Below you can find a complete list of Guyanan animals. We currently track 244 animals in Guyana and are adding more every day!
The tropical rainforests, savannas, and coastal plains of Guyana are home to various types of animals. Some of the most unique wildlife native to 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 native big cat make it the perfect symbol of the small country. Guyana’s coat of arms features two jaguars.
The jaguar is a powerful and majestic animal native to the rainforest of Guyana. It has a thick yellow-brown coat with black spots and rosettes covering its body. Its head is short and round, featuring large ears that help it hear prey from far away. Jaguars are strong swimmers and can climb trees in search of food.
The jaguar was chosen as the national animal of Guyana because it represents strength, courage, endurance, and resilience, all qualities associated with the Guyanese people. The jaguar also symbolizes the flora and fauna found in Guyana’s vast rainforest ecosystem, which provides many resources for the country’s inhabitants. In addition to being an important part of their culture, the presence of these animals helps maintain healthy populations of other species by keeping ecosystems balanced through natural predation patterns.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Guyana
Guyana is an incredibly biodiverse country, making it a great destination for wildlife viewing. It is home to many species of animals, including jaguars, sloths, monkeys, otters, and more.
Some of the best places to see wildlife in Guyana include the Iwokrama rainforest reserve in central Guyana and the Kanuku Mountains in southern Guyana. In these areas, you can expect to see a variety of wild animals, such as toucans, macaws, capuchin monkeys, and even giant anteaters!
Other popular spots for wildlife spotting are Surama Eco-Lodge and Rupununi Savannah Lodge. Here you can observe giant river otters on the rivers or spot tapirs at night from your lodge’s terrace. With so much biodiversity packed into one small country, it’s no wonder that Guyana has become a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts looking for amazing animal encounters!
A lot of the most unique animals local to Guyana live in rainforest habitats. Listed are some popular places to find 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.
Birds in Guyana
Guyana is prominent for its extensive rainforests, covering around 80 percent of the country, the perfect environment for multitudes of eccentric bird species. Birding in the country is highly accessible and promoted through charters and guides. Out of the 800 species living in Guyana, over 70 are considered endemic to the Guiana Shield of northeast South America. Some quite unique endemics include:
- Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
- Blood-colored Woodpecker
- Guianan Toucanet
- Northern Red-shouldered Macaw
Habitats vary throughout the country, giving rise to dozens of areas great for bird watching. From the capital on the coastline to the inland savannahs, avifauna exists almost everywhere within Guyana. Some of the best places to bird watch are:
- Georgetown Botanical Gardens – White-bellied Piculet, Red-and-green Macaw, Yellow-headed Caracara
- Mahaiva River – Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Tropical Kingbird, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Boat-billed Heron
- Abary River – Bicolored Conebill, Greater Yellowlegs, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Guianan Gnatcatcher
Mentioned are only a few of the species found in these magnificent places. Visitors are most likely to get the best bird-watching experiences when participating in guided tours or when accompanied by a local.
Fish in Guyana
Guyana translates to “land of many waters,” and rightfully so. The country is situated north of the Amazon River, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, and east of the Orinoco River, with the Essequibo River running through its center. Throughout the river of the country, over 2,000 fish species reside. Relatively underrated for tourism, Guyana is a popular destination for fishermen looking for large river-dwelling fish, such as:
- Arapaima – Air-breathing, freshwater fish that can reach up to 9 feet in length!
- Yellow Butterfly Peacock Bass – Known for putting up a good fight!
- Himara – Reach over 40 lb!
- Black Piranhas – High cost on the market at around $650 per fish!
Many more valuable species roam the waters, including off the coastline in the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean-dwelling catfish can grow to astonishing sizes. Tarpons are also a popular catch, but Guyana is especially known for its hauls of sea bob shrimp and its exportation.
Snakes in Guyana
Rainforests prove impeccable sites for seeing colorful, vibrant plants and animals. Some of the most brilliantly pigmented animals are reptiles, specifically snakes. Guyana is home to truly remarkable snake species, both venomous and non-venomous. Of the 97 species in the country, most are found within the rainforests, some in savannahs, and others even in urban areas. Below are habitats and snakes found within:
- Emerald Tree Boa
- Rainbow Boa
- Green Anaconda (largest snake in the world!)
