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ANIMALS OF ECUADOR, LIST OF 25 GREATEST

  1. Jaguar

  2. Mountain Lion

  3. 2 Amazon Dolphin species

  4. Spectacled Bear

  5. Galapagos Sea Lion

  6. 2 Tapir species

  7. Amazon Manatee

  8. White-tailed Deer

  9. Vicuña

  10. Andean Fox

  11. Howler Monkey

  12. Andes Condor

  13. King Vulture

  1. Scarlet Macaw

  2. Brown Pelican

  3. Frigate bird

  4. Cock of the Rock

  5. Galapagos Tortoise

  6. American Crocodile

  7. 3 Caiman species

  8. Anaconda

  9. 3 Iguana Species

  10. Paixe

  11. Amazon catfish

  12. Pirana

 

Ecuador's animals list is among the world's longest. In fact, Ecuador is the world's smallest megadiverse country and has the world's greatest biodiversity per hectare. This diversity is the result of several factors:

  1. It is one of the only 10 continental countries on the equator, most of which are characterized by wet tropical conditions;

  2. Being on the equator, most rainforests have relatively little seasonal variety, allowing more species to survive than in regions with more seasonal fluctuation in precipitation and temperatures;

  3. The Andes divides the country in three zones, each with different sets of species;

  4. The coastal region of Ecuador is in the transition from the world's wettest region in the world, the Choco in Colombia and the southern Andean deserts that start in Peru with countless endemic species.

However, even though having the greatest number of animal species, South America - including Ecuador - has no terrestrial macrofauna, like Africa and Asia. The largest predator is the Jaguar and the largest hoofed animal is the Lowland Tapir, a mid-sized ungulate.

 

On the other hand, with regard to birds and reptiles, Ecuador holds its ground with the world's largest flying bird, the Andes Condor and the giant tortoises of Galapagos. On this page you find the 25 most spectacular animals of Ecuador rainforest list, most of which in high resolution photographs, which you can see at full size by clicking on the pictures.

 

Animals of the Ecuador Rainforest

There is quite a bit of confusion about the diversity of different habitats, the greatest diversity is found in the wet lowlands, where the animals of Ecuador rainforest list is the longest. There is quite a hype about the diversity of the Andes cloud forests, but in fact they are much less diverse than the lowlands, and the number of species decreases dramatically with elevation. Paramos are very species poor for tropical ecosystems.  In fact, about 1000 m, there are only a few fish species of one single genus. Also Mangroves are notoriously poor in species diversity, even though the numbers of some species may be quite large.

 

Endangered species of Ecuador

Being so species rich, there are countless endangered species in Ecuador, many not even known to science. That is why each protected area in Ecuador is so important.

 

Dear visitor, our website gives you info about our National Parks Tours, Cuyabeno Loop, as well as our Cuyabeno  and Cofan Lodges in the Amazon.   For those who want to combine the Exuberant Nature of Ecuador with the Famous culture of Peru, we even have a 7 days Highlights of Peru extension! Here you can find our Prices. Our website has hundreds of high-resolution pictures of National Parks and monuments of Ecuador, with thumbnails that open by clicking on them. If you love our pictures or find our info useful you can help others finding our pages too you can share them from the mobile menu bar with a

 

MAMMALS

Our mammal list of Ecuador has 287 species, the most abundant group being bats, that you can see everywhere, followed by the rodents. This is the complete list of mammals of Ecuador.

 

Monkeys

21 species of monkeys are known from Ecuador with 10 occurring in the Amazon of Ecuador: The Pygmy marmoset, Cebuella pygmaea, is the world's second tiniest monkey.  The Black Mantle Tamarin, Saguinus nigricollis, the Spix's Night Monkey, Aotus vociferans, the Coppery Titi Monkey, Callicebus cupreus, Yellow-handed Titi Monkey, Callicebus lucifer, the Collared Titi Monkey, Callicebus torquatus, the Monk Saki, Pithecia monachus, the Common Squirrel Monkey, Saimiri sciureus, the White-fronted Capuchin Monkey, Cebus albifrons, Long-haired spider monkey Ateles belzebuth, the Red Howler Monkey, Alouatta seniculus, and the Brown Woolly Monkey, Lagothrix lagotricha, many of which can be seen regularly. Monkeys are rarely found above 1000masl.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Brown Woolley Monkey.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Ecuadorian Capuchin Monkeys are common in Cuyabeno.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Yellow Handed Titi Monkey is a common Jungle Animal at Cuyabeno

Brown Woolly Monkey, Lagothrix lagotricha. Below: Yellow-handed Titi Monkey, Ateles belzebuth.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Lowland Tapirs, Tapirus terrestris, love water.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Capybaras, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, as Amazon jungle animals

Lowland Tapirs, Tapirus terrestris, are terrestrial lowland jungle animals but they also are very happy in the water. Highly appreciated for their meat, they are hunted heavily hunted anywhere outside the reserves. One rarely sees one in Cuyabeno and Yasuni National Park, but they are there. Higher up along the Andes occurs the Woolly Tapir, Tapirus Pinchaque, which however is rarely seen.

