Below you can find a complete list of Puerto Rican animals. We currently track 131 animals in Puerto Rico and are adding more every day!
Puerto Rico is a small Caribbean island and an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is in the southeast Caribbean Sea. Puerto Rico is part of the Greater Antilles chain of islands. It borders the Dominican Republic to the east, the Virgin Islands to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
A popular tourist destination, Puerto Rico has mountain peaks, coastal areas, and acres of tropical rainforest. More than one-fourth of the island is covered in mountains and hills. Lush, humid rainforest areas cover the northern part of the island. The southern side has dry, scrubby plains.
Puerto Rico is home to many exotic animal species. It has over 200 unique bird species. The island has no large native mammals, and its small mammals include bats and shrews. Although they are not native, mongooses also live in Puerto Rico.
The Official National Animal of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico does not have an official national animal, but the common coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui) is an important cultural symbol and the unofficial national animal. There are 17 species of coqui, and 14 are endemic to Puerto Rico.
A popular saying on the island is, “De aqui como el coqui,” which translates to, “From here, like the coqui.”
Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Puerto Rico
The waters surrounding Puerto Rico are important breeding areas for humpback whales. Whale watching is a popular activity in Puerto Rico.
- The Caribbean National Forest is a wonderful place to see many of the island’s exotic bat species, including the red fig-eating bat (Stenoderma rufum), sooty mustached bat (Pteronotus quadridens), big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), and Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). It is a protected area where you can see rare species of orchids and the small green Puerto Rican parrot.
- Bosque Cambalache National Park is a large forest reserve that’s popular among bird watchers. Birders can spot exotic native species like the Puerto Rican Woodpecker, Puerto Rican bullfinch, and Puerto Rican cuckoo.
- Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. It is an excellent place to see gulls, herons, and other waterfowl.
- Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular activities on Vieques Island and Culebra Island. The clear waters are filled with exotic fish, manta rays, sea turtles, and humpback whales. These islands are protected areas with healthy coral reef formations.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Puerto Rico Today
- Giant centipede: This brightly colored insect can reach 12 inches in length. Its bite is extremely painful. It’s rare to come across them unless you’re hiking in the rainforest. The giant centipede’s venom is not fatal, but it will make you very sick.
- Spiders and scorpions: Like most islands, Puerto Rico has a high number of spiders, including the brown recluse. It also has a healthy population of scorpions. Scorpions won’t kill you, but their bite is painful.
Extinct and Endangered Animals in Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rican parrot: This rare bird is one of the 10 most endangered birds in the world. It is a small parrot that almost became extinct in 1975. Since then, conservation efforts have helped preserve this unique bird.
- Sea turtles: The hawksbill turtle and leatherback sea turtle are native to Puerto Rico. Both species are in danger of becoming extinct.
Several native species have become extinct in Puerto Rico. Conservation groups and the Puerto Rican government have taken steps to reverse population declines among its most endangered animals.
Puerto Rico’s Unique Wildlife
Puerto Rico is a small island with many exotic species. Its clear waters are home to sea turtles, manatees and manta rays. Small mammals, snakes and bats share the forests with iguanas and frogs. Wildlife and bird tours are popular activities for visitors to the island.
Puerto Rican Animals
Puerto Rican Animals List
- Amazon Parrot
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Black Widow Spider
- Burrowing Owl
- Camel Cricket
- Carpenter Ant
- Collared Peccary
- Common House Spider
- Crab Spider
- Dung Beetle
- False Widow Spider
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Great Blue Heron
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Marine Toad
- Mole Cricket
- Monarch Butterfly
- Mountain Lion
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Poison Dart Frog
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Sea Eagle
- Skink Lizard
- Snapping Turtle
- Spider Wasp
- Stick Insect
- Tarantula Hawk
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- White-Faced Capuchin
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Puerto Rico FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Kind of Animals Live in Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico has many exotic animals, including unique wildlife you will only find here.
Puerto Rico has dolphins, sharks and whales.
One of the most popular marine mammals is the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), which uses the waters around the island as its primary breeding ground. One of Puerto Rico’s municipalities, Manati, gets its name from this sea creature.
Puerto Rico has 13 bat species, of which six are endemic to the island. It is one of the few places you will see unusual species like the Antillean fruit bat (Brachyphylla cavernarum) and Antillean ghost-faced bat (Mormoops blainvillii).
Puerto Rico has about 350 bird species, of which 18 are endemic to the island. They include some of the rarest and most elusive birds in the world. It has tanagers, hummingbirds, flycatchers and passerines.
The common bird in Puerto Rico is the bananaquit (Coereba flaveola). This beautiful black and yellow bird is abundant on the island. Puerto Rico has 41 recognized subspecies of the bananaquit.
Reptiles and amphibians:
Puerto Rico has 11 species of snake, of which 10 are nonvenomous. The Puerto Rican racer (Borikenophis portoricensis) secretes venom, but there are no recorded fatalities from its bite. Puerto Rico has several species of iguana, including the Mona ground iguana (Cyclura cornuta stejnegeri), which is endemic to Mona Island. The largest snake on the island is the Puerto Rican boa.
The spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) is the only member of the crocodile family in Puerto Rico. Also known as the white caiman, it is a relatively small crocodile that reaches an average length of about 5 feet.
Monkeys are not native to Puerto Rico, but two monkey species were introduced here. A small colony of Rhesus macaques lives on Cayo Santiago, and about 35 squirrel monkeys live in the Sabana Seca region.
What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in Puerto Rico?
Mosquito: This tiny bug has caused thousands of deaths from chikungunya, an infectious disease that causes fever, extreme joint pain and rashes. There is no treatment for this disease and no vaccination for it. The only way to prevent is to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes also transmit dengue fever and the West Nile virus.
What Predators Live in Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico’s predators include bats, which are important for controlling mosquito populations. Mosquitoes are dangerous, and bats eat millions of them every day.
The spectacled caiman eats insects, small mammals, fish, crabs, and snails. This crocodile is not aggressive or dangerous to humans.
The Puerto Rican boa eats birds, lizards, rodents, and bats.
Are There Lions in Puerto Rico?
There are no big cats of any kind in Puerto Rico.
Are There Jaguars in Puerto Rico?
No, there are no jaguars in Puerto Rico.