- Water Cobra
Various other snake species live in the forests, trees, shrubs, and wetlands of the area. Eight venomous species do pose a threat to humans, but many are not aggressive snakes, only lashing out when provoked. However, it is important to remain aware of your surroundings and understand the proper protocol for any kind of snake bite.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Guyana Today
Like other countries, Guyana holds wildlife that is mostly passive, while some animals may pose threats to humans.
Guyana is home to many dangerous animals, including the jaguar, giant anteater, bushmaster snake, and black caiman. These creatures are dangerous because they have the potential to harm or even kill humans if provoked.
Jaguars are known for their agility and strength. They can reach speeds of up to 40 mph in short bursts and have been known to attack people who enter their territories. Giant anteaters possess sharp claws that are capable of disemboweling a person with one swipe. The venomous bushmaster snake is highly aggressive when threatened and has a bite that can be deadly if not treated quickly enough. Lastly, black caimans live in freshwater habitats like rivers and streams throughout Guyana. They feed on fish as well as small mammals such as capybaras but will lash out against anyone who surprises or threatens them.
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 are 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 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.
Largest Animals in Guyana
The three largest animals in Guyana are the giant anteater, the jaguar, and the Harpy Eagle.
Giant Anteaters are approximately 5-8 feet long and can weigh up to 60-100 pounds. They inhabit savannas, grasslands, marshes, dry forests, and rainforests. These large mammals feed mainly on ants and termites, which they catch with their 2-foot-long tongues that stick out of their elongated snouts!
Jaguars are another one of Guyana’s largest animals – weighing between 220 and 340 pounds! Unlike other cats like lions or tigers who live in groups called prides, jaguars like to be alone most of the time, but when it comes to defending territory or finding a mate, they will come together for short periods of time. Jaguars can be found living in wet lowland areas as well as mountains with elevations over 9500 feet.
The last animal is the Harpy Eagle. An apex predator is known for its incredible size and strength! This eagle has wingspans that reach over 6 feet wide, while adults can weigh up to 20 pounds! The Harpy Eagles’ habitat extends from Central America all the way down into South America, including Guyana, where it usually lives high in large trees within tropical rainforest regions like Kaieteur National Park.
Rarest Animals in Guyana
The three rarest animals in Guyana are the giant anteater, the giant armadillo, and the giant otter.
The giant anteater is a large mammal found in tropical and subtropical regions of South America. It has long claws that it uses to dig up ants and termites from their mounds or nests. The species is considered critically endangered due to habitat destruction caused by deforestation as well as poaching for the bushmeat trade. In Guyana, they can be found living in savannas, grasslands, rainforests, and wetlands – all habitats that have been degraded by human activities such as logging and farming practices.
Giant armadillos and giant otters are considered rare in Guyana due to their critically endangered status. It is estimated that there are only about 200-300 giant armadillos left living in the wild, with a population of approximately 500 giant otters. These animals inhabit humid lowland forests and wetlands located near rivers or swamps, although they can sometimes be found traveling through savannahs and grasslands searching for food.
Giant armadillos feed on termites, worms, and larvae, while the diet of the giant otter primarily consists of fish as well as crustaceans and mollusks when available. Unfortunately, both species face threats from habitat destruction caused by deforestation as well as overfishing which has drastically reduced available prey populations leading to a further decline in their numbers. Conservation efforts have been put into place in order to protect these animals from extinction including designating protected areas for them to live safely away from human interference but more must still be done if we wish to save these species from disappearing forever.
Zoos in Guyana
Existing since 1895 as a botanical garden, the Guyana Zoo in Georgetown officially became a zoological garden in 1952. The Guyana Zoo partners with the Calgary Zoo as its “sister zoo.” Some of the most popular animals on exhibit include manatees and harpy eagles. Endemic and endangered species of the country take priority within the zoo as well, aiming to aid in conservation efforts and further protection of the animals so unique and special to Guyana and surrounding areas.
Zoos have long been seen as beneficial to animals in a number of ways. It is through zoos that many species are able to be studied and monitored, providing valuable data on population numbers, interactions with other species, and overall health. Furthermore, conservation efforts such as the protection of endangered species can be conducted within zoo environments. For example, the Guyana Zoo’s partnership with the Calgary Zoo has led to successful breeding programs for certain animal populations like manatees and harpy eagles.
However, some people feel that zoos do not adequately replicate natural habitats for animals or provide them with enough space to roam freely, which harms their quality of life. Additionally, stress from visitors could lead animals in captivity to become anxious or aggressive over time which further detracts from their well-being. To help address these issues, there have been various initiatives implemented by zoos around the world, such as using noise-canceling materials in enclosures or introducing enrichment activities into animal habitats so that they are more engaged and less likely to exhibit signs of distress or boredom.
