans with nets to look for food, before a week goes by, and if they succeed, grow to mate, for 15 years after starting a new cycle.
You can collaborate in the various turtle protection camps along the Costalegre to ensure that humans do not interrupt the reproduction process of the various species that nest on the coast, such as the lute, olive ridley and black shell.
If you decide to participate, follow the guides' instructions, which include not turning on lights at night, as that is when the turtles come out to spawn. Do not drive on the beach, it is not known if there are already nests on the coast; and above all, do not touch them, because they can get distracted and return to the sea before leaving their eggs.
The ticuz, favorites of the settlers of the coast, not because of their orange carapace, or their strange and lopsided walk, but because they taste so good when cooked, they live in the hills that surround the coast.
When the summer arrives, with the first rain, they go down by thousands to mate on the beach. Maybe you have witnessed how the roads tend to be filled with them, since unfortunately they are usually located right on the path that takes them to their destination year after year.
If you have the fortune of being on the coast during the first rain of the storm, look for some remote beach and wait to be surrounded by these curious little animals that, despite their unfriendly appearance, are totally harmless.
Caring for the environment
"Beaches for life" program
Some coastal municipalities have taken concrete actions to protect the environment and promote a conservationist culture among the inhabitants.
In Cihuatlán the program "Beaches for life, tourism, adventure, sustainability" was formed. It invites tourists to be more sensitive and committed to their environment, as well as to enjoy the natural biodiversity of Mexico by respecting the natural and cultural heritage of the places they visit. As a visitor to the beaches, the specific actions to be taken to take care of the environment are:
Do not contaminate with trash
Use the sanitary facilities of the place you visit
When carrying food or drinks, do not leave the waste on the beach, or near the waves, but take them back with you if there are no nearby garbage dumps.
Do not take plants, animals or shells with you, but take photographs to remember them.
Follow the designated paths or trails.
Never buy products derived from endangered species, such as animal skins, turtle eggs or bird feathers.
If you encounter a wild animal during its journey, do not disturb it; the most likely thing is to get away immediately.
This program seeks to protect biodiversity and promotes sustainable development through the conservation of land, as well as the promotion of ecotourism.
With their help, protected areas are created for the conservation of flora and fauna, reforestation of damaged areas, as well as the promotion of community participation in the protection of their spaces.
To achieve its goals, links are created between communities, government, nongovernmental organizations, institutions and the private sector.