The fauna of the Mayan world is highly diverse, since there are countless species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals. The exploitation of scallops and other shellfish and edible crustaceans, as well as freshwater and saltwater fish was very important in rivers and coastal regions. Frogs and toads had an important role in the religion because of their association to aquatic and terrestrial environments, as well as the hallucinogenic nature of the Bufo Toad. In the same way the reptiles had a strong symbolism, especially turtles, snakes and crocodiles. Of the birds, stands out the Quetzal and the Macaw for its plumages, as well as a big variety of aquatic and gallinaceous, birds that were important sources of food. As for mammals, species are not large, so tapir is the largest animal. Deer and Peccarys were important sources of food, as well as some species of large rodents, large rodents, as the agouti. Of great importance was the Jaguar, symbol of strength and supernatural power, as well as the Puma and other smaller cats. The Spider Monkey and the Howler Monkey are the only two species of monkeys and also appear as important actors in the mythological narratives.
All this variety of plants and animals can be seen in various natural reserves that are found in each region, many of which are at the same time archaeological parks. It is worth noting that for the Maya has always been important the natural environment, so that communities and archaeological sites surrounded by nature are the most attractive additions to its cultural wealth. In addition, local natural resources conservation allows you to enjoy the traditional regional cuisine, since many ingredients are only found as part of each community near ecosystems.