Flowers of the temperate zone are found in great numbers. Of particular interest is the orchid family, which includes the white nun (monja blanca) , the national flower. There is also an abundance of medicinal, industrial, and fibrous plants.
Indigenous fauna includes the armadillo, bear, coyote, deer, fox, jaguar, monkey, puma, tapir, and manatee. The national bird is the highland quetzal, the symbol of love of liberty, which reputedly dies in captivity. Lake Atitlán is the only place in the world where a rare flightless waterbird, the Atitlán (giant piedbilled) grebe, is found; this species, classified as endangered, has been protected by law since 1970. There are more than 900 other species of native birds, as well as migratory varieties. Reptiles, present in more than 204 species, include the bushmaster, fer-de-lance, water moccasin, and iguana.