Endangered Animals in Guyana
Guyana is a small country, and it has a unique variety of animals. Unfortunately, many of these species are endangered due to human activities like deforestation and hunting. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), nine mammalian species are critically endangered: giant anteater, jaguar, ocelot, giant armadillo, puma, white-lipped peccary, red howler monkey, northern muriqui monkey, and tayra.
In addition to these mammals, there are also several bird species classified as critically endangered, including the harpy eagle and blue-billed curassow. All these animals face threats from habitat destruction caused by logging operations which reduce their natural habitats. Other issues are overhunting for food or sport as well as pollution from oil exploration. Climate change is affecting all animals on the planet. The government of Guyana is working hard to protect its native wildlife through measures such as creating protected areas such as Iwokrama National Park, where some species have been successfully reintroduced back into their natural environment.
- Giant Otter
- Giant Armadillo (Vulnerable)
- Hoary-Throated Spinetail (Critically Endangered)
- MacConnell’s Bush Toad (Vulnerable)
- Sun Parakeet
The Flag of Guyana
The Flag of Guyana is one of the most meaningful flags in the world. Adopted on May 26, 1966, as a symbol of independence from the United Kingdom, it features five colors representing various aspects of Guyanese culture and identity.
Red represents the zeal and dynamism of its people. Gold refers to the country’s mineral wealth. Green recognizes their forests and agricultural industry. Black symbolizes endurance, and white pays tribute to water resources, an essential part of life in this tropical climate. Together these elements come together to show pride in Guyana’s strong nationhood and commitment to progress into the future.
Guyana celebrates both flag day and independence day. Flag Day is celebrated on May 26th in Guyana, celebrating the adoption of the national flag on that date in 1966. On Independence Day, which takes place each year on May 26th as well, the country commemorates its independence from Great Britain in 1966. During these festivities, people often show their patriotism by flying flags and attending special events around the country to commemorate this important event in Guyana’s history.
Guyanese Animals List
- Amazon Parrot
- Amazon Tree Boa
- Amazonian Royal Flycatcher
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Bed Bugs
- Biscuit Beetle
- Black-Bellied Whistling Duck
- Black Widow Spider
- Blackburnian Warbler
- Blue Tanager (Blue-Grey Tanager)
- Blue Tang
- Brazilian Treehopper
- Brown Dog Tick
- Camel Cricket
- Carpenter Ant
- Codling Moth
- Collared Peccary
- Common Furniture Beetle
- Common House Spider
- Coral Snake
- Crab-Eating Fox
- Crab Spider
- Dog Tick
- Dubia Cockroach
- Dung Beetle
- Dusky Shark
- Dwarf Boa
- Eastern Meadowlark
- Electric Eel
- Emerald Tree Boa
- False Widow Spider
- Flying Squirrel
- Fruit Fly
- Fulvous Whistling Duck
- German Cockroach
- Giant Armadillo
- Green Anaconda
- Guinea Pig
- Gypsy Moth
- Harpy Eagle
- Harris Hawk
- Hawk Moth Caterpillar
- Hepatic Tanager (Red Tanager)
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Argentine Horned Frog
- House wren
- Howler Monkey
- Huntsman Spider
- IMG Boa Constrictor
- Jack Crevalle
- Jumping Spider
- Lone Star Tick
- Marine Toad
- Mole Cricket
- Monarch Butterfly
- Mountain Lion
- Muscovy Duck
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Peacock Bass
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pit Viper
- Platinum Arowana
- Poison Dart Frog
- Pompano Fish
- Praying Mantis
- Rainbow Boa
- Rat Snakes
- Red-Footed Tortoise
- Red-handed Tamarin
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Sable Ferret
- Sand Crab
- Scarlet Macaw
- Short-Eared Owl
- Silver Dollar
- Skink Lizard
- Smokybrown Cockroach
- Spider Wasp
- Squirrel Monkey
- Stick Insect
- Summer Tanager
- Swallowtail Butterfly
- Tarantula Hawk
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Tufted Coquette
- Unau (Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth)
- Upland Sandpiper
- Vampire Bat
- Vermilion Flycatcher
- Vine Snake
- Wattled Jacana
- Whiptail Lizard
- White Ferret / Albino Ferrets
- Whitetail Deer
- Wolf Spider
- Wood Turtle
- X-Ray Tetra
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!