Animals in Guyana

Below you can find a complete list of Guyanan animals. We currently track 146 animals in Guyana and are adding more every day!

The tropical rainforests, savannas, and coastal plains of Guyana are home to a variety of animals. Some of the most unique wildlife in this South American country include the jaguar, black caiman, cane toad, giant armadillo, jabiru stork, capuchin monkey, and leatherback turtle.

This country has 225 mammal species, 800 species of birds, 176 reptile species, 148 amphibian species, and 2,000 plus species of fish!

The Official National Animal of Guyana

The jaguar is the national animal of Guyana. The strength and courage of this big cat make it the perfect symbol for this small country. There are two jaguars featured in Guyana’s coat of arms.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Guyana Today

Like other countries, Guyana has wildlife that’s non-aggressive as well as animals that can be dangerous to humans. The most dangerous animals in Guyana include:

  • Piranha – Piranhas are large fish best known for their sharp teeth and carnivorous diet. A person who ventures into a river where piranha lives is at risk of injury. These fish can easily mistake a person’s hands or feet for small fish or other lively prey. The real threat comes when a school of piranha begins to surround a person who has fallen into the water! They are very persistent when going after prey. The person is likely to need a lot of stitches. There are an estimated 200 piranha attacks each year.
  • Black Caiman – These reptiles are similar in appearance to American crocodiles. Adult caimans are usually 13 feet but can grow as long as 16.5 feet in adulthood. They have sharp teeth and are fast on both land and in the water. Black caimans live in slow-moving rivers and can become aggressive if a human invades their territory. Since 2000, there have been a recorded 80 humans attacked by caimans.
  • Giant Otter – It may seem like an otter doesn’t belong on this type of list, but these animals can be very aggressive. They can be five and a half feet long and weigh 70 pounds. They use their very sharp teeth to tear into fish, water snakes, crustaceans, and other prey. A human who gets too close to this otter’s den is risking an aggressive response from this animal. As a note, this animal’s conservation status is endangered with a decreasing population. Unless more protections are put into place, this animal is at risk of becoming extinct.
  • Jaguar – The national animal of Guyana is also one of the most dangerous in this country. This animal is the biggest cat in South America. Adults can measure 6 feet long and weigh up to 250 pounds. These big cats are pure muscle and have incredibly strong jaws. Fortunately, they remain hidden most of the time and only show aggression if they feel their cubs are in danger.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Guyana

A lot of the most unique animals in Guyana live in a rainforest habitat. Look at where to find some of the top animals in Guyana.

  • Jaguar – These big cats live in a dense rainforest habitat. They can be seen in Guyana Botanical Gardens in Georgetown.
  • Capuchin Monkey – This animal also called the wedge-capped capuchin monkey lives in a wet lowland forest habitat. They receive protection and shelter in Iwokrama Forest Reserve.
  • White-Throated Toucan – These colorful birds live in the tropical rainforest. Many of them inhabit the Iwokrama Forest Reserve.
  • Giant Otter – These mammals live in freshwater rivers as well as streams. A giant otter lives in the Guyana Botanical Gardens and Zoo. They also live in the Iwokrama Forest Reserve.
  • Emerald Tree Boa – These snakes have a tropical rainforest habitat in Guyana. This bright green snake can be seen in Guyana Botanical Gardens and Zoo.
  • Tapir – This unique animal lives in a dense forest and swampy habitat. They also live in the protected environment of Guyana Botanical Gardens and Zoo.

Endangered Animals in Guyana

Unfortunately, there are some animals living in Guyana that are categorized as Endangered. Not surprisingly, if animals that are considered Endangered don’t get the protection they need, they are at risk of becoming extinct. Habitat loss and the illegal pet trade are two reasons for the decreasing population of some wildlife in Guyana. Some of this country’s Endangered animals include:

  • Giant Otter
  • Giant Armadillo (Vulnerable)
  • Hoary-Throated Spinetail (Critically Endangered)
  • MacConnell’s Bush Toad (Vulnerable)
  • Sun Parakeet

Guyanese Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

Arapaima

One of the largest freshwater fish

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

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!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Caiman

Can grow to up 6 meters long!

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.

Capybara

Excellent at both diving and swimming

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!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Coati

Found in dense forests and wet jungles!

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!

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!

Electric Eel

Can generate a 500 volt electric shock!

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!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Giant Armadillo

Armadillos have a smell that’s described as strong, sweet and acrid.

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 Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

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!

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.

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!

Red-handed Tamarin

Red hair on hands on feet!

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!

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!

Spider Wasp

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

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.

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!

Guyanese Animals List

Animals in Guyana FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the national animal in Guyana?

The national animal of Guyana is the jaguar. This big cat has tan fur with black spots sometimes referred to as rosettes. They are called rosettes because of their similarity to the shape of small roses. In Guyana, their conservation status is Near Threatened due to habitat loss and poaching for their fur and meat. However, they are categorized as extinct in another small South American country called Uruguay.

What is the most dangerous animal in Guyana?

The most dangerous animal in Guyana is the jaguar. This is due to its powerful bite force, speed, and strength. They use their strong jaws to eat various types of prey including deer, tapirs, peccaries and even turtles. However, these big cats are hidden from sight most of the time and aren’t likely to become aggressive unless their cubs are being threatened.

What animals live in Guyana?

Many different types of wildlife live in Guyana. Some examples include snakes like the Emerald tree boa, the green anaconda and the Salipenter snake. A few of the mammals in Guyana include the jaguar, capuchin monkey, tapir, and the giant otter. Other notable animals living in this small South American country include the black caiman, jabiru stork, piranha, hoatzin, and the bush dog.

Are capybaras in Guyana?

Yes capybaras are found in Guyana. They live in the rainforest and are known as the largest rodent in the world!