Animals in Ecuador

Updated: March 7, 2023
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Below you can find an extensive list of Ecuadorian animals. We currently track 272 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. The very constitution of Ecuador 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 on the west side of the country.

The Official National Animal

The official national animal of Ecuador is the Andean condor. This vulture is the largest flying animal on earth: it is 4.25 feet long and can have a wingspan of up to 10.5 feet. Like most vultures, its head and neck are naked, though it has a ruff of white feathers around the neck. Overall, its body is black with white markings on the wings.

Andean condors coast on warm air currents and can float from thermal to thermal to continue flying without flapping their wings for extended periods. They live in the Andes Mountains and use their high vantage point to locate food below. Their excellent eyesight helps them locate their next meal, which is always some kind of dead animal.

The male has a wattle and a caruncle on top of its head, and unlike other vultures, he is bigger than the female. The males can get to 33 pounds, and the females closer to 24 pounds.

The Andean condor is on the country’s flag and coat of arms as a symbol of strength and nobility.

The Official Flower

The particular species that Ecuador chose as its national flower is Chuquiraga jussieui. Locally known as chuquiraga, Chuquiraga jussieui grows natively in Ecuador and Peru in mountain highland areas between 3,000-5,000 meters (9,842-13,123 feet) above sea level. Because it grows in the Andes Mountains, this species is also known as the “flower of the Andes” or the “walking flower.”

The chuquiraga grows on a shrub with small, spiky leaves. This flower plays a very important role in its ecosystem. However, it is considered a vulnerable species at high risk of extinction. Habitat loss, changes in the climate, deforestation, and unsustainable agricultural practices threaten this plant.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals

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: El Cajas National Park, Llanganates National Park, Cayambe-Coca National Park, Yasuni National Park, and Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park. In addition, there are a number of reserves and refuges, including the Galapagos Islands.

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.

Among Ecuador’s abundant wildlife are: sloths, pink river dolphins, a variety of monkey species, giant otters, piranhas, anacondas, tapirs, jaguars, iguanas, ocelots, pumas (mountain lions), spectacled bears, crab, coati, pacarama, tortoise yellow-bellied sea snake, sea lions, seals, giant and silky anteaters, guinea pigs, bats, and manatees.

Most Dangerous

  • 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.
  • Anaconda. The heaviest snake in the world, it can reach lengths of 20 feet for females. Anacondas are endemic to the Amazon and Orinoco River Basins of South America.
  • Bullet ant. Bullet ant stings can cause edema, tachycardia, lymphadenopathy, and fresh blood in feces. This ant’s sting is considered the most painful from any kind of stinging animal.

Endangered Animals

  • 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 the largest type of tapir and the largest land mammal in South and Central America. 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.
  • Several species of monkeys are also endangered: Spider monkeys, night monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, woolly monkeys and capuchins.
  • Among birds, the Andean toucan, the harpy eagle, the Picoespada hummingbird, and Andean condor (the national symbol of Ecuador) are all endangered.


The gaudo guan (Penelope ortoni) is a very rare species highly sought after by birdwatchers. It inhabits only the humid forests of the Choco-Darien ecoregion in the west Andean foothills of western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. The gaudo guan is very important to seed dispersal in its habitat, but it is in danger of extinction because of deforestation and hunting.


Baird’s tapir. This animal resembles a a wild boar or rhino, but it weighs from 400 to 800 pounds and can be more than six feet long. It also can stand between two and four feet high at the shoulder. Its tough hide provides protection from most predators.

In general, modern Tapirs all have a long snout, known as a proboscis, that is omnidirectional. They use this flexible appendage to gather berries, fruits and other vegetation from all surrounding areas. Their mouth contains between 42 and 44 teeth that are largely flat to help grind plants and fruits.

Generally solitary creatures, they will gather in small groups, called candles, to procreate, and for social interaction. Babies, known as calves, remain with their mothers until they reach six to eight months of age.

Ecuadorian Countries Animals Lists

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

Ecuadorian Animals

Acadian Flycatcher

Their nests are sloppily held together and have an abandoned appearance


The agouti is one of the only animals that can crack open Brazil nut pods!


The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!


They can spit up to 10 feet.

Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

Amazon Tree Boa

Amazon tree boas come in a rainbow of colors.

Amazonian Royal Flycatcher

They use their bright royal-looking crests during mating season


They are the heaviest snake in the world


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Has the longest tongue of any animal in relation to its body size!


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

Asian Lady Beetle

Asian lady beetles infest indoor spaces, but they do not reproduce indoors.


There are over 1768 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!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

They have bright pink bills.

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Blackburnian Warbler

They are the only songbird in North America with an orange throat!

Blue Tanager (Blue-Grey Tanager)

They travel and forage in pairs or groups


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bush Dog

Bush dogs have webbed toes to help them swim.

Bushmaster Snake

The bushmaster’s scientific name means “silent death.”


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!


Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin


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.

Canada Warbler

These birds travel more than 3,000 miles during migration!

