Animals in Ecuador

Below you can find a complete list of Ecuadorian animals. We currently track 157 animals in Ecuador and are adding more every day!

Ecuador’s very name tells much about it. It means “equator,” and it is found at the point where the equator meets South America. Its climate and terrain help make Ecuador one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, with many animals found nowhere else. Part of the Amazon rainforest, after all, is found in Ecuador. Not only this, but Ecuador owns the Galapagos Islands, home of many rare, exotic, and unfortunately endangered or extinct species. Its very constitution recognizes that the natural world has rights.

Ecuador shares borders and some of its wildlife with Colombia and Peru. The Pacific Ocean, which is rich in marine life, is in the west.

The Official National Animal of Ecuador

The official national animal of Ecuador is the Andean condor. This vulture is the largest flying animal on earth and can have a wingspan of close to 11 feet. Like most vultures, its head and neck are naked, though it has a ruff of white feathers around the neck. The male has a wattle and a caruncle on top of its head, and unlike other vultures, he is bigger than the female. The Andean condor is also on the country’s flag and coat of arms.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country with a robust conservation program. As of 2021, the country plans to set aside 32 percent of its land for the preservation of wildlife. Even though it is a small country, it has many national parks, reserves, and refuges, including the Galapagos. Others include El Cajas National Park, Llanganates National Park, Cayambe-Coca National Park, and Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park.

Ecological reserves in Ecuador include Arenillas Ecological Reserve, Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve, Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve, and Antisana Ecological Reserve. Biological reserves are El Quimi Biological Reserve, El Cóndor Biological Reserve, Limoncocha National Biological Reserve, and Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve.

The country has 10 wildlife refuges including El Zarza Wildlife Refuges, Isla Corazón y Fragata Wildlife Refuges, Pacoche Wildlife Refuges, El Pambilar Wildlife Refuges, and the Rio Muisne Estuary Swampland Wildlife Refuges. There are also a number of private refuges.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Ecuador Today

  • Poison dart frogs. Though only four species of these brilliantly colored frogs were used to add poison to the weapons of native Americans, just handling them is dangerous. The golden poison frog, for example, has enough toxins in its skin to kill 10 to 20 human beings.
  • Fer-de-lance. This pretty but dangerous snake delivers more snakebites than any other venomous snake that lives in its area. That’s because it’s short-tempered, unpredictable, very common, and its coloration makes it easy to overlook. Juveniles are even more venomous than adults.
  • Jaguar. This big, beautiful cat has been known to attack people. However, jaguar attacks are rare. There have been 20 reported deaths and 82 attacks that did not result in death from 1890 to 2001. Still, it’s good to be careful of these predators.
  • American crocodile. This crocodile, which can grow to 13 feet long and weigh 842 pounds is an apex predator in Ecuador. Large adults have been known to kill and eat cows, and they are more aggressive than their cousins the alligators. Though there aren’t any reports of people being killed by crocs in Ecuador, this animal, like the jaguar, should be treated with respect.

Endangered Animals In Ecuador

  • Giant tortoise: There are several species of Galapagos tortoises on the exotic islands named for them, and their status ranges from vulnerable to extinct. Indeed, Lonesome George, a Pinta Island giant tortoise, passed away in 2012 at age 102 or so. He was the last of his species, and now that species is no more.
  • Giant otter. Found around and in the Amazon River, this 5.6-foot long weasel is considered endangered thanks to poaching for its lush fur and habitat degradation.
  • Baird’s tapir. This tapir is not only the largest type of tapir but the largest land mammal in South and Central America at an average length of 6.6 feet. It’s endangered in Ecuador.
  • Great Curassow. This bird resembles a large pheasant, and the male has black feathers and a curly crest while the female can come in three colors. Its status is vulnerable.
  • Glass frog. Glass frogs get their name because their bellies are transparent, and their internal organs can be seen. They are small frogs, only 1.2 to 3 inches long, and live most of the time in the rainforest canopy until it’s time to mate. Hyalinobatrachium crybetes, Centrolene ballux, Centrolene Heloderma, Centrolene gemmatum, Centrolene puyoense and Cochranella anomala are critically endangered and may already be extinct in some places.

