Below you can find a complete list of Chilean animals. We currently track 136 animals in Chile and are adding more every day!
No other country in the world has such a narrow landmass as Chile. This South American nation extends 2,653 miles north to the south and yet only 110 miles east to west. The western part of the country is situated against the Pacific Ocean, while the eastern part near Argentina runs along the entire length of the Andes Mountains, forming the third-largest land border in the world. The country also shares a border with Peru and Bolivia to the north.
Due to its extreme north-to-south orientation, Chile contains a wide array of different ecosystems, including deserts, mountains, forests, grasslands, and glaciers. The north and central regions of the country between the mountains and the coast tend toward a temperate climate. Only the very south of the country has a cold and humid climate.
The Official National (State) Animal of Chile
The South Andean deer (also known as the huemul) is the national animal of Chile.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Chile
Since its independence, Chile has established 43 national parks and numerous other wildlife reserves where people can view the wildlife in their natural habitat. The most popular natural destination in the country is probably the Torres del Paine National Park. Located in southern Chile Patagonia, it is a pristine landscape of mountains, glaciers, and forests where visitors can find cougars, deer, foxes, rheas, eagles, flamingos, owls, and many other birds.
The Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, also located in the southern ice fields and glaciers, is the largest protected area in the country. Visitors might be able to find condors, otters, cormorants, and huemuls here.
Vicente Perez Rosales National Park is located in the Los Lagos Region of south-central Chile. Situated against the Andes, the park contains exquisite mountain and volcanic vistas where visitors can find cougars, foxes, otters, the kodkod (a type of feline), the colocolo opossum (a native marsupial species), and many types of birds.
Both the Volcan Isluga National Park and Lauca National Park, located in the north of the Andean dry puna range, features snow-capped volcanoes and two large lakes. Llamas, alpacas, guanacos, cougars, tarucas, and more than 140 species of birds all roam the park.
The Queulat National Park, located in the Aysen region, features waterfalls and glaciers nestled among the mountains. The pudu, kodkod, otters, herons, kingfishers, egrets, and many other animals can be found here.
The Most Dangerous Animals in the Chile Today
Chile has very few dangerous animals within its borders. There are no poisonous snakes, and the only large cat, the cougar, has no real history of attacking people. So the most dangerous animals in the country are the venomous spiders.
- Chilean Recluse Spider – This large fleshy brown spider is also known as the corner spider or brown spider. Symptoms its venom can range from mild irritation and pain to skin ulcers and necrosis, which can sometimes leave behind deep scars. Death only occurs in a small number of very serious cases. Fortunately, this spider does not usually bite unless it’s directly threatened.
- Black Widow Spider – The venom from these black and white long-legged spiders can cause severe pain, muscle spasms, an abnormal heart rhythm, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms can last a few days or several weeks, depending on their severity. Black windows are not particularly aggressive, however, and the venom is rarely life-threatening.
Endangered Animals in the Chile
While Chile does make an effort to protect some of its most unique wildlife, several species are now being endangered largely from habitat loss and hunting.
- South Andean Deer – The national animal of Chile is also in danger of becoming extinct as a result of a dramatic fall in suitable habitat.
- Chinchilla – Both the short-tailed and long-tailed chinchilla (a furry, big-eared rodent) have historically been hunted for their luxurious coats.
- Darwin’s Fox – Named after the famous British naturalist Charles Darwin, who collected some specimens in 1834, this is a member of the South American fox genus. Forest fragmentation and diseases appear to pose the greatest danger to their existence.
- Andean Mountain Cat – This small feline resides in the higher elevations of the Andean Mountains. It is currently threatened by habitat loss, hunting, diseases, fall in prey numbers, and even hybridization with closely related species.
- Marine Otter – The marine otter, which occupies the western coast of South America, was extensively hunted for its fur and its competition with fisheries. The closely related southern river otter (which, despite its name, can live in either freshwater or saltwater) is another endangered species.
- Pacific Degu – The degu is a small rodent that lives among large groups in burrows. This species specifically resides on the small Mocha Island right off the coast of Chile. It is currently in danger of becoming extinct from habitat loss.
- Andean Condor – These regal scavengers are, by some metrics, the largest birds in the world with a wingspan of around 11 feet. It is currently in danger of becoming extinct from habitat loss, poisoning, and hunting based on the perception that it attacks livestock.
Chilean Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Carpenter Ant
- Crab Spider
- Darwin’s Frog
- Dung Beetle
- Fallow deer
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Guinea Pig
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Horned Frog
- Humboldt Penguin
- Huntsman Spider
- Magellanic Penguin
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
- Mountain Lion
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Poison Dart Frog
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Silver Dollar
- Skink Lizard
- Snapping Turtle
- Spectacled Bear
- Spider Wasp
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Chile FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Chile?
Chile has about 150 species of mammals, most of which are rodents, bats, deer, and carnivores (like foxes and weasels), while whales and dolphins can be seen off the coast. There are also more than 500 species of birds, a hundred reptiles and amphibians, and many species of insects.
What animal is Chile known for?
Chile is particularly well-known for the unique flightless rhea, the cougar, the Andean condor, flamingoes, penguins, chinchillas, and llamas. Many unique species of deer also roam the countryside, including the Andean huemul and the pudu (the smallest species of deer in the world).
What is the most dangerous animal in Chile?
The most dangerous animal might be the Chilean recluse spider due to its toxic venom. Cougars are obviously capable of killing a person, but actual attacks are exceptionally rare.