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The most important of these is the Ameca, with its one main tributary, the Mascota River.

This river forms the state’s border with Nayarit and empties into the Ipala Bay.

Many of the characteristic traits of Mexican culture, particularly outside Mexico City, are originally from Jalisco, such as mariachi, ranchera music, birria, tequila, jaripeo, etc.

Hence, the state's motto: "Jalisco es México." Economically, it is ranked third in the country, with industries centered in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, the second largest metropolitan area in Mexico.

Jalisco has eight areas under conservation measures totaling 208,653.8 hectares. These areas cover 4.8% of the state and only one, the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve accounts for sixty percent of all legally protected land at 139,500 hectares.

The other protected areas include the Chamela-Cuitzmala Bioshere Reserve (13,143 hectares), Nevado de Colima National Park (10,143 hectares), Bosque de la Primavera (30,500 hectares), Sierra de Quila (15,1923 hectares) and the Marine Turtle Protection Zone (175.8 hectares).

The state is in the central western coast of the country, bordering the states of Nayarit, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Colima and Michoacán with 342 kilometers (213 mi) of coastline on the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Pine dominated areas in lower elevations are only found in the western corner of the state.

Thirteen plant communities are present in the state.

Forty five to fifty percent of the state is characterized by deciduous and sub-deciduous forests.

Over 52% of the bird species found in Mexico live in the state, with 525, 40% of Mexico's mammals with 173 and 18% of its reptile species. One reason for its biodiversity is that is lies in the transition area between the temperate north and tropical south.

It also lies at the northern edge of the Sierra Madre del Sur and is on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, which provides a wide variety of ecological conditions from tropical rainforest conditions to semi arid areas to areas apt for conifer forests.

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