Photo: Alejandro Morales
Fauna that was prevalent at the height of the ancestral Mayan culture has survived prolonged droughts, hurricanes and the deleterious effects of climate change on biodiversity in the areas where the cities of that millennial culture stood, experts say.
That is one of the conclusions of expert Alejandro Morales of Guatemala’s Center for Wildlife Rescue, or Arcas, in his presentation on the first day of the 4th World Convention on Mayan Archaeology, which began Friday in the Guatemalan capital.
“Millennial Cities in the Mayan jungles, Urbanism and Environment” is the central theme of the three-day event, at which experts from several countries will present their respective studies on the subject.
Morales, who lectured about “Fauna of the Mayan Jungle and Its Adaptation to Habitat Fragmentation,” told how animal species have managed to survive despite climate change thanks to the natural process of survival.
The scientist bases his hypothesis on multiple archaeological studies made in areas where the Mayas lived, as well as on scientific and paleontological evidence from fauna remains found in their ancient cities.
The Mayan civilization, with its approximately 3,000-year history, inhabited an extended territory in Central America that is today divided into Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and southern Mexico.
The worst threat to felines, reptiles and other species that inhabit the jungles where the Mayan cities stood, according to the expert, is the presence of man, who hunts, traffics and ultimately destroys the fauna.