Animals in Chile

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

Albatross

The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!

Alpaca

They can spit up to 10 feet.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Booby

Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Chinchilla

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Darwin’s Frog

Camouflages itself as a dead leaf!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horned Frog

Natively found in South America!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Humboldt Penguin

Found on the South American coast!

Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Iguana

Uses visual signals to communicate!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kodkod

The kodkod is among the smallest species of cats in the entire world

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Llama

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

Magellanic Penguin

Threatened by oil spills!

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Parrotlet

Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Puma

Has longer back legs than front legs!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Quetzal

The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rattlesnake

It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silver Dollar

Closely related to the Piranha

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Skunk

Also known as the Polecat!

Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spectacled Bear

Native to the Andes mountains of South America!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Chilean Animals List

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.