Ecuadorian Countries Animals Lists

Click any of the countries below to see a detailed list of animals located in that country!

Ecuadorian Animals


The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!


They can spit up to 10 feet.


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!


Can curl into a hard, protective ball!


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food


There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!


There are more than 350,000 different species


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!


There are thought to be up 20,000 species!


Can grow to up 6 meters long!

Caiman Lizard

Caiman lizards are among the largest lizards.

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!


First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


There are more than 2 000 known species!


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.


There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Have changed little in 200 million years!


One of the only schooling Cichlids!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


It's larvae are carnivorous!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Has exceptional eyesight!


There are nearly 2,000 different species!


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

Electric Eel

Despite its powerful shock, electric eels have terrible vision.


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders


Sleeps on just one leg!


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


There are 11,000 known species!

Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!


Also known as the Millionfish!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


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.


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horned Frog

Natively found in South America!


Has evolved over 50 million years!


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

House wren

The wren’s epithet, aedon, comes from a Greek queen who accidentally killed her only son. She was actually aiming for her nephew, and Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a nightingale.

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


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.


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


Uses visual signals to communicate!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


The largest feline on the American continent!


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.


The largest species of parrot in the world!

Marine Iguana

Adult marine iguanas vary in size depending on the size of the island where they live.

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!


Known for their calm and peaceful nature!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.


Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


There are 13 different species worldwide


Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!


Can live for up to 100 years!


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

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


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


Generally found in fast-flowing streams!

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!


There are 30 different species worldwide!


Has longer back legs than front legs!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


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


Known to wash their food before eating it!


Omnivores that eat anything!


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

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


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.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted grosbeaks are closely related to cardinals

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!


There are more than 700 different species!

Scarlet Macaw

Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.


There are around 2,000 known species!


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!


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.


Also known as the Polecat!


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


They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Squirrel Monkey

Lives in groups of up to 500 individuals!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Populations have been affected by pollution!


Most closely related to horses and rhinos!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


Native to the freshwater streams of South America!


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

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!


There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.


Migrates up and down the mountains!

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball


There are 200 different species!

Woolly Monkey

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!

Ecuadorian Animals List

Animals in Ecuador FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of animals live in Ecuador?

The number of animal species that live in Ecuador is too numerous to list, but the diversity of its wildlife is amazing. The country has 15 percent of all the known species of birds in the world. There are 6000 kinds of butterfly alone, 317 types of mammals, 459 species of reptile, and over 580 species of amphibian, including poison dart and glass frogs. There are 450 species of freshwater fish, including the notorious piranha and the somewhat rare pirarucu, a man-sized, predatory, air-breathing guppy, several kinds of catfish, and the peacock-eye stingray. There are at least 100,000 species of insects besides butterflies, including grasshoppers, mantids, crickets, leafhoppers, and lantern bugs. Spiders include tarantulas and black widows.

What dangerous animals live in Ecuador?

Dangerous animals include venomous snakes, jaguars, crocodiles, black widow spiders, and poison dart frogs. Bullet ants, found in the rainforest, are notorious for a sting so terrible that the agony doesn’t stop for up to 24 hours. If a person enters the Pacific Ocean, dangers there include hammerhead, great white and Galapagos sharks, and the Pacific man o’war, a colony animal that looks like a jellyfish. All are dangerous to people.

Are there jaguars in Ecuador?

The jaguar does indeed live in Ecuador, but its status is near threatened. This is a large wild cat that resembles the leopard but is bigger and more muscular. It lives in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, wetlands, and grasslands.

What animals live in the Ecuador rainforest?

Animals that live in the Ecuadoran rainforest include frogs, toads, jaguars and ocelots. Other rainforest denizens are the enormous huntsman spider, the two-toed sloth, tapirs and the Southern, naked-tailed armadillo. There are primates, including capuchin and squirrel monkeys, species of tamarins and marmosets and rodents such as the pacarana. Birds of the Ecuador rainforest include hummingbirds, the grey-winged trumpeter and the Andean pygmy owl. The exotic and gorgeous butterflies include semicherry-bordered metalmarks; the Ecuadorian Heliconian, which is found only in Ecuador; the Ecuadorian lipstick-skipper and different types of morpho.