Carpenter Ant

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


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


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!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

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

Coral Snake

There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together


Have changed little in 200 million years!


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.


A group of these birds is called a Murder.


One of the only schooling Cichlids!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


It's larvae are carnivorous!

Dubia Cockroach

The most popular species of feeder roach


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Has exceptional eyesight!


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


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.

Elegant Tern

Have a lifespan of 20 years or more

Emerald Tree Boa

Their teeth are as long as a fully-grown reticulated python

Eyelash Viper

While the eyelash viper can be a pet, be cautious – they are extremely venomous!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False coral snake

The false coral snake mimics both the coral snake and the cobra to scare away predators

False Widow Spider

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

Fer-de-lance Snake

The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas


The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world


Sleeps on just one leg!


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air


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

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Fulvous Whistling Duck

They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source

Galapagos Shark

Galapagos sharks are cannibalistic and sometimes eat their young, so the pups stay away from the adults in shallow water.


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


There are 11,000 known species!

Great Potoo Bird

At night, they make a terrifying low call that sounds like a distressed moan or growl.

Green Anaconda

Females are often five times longer than males.


Many grouper can change their sex, and it is always from female to male.

Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!


Also known as the Millionfish!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Harpy Eagle

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

Harris’s Hawk

Their vision is eight times better than a human's

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hepatic Tanager (Red Tanager)

Parents and their young sing sweetly to each other

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!

Argentine 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.


The fly has no teeth

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!

IMG Boa Constrictor

The first IMG boa was born in a litter of anerythristic boas.


There are an estimated 30 million species!


They form lifelong pair bonds and live in groups near water sources.


The jacana has the ability to swim underwater


The largest feline on the American continent!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies


The killdeer feigns injury to draw a predator away from its nest.


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!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Lipstick Albino Boa

Lipstick albino boas are a designer morph that you'll only find from breeders.


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking


The largest species of parrot in the world!


Will only live in wet areas


Margays are one of the world’s most highly adapted cat species for climbing trees!

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!


Mockingbirds are incredible mimics that can learn hundreds of songs!


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!

Moonglow Boa

Moonglow boas are the result of mixing three genetic traits.


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Morpho Butterfly

Collectors prize them for their bright wings


Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood


There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mourning Warbler

The Mourning Warbler was named for its gray head, which resembles a mourning veil!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Muscovy Duck

Unlike most duck species, the Muscovy is silent and only makes noise when excited or threatened.


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.


Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orange Tanager (Orange-Headed Tanager)

They inhabit the lowlands of the Amazon rainforest

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees


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.

Peacock Bass

Peacock bass is known for their aggressive behavior and predatory instincts, making them a challenging target for sport fishermen.

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!

Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

Platinum Arowana

The male broods the eggs and baby fish in his mouth.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.


Has longer back legs than front legs!

Purple Tarantula

Females live more than twice as long as males, up to 12 years old.


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


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


Known to wash their food before eating it!

Rainbow Boa

The rainbow boa is named for its iridescent skin that refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect.


Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.


Rattlesnakes may have evolved their rattle to warn bison away from them.

Red-Footed Tortoise

Male and female Red-Footed Tortoises move their heads to communicate.

Red-Lipped Batfish

Despite its weird looks, the red-lipped batfish is harmless to humans

Redtail Catfish

One of three giant catfish species

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.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

This bird is also called cut-throat because the male looks like his throat has been cut and has bled over his breast.

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy duck breeding males have bright blue bills!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scale-Crested Pygmy Tyrant

They raise their crests to ward off predators

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!

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

In captivity, sharp-shinned hawks can live up to 13 years. However, in the wild, this number is significantly reduced to 3 years!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.


The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.


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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide


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!


They can’t sing like other birds.

Summer Tanager

They remove bee stingers by rubbing them against a tree

Swainson’s Hawk

Their wings form a “V” shape when flying.


Populations have been affected by pollution!


Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Teddy Guinea Pig

Teddy guinea pigs resemble teddy bears, hence their name.


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.


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

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

Titan Beetle

Their jaws can bite through a wooden pencil.


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!


There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Cricket

They make music with their wings

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!

Unau (Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth)

Its top speed is 0.17mph

Upland Sandpiper

They make jerky movements as they walk through the grass, searching for food.

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vermilion Flycatcher

They have a fast song that lasts up to 10 syllables at max.


Vicuñas have some of the softest wool in the entire animal kingdom

Vine Snake

A slender body and elongated snout give the vine snake a regal look.


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Wattled Jacana

They are typically noisy birds but take on a soft tone with their young.

Whiptail Lizard

Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Whitetail Deer

Although deer are herbivores, they will sometimes eat mice and birds when they can catch them.

Willow Flycatcher

These birds live in the understory and are named for their propensity for flitting between willows and shrubs.

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!


Doesn’t have eyes.

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!


They forage near the ground, searching leaves for insects

Ecuadorian Animals List

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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.