Below you can find a complete list of Paraguayan animals. We currently track 238 animals in Paraguay and are adding more every day!
The Rio Paraguay cuts the country of Paraguay in half, with the east side of the river being largely developed and agricultural land, while the west side of the river is dominated by a stretch of arid lowlands known as the Gran Chaco. But the eastern half of Paraguay is still home to a decent stretch of rainforest, and western Paraguay is more diverse than it might appear at a glance. The Gran Chaco gives way to a vibrant palm savanna to the south thanks to the wetter air. By contrast, the more arid stretches of northwest Paraguay are home to thorny forests of their own.
Unfortunately, the wetter marshlands and rainforests of the east and the more arid lowlands of the west are at risk of deforestation and other threats, putting local populations like monkeys, jaguars, and hundreds of birds at risk. In contrast, the relative lack of human settlements in the Chaco makes it a prime location for spotting wildlife like tapirs, jaguars, and parakeets.
The Official National Animal (and Bird) of Paraguay
The pampas fox is the national animal of Paraguay. The average person wouldn’t be able to distinguish a pampas fox from another breed, but they have a couple of qualities that make them unique. The pampas fox is known to collect stray bits of materials like cloth and textiles in their private dens, and they respond to humans they perceive as threats by playing dead. The pampas fox is an omnivore that prefers valleys and sparse forests. Despite being recognized as the national animal, the pampas fox is sometimes perceived as a threat to agriculture. They’re hunted both for population control and for their fur. The pampas fox can also be found in Brazil, Bolivia, and Uruguay.
The bare-throated bellbird was only named national bird as recently as 2006, but this stark and unique white bird with a blue face is a symbol of Paraguay’s commitment to conservation. The Paraguayan National Congress assigning a national bird signified recognition of Paraguay’s important proximity to critical bird migration patterns.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Paraguay
Paraguay offers a few distinct ecosystems, but each offers unique wildlife and distinctly gorgeous views. Here are some of the highlights.
- San Rafael Park offers the most accessible and meaningful exposure to the unique wildlife of the Atlantic Forest. Over 400 species of birds live in San Rafael Park, but it’s home to the capybara and tapir as well. Jaguars, ocelots, and puma also count San Rafael Park as their stomping grounds.
- The largest protected area in Paraguay is Cerro Cora. This national park straddles the border with Brazil, and its mix of valleys, rainforests, and hills make it a unique cross-section of the country’s unique ecosystems. The diversity of the flora is the real spotlight here, but you’ll find conventional wildlife like deer and foxes alongside rarer breeds like the giant anteater.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Paraguay Today
- There are plenty of big cats that could pose a danger within Paraguay’s borders. The most dangerous is the jaguar, but ocelots and panthers are also known to prowl the country.
- The truth of the matter is that most piranha fish pose no threat to humans. They’re more scared of us than we are of them. But the most aggressive form of this carnivorous fish — the red-bellied piranha — is native to Paraguay. Bite outbreaks are not unheard of in neighboring countries like Brazil.
- Of the hundred or so snakes living in Paraguay, most are harmless. But there are a few dangerous snakes that are venomous and often lethal to humans. Of particular note are the eight species of endemic coral snake.
Endangered Animals In Paraguay
Three species endemic to Paraguay are currently listed on the endangered species list, and all of them are giant versions of more familiar animals. The giant armadillo grows to be an average length of three feet, while the giant otter can reach a length three times that. Its stature has earned it the nickname of “river wolf”. The giant peccary is perhaps the most interesting of the three, as the pig-like creature wasn’t even known to exist until its discovery in 2000 among the Brazilian wilderness.
Paraguay is also home to seven animals that are included on the vulnerable species list. These include the giant anteater, the shrewish short-tailed opossum, and the bush dog. But just as worrying is the loss of the Atlantic Forest. Constituting a major portion of Paraguay’s landmass, its disappearance to deforestation is incredibly worrying. It’s among the five most rapidly disappearing habitats — and that’s especially worrying considering how much biodiversity is there.
The agouti is one of the only animals that can crack open Brazil nut pods!
These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech
They are the heaviest snake in the world
Their name means snake bird
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
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
There are 8 different species!
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!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
In spring, the male bobolink is the only North American bird who is dark below and light colored above. This makes identification easy.
Seabirds found across the South Pacific!
Can live its entire life indoors
Bush dogs have webbed toes to help them swim.
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 lizards are among the largest lizards.
The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
Cascabels rely on their camouflage first, and rattle if that doesn't work.
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!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
Form bands of up to 12 individuals!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
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
The crab-eating fox is extremely adaptable, living in all sorts of habitats and eating almost any available food.
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.
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
The most popular species of feeder roach
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.
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!
The Executioner Wasp's sting is one of the most painful in the world.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
There are several color morphs, including lavender!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world
Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air
Besides being bred for milk and meat, these cattle were also used as draft oxen.
There are more than 240,000 different species!
Can glide up to 90 meters!
There are around 7,000 different species!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
The most common type of urban roach
Armadillos have a smell that’s described as strong, sweet and acrid.
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
There are 11,000 known species!
At night, they make a terrifying low call that sounds like a distressed moan or growl.
Females are often five times longer than males.
Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!
Also known as the Millionfish!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!
Their vision is eight times better than a human's
Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.
This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Natively found in South America!
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
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.
Spends 80% of it's time resting!
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
The Hyacinth Macaw is the largest flying parrot in the world!
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
Uses visual signals to communicