Animals in Ecuador

Below you can find a complete list of Ecuadorian animals. We currently track 141 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

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!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

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!

Caiman

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.

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!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

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!

Discus

One of the only schooling Cichlids!

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!

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!

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!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

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.

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

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!

Jaguar

The largest feline on the American continent!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kinkajou

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

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Macaw

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!

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.

Ocelot

Also known as the Painted Leopard!

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!

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.

Piranha

Generally found in fast-flowing streams!

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!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

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.

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!

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scarlet Macaw

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

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!

Squirrel

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!

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!

Tetra

Native to the freshwater streams of South America!

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!

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.