 

Capybaras, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, are the largest rodents on earth. They live along the banks of rivers and can be frequently seen in Cuyabeno and Yasuni. Of course there are many other species of rodents, and often one can see porcupines.

 

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR:collared Peccaries can have herds of several hundred animals.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: the Virginia Deer is common throughout Ecuador.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: The Andean Red Brocket Deer,  Mazama rufina.

Other native hoofed animals of Ecuador, include both species of peccaries, Collared Peccary, Tayassu tajacu, and the White-lipped Peccary, T. pecari., as well as several species of deer such as White Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, and the Brocket Deer, Manzama americana.

 

ANIMALS OF THE ANDES

While the Andes has far less species than the Amazon, the species composition is very different. Below you will see a few species that are typical for the Andes.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Vicuñas have been successfully introduced at the Chimborazo wildlife reserve.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: The Andean Fox is a canine species somewhere between a fox and a coyote.

Since the 1970s, three camelid species have been introduced: the wild Vicuña and the domestic Llama and Alpaca. As many as 6000+ vicuñas live at the paramos surrounding the Chimborazo and their range continues to expand.

The Andean Fox is a canine species somewhere between a fox and a coyote.

 

Predators

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: rarely seen Amazon Jungle Animal is the Jaguar10 COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK FACTS: Mointain Lion.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Animals of the Amazon Rainforest, Ringtailed Coati.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Giant Otter at the Amazon Rainforest

Most predators live in the lowlands and quite a few of them actually like water or at least tolerate it. Some of the predators include: Both the Jaguar, Panthera onca, and the Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis, like water rich forests; Jaguars are known to actually like swimming. These, and several other species of cats are present in Cuyabeno and Yasuní. Particularly at night, you can see them sneaking across low hanging branches, when you go looking for crocodiles. With a bit of luck, all of a sudden the eyes of a big cat are caught in your flashlight. Both Jaguars, Panthera onca, and Pumas or Mountain Lions, Puma concolor, - which also live in both parks - avoid people and are rarely seen, even by the indigenous people. Both species are on the endangered animals of Ecuador list.

 

The South American coati, or ring-tailed coati, Nasua nasua, is a common predator in the Amazon region. Both the Giant Otter, Pteronura brasiliensis, and the Neotropical Otter, Lutra longicaudis, belong naturally in the eastern lowlands. They do occur however in the major reserves of Ecuador's Amazon region.

 

Besides Mountain Lions, the largest predators are the Spectacles Bear and the Andean Fox.

 

Dolphins

In the a water-drenched Amazon Region, two species of dolphins live in the rivers:

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Pink Dolphin at the Amazon River in CuyabenoANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Tucuxi in the Cuyabeno Lake

The Pink Amazon Dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, can be recognized by its hump-shaped dorsal fin and the more pronounced hump on its head and longer snout. Particularly the males may be pink, but in the Amazon of Ecuador they are mostly gray. The Pink Amazon Dolphin can turn its head 90 degrees each way. Dolphins can be seen almost daily at the Cuyabeno Great Lake, darting around the canoe and sometimes swimming with the swimmers. When the water level is high, dolphins even enter the flooded forest in pursuit of fishes that feed on nuts and seeds from the flooded forest floor.

 

The Gray Amazon Dolphin or Tucuxi, Sotalia fluviatilis, can be recognized by its shark-like triangular dorsal fin. Its belly is lighter and varies from light grey to pinkish. It has a closely related relative in the coastal waters of South America, but that species does not swim as deeply into the Amazon region as the Tucuxi. More so than the Pink Amazon Dolphin, Tucuxis tend to jump out of the water.

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Amazon manitees are often seen in the Cuyabeno Lake

The Amazonian Manatee, Trichechus inunguis, is a species of manatee that lives in the freshwaters rivers and lakes of the Amazon basin and supposedly never leaves for the sea. It is found in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Venezuela. It is closely related to the West Indian Manatee, that also ventures up the Amazon River, but never as deeply inland as the Amazonian Manatee. They are regular visitors of Cuyabeno.

 

Bats

With so many insects to feast on, it is obvious that there are lots of bats in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve:

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Bats are very common animals of the Amazon jungleANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Amazon jungle batANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Hairy bat in the jungleENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Bats may have ugly faces in the Amazon Jungle

There are numerous species of bats in the jungle. Of course, at night you can see them fly in great numbers in the sky. But in daytime too, you can see quite a few of them. Some species hang from low braches above the water, and when you pass by them, they may flya off their resting places and you get to see them from quite nearby. These pictures have been taken by biologists during a bat field study.

 

BIRDS

More than 1650 species of birds have been recorded for Ecuador, making it the most bird diverse country in the world by size.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Scarlet Macaw, Ara macao, in the Amazon JungleANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Brown Pelicans at the Pacific coast.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Kelp Gull at the Pacific coast.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Chestnut-fronted Macaw of the lowland forests.

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Snowy Egrets breed in the mangroves.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Blue and Yellow Macaw of the swamps of the Amazon region.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Blue-footed Boobies breed on Galapagos and Isla de la Plata.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Cock of the Rock are birds of the Andes flanks.

