Free and Sovereign State of Tabasco

Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum ©Rolando Chavez
Birding Tabasco

Tabasco is a state located in Southeast Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the west, Chiapas to the south, and Campeche to the north-east. Also, to the east Tabasco borders with the Petén department of Guatemala, and to the north with the Bay of Campeche (part of the Gulf of Mexico). Tabasco is located between the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Yucatan Peninsula. The state covers 24,731 km2, which is about 1.3% of Mexico’s total. The state capital is Villahermosa. Tabasco has a hot and humid tropical climate. The average annual temperature is 27C with high temperatures averaging 36C. Hotter months are May and June. Tabasco has abundant year round precipitation. The state receives an average annual rainfall of 2,550mm. Rain occurs all year but is particularly heavy from June to October. The flat, low-elevational areas of the state are subject to frequent flooding. According to the 2010 national census, Tabasco has 2,238,603 habitants.

Tabasco has an international airport. Its economy is oil and agricultural based. Mayor crops are bananas, corn, cacao and lemons. Cattle is produced abundantly. The state has many different environments, including tropical rainforest, mangrove forests, beaches, lowland savanna, and water in all its forms: lagoons, rivers, marshes and the sea. Originally, most of the territory was covered with tropical rainforest and wetlands. Much of the rainforest has suffered degradation due to over logging and conversion into farmland. Along the state there are swampy depressions extremely vulnerable to flooding from both river flow and from excessive rainfall. In the south of the state there are some elevations which are part of the central mesa of Chiapas.

However, Tabasco still has habitat for the widest variety of wildlife, from birds such as parrots and hummingbirds to various kinds of reptiles, such as iguanas, crocodiles and snakes. Approximately, 520 bird species frequent this area, roughly half of the species encountered in Mexico. Mammal species have declined because of deforestation, but still include spider and howler monkeys, jaguars, pumas, raccoons, anteaters, deer, and wild boar. Most the intact rainforest is found in the municipalities of Tenosique, Balancán, Macuspana, Teapa, Tacotalpa, Cárdenas and Huimanguillo. Rainforests contain species such as mahogany, cedar, various types of palms, ceiba, willows and many more. There are many types of orchids native to the state. Tropical savannah is mostly found in the south and in the west part of the state, mixed in with areas of rainforest. The wetlands are dominated by the most extensive mangrove forests in Mexico. There are four main types of mangroves locally called red, white, black and ‘prieto’. Most of the wetlands of the state are located in the Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve. The abundance of fresh water in wetlands and river areas supports a wide variety of aquatic life such as freshwater gar, snook, tarpon, tilapia, crocodiles, various species of turtles and frogs, and many species of native and migratory waterfowl. In larger bodies of water manatees can be found. In the brackish and salt water lagoons various ocean species are found along with shellfish and mollusks. Major rivers include the Mezcalapa, Grijalva, Pichucalco, Chacamax, Usumacinta, San Pedro y San Pablo and Tonala.

According to the state government, Tabasco has 11 state-natural protected areas and two federal ones. All these areas encompass 15.2% of the territory of the state. The most famous protected area is the Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve.

Guides & Tour Operators
  • ecoTOURS

    Tour Operator
    Mayan Birding and Culture Adventure - We pay visits to world famous Mayan archaeological sites surrounded by lush forests and full of many great species. We also explore various other habitats: different forests, wetlands, mangroves, Caribbean beaches, coastal desert-like scrub and thorn forests, all with their own unique rich flora and fauna, including some endemics as well
Trip Reports
  • 2016 [01 January] - Tabasco Birding Tours - Villa de Guadalupe

    PDF Report
    This trip reports covers a two-day visit to a rural community called “Villa de Guadalupe” located in the southwestern part of Tabasco, in Mexico. Three states converge on the area (Veracruz, Chiapas and Tabasco), so the birding here can be full of surprises.
  • 2016 [06 June] - Rolando Chavez

    PDF Report
    ...We also encountered Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, the resident Rufous-capped Warbler (ssp. salvini) with its mostly yellow under parts, and the always astonishing Crimson-collared Tanager...
Photographers & Artists

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