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Common Potoo is a member of the night swallow familyANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Hoatzins are very common at the Cuyabeno Lake.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Mealy Parrot in Cuyabeno.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Muscovy Duck, female.

 

REPTILES

Many reptiles also like a to snatch up insects, although some of them also like other animals of Ecuador for dinner, such as amphibians, birds and even peccaries and deer, as is the case of anacondas and Black Caiman:

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: American Crocodiles live in brackish environments of the Pacific mangrove forests.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Striped Sharpnose Snake.ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Schneider's Dwarf Caiman is one of the 3 species in Cuyabeno.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Green Iguana male at a rock in Guayaquil.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Anacondas can grow to more than 6 meters long.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Turnip Tailed Gecko in Cuyabeno.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: A Green Turtle hatchling taking off to the sea.ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Yellow-footed Tortoises are the only land tortoise of Ecuador's Amazon region.

 

AMPHIBIANS

Other groups of the animal kingdom also love taking it out on insects: the Amphibians:

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Tree frogs in the Amazon JungleANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: big toad in the jungle of the Amazon.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Polka Dot Tree Frog on a leaf.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Some animals are very difficult to find in the Amazon JungleENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Map Tree Frog staring at you.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: A giant toad of the jungle.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Dendropsophus sarayacuensis tree frog in Cuyabeno.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Cochrannella puyoensis.

 

Frogs and toads are extremely common in the Amazon Jungle as well as along the Andes flanks. In fact, most of the nightly concerts are sung by amphibians! Unless you know how and where to look for them, you rarely see them though. Some of those noisy critters are no more than one or two centimeters and they have perfect hiding colors. As soon as they notice you, they keep quiet, but the moment you are gone, they resume their song.

 

FISHES

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Sucker Mouth Catfish.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Peacock Bass of the Amazon.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Bristle-nose Catfish, Amazon.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Preñdadilla of the Andes.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Indians fishing the Amazon in Ecuador.ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Amazon Piranha mouth with teath caught when visiting the Amazon in Ecuador.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Paiche, the Amazon's prehistoric mega fish.

While fishing is no longer allowed in the parks, other than by the Indians for personal use, there are a great number of fishes, including the infamous pirañas, as well as the gigantic Paiches and Amazon Catfish. The coastal ichteofauna is far less diverse and to some extent related to the marine ichteofauna.

 

ARTHROPODS

Of course the jungle is home to a fabulous variety of the most wonderful insects, big and small: colorful moths and butterflies, odd shaped beetles, dragonflies, etc. etc. After more than two decades in the reserve, we learned that for insects, every night is different. Some nights great numbers of very different species are attracted by lights, while other nights insects abound, but most of them only belonging to only a few species. 

 

During nightly excursions in the Amazon, the guides go looking for nocturnal insects on the ground. The Amazon has some really weird looking critters that you only can see at night with flashlights.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Moth with tranparent wings in the JungleANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Moths come at night to the Cuyabeno LodgeENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Yellow moth in the JungleANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Hummingbird Moth at the tropical Jungle

Some evenings, insects come in great variety, while other evenings, only a few different species fly about. Particularly the moths that come after the lights of the lodge, are of great beauty and if you are lucky, you may see a few of these species of the "hummingbirds" of the insect world show off their incredibly rapid wing beats.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Monster Caterpillar in the rainforestANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Social caterpillarsANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Very hairy caterpillarENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Striped Caterpillar

Caterpillars appear in amazing shapes and colors and are always a thankful subject for photographers.

 

Of course their adult life forms are also well-represented. Many diurnal butterflies like to gather at specific places, supposedly to nourish themselves with minerals.

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Yellow butterflies at salt lick along a river bank.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Morphs are common in the Amazon jungle.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Owl butterflies are difficult to spot.ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Butterfly in the Amazon Jungle

 

Spiders and other Arthropods

And then of course there are spiders, in many sizes and colors:

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: A tarantella spiderANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Blue Crabs are caught in Churute Mangrove Reserve.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Spider web.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: Mangrove Root Crab hiding between the roots.

ENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Amazon fresh water crab.ANIMALS OF ECUADOR RAINFOREST: Amazon whip spider Amblypygi are clawed spiders without scorpion tail or poison

At a distance of 3000 km from the sea, there are fresh water crabs in the Amazon. Are they there from ancient days when the Amazon was under the Atlantic Ocean, or did they adapt to fresh water and migrated upstream?

Whip spiders are closest related to the spiders, but are still quite different. They have no silk glands and are different from scorpions by lacking a poisonous tail. They are totally harmless to people.

 

ANIMALS OF ECUADOR LIST: The Andean Condor is the largest bird of South America.The Andean Condor is the largest flying bird in the world and it is on the endangered animals of Ecuador list.

Click for a complete list of the birds of Ecuador.

 

For detailed information on climate and weather conditions read: climate of Cuenca, Ecuador; climate Galapagos Islands in Ecuador; climate in the Amazon of Ecuador and climate of Ecuador. If you want to learn more about the country, read Ecuador Facts. Click here to find out how you can get to see many of these fantastic wild animals, yourself.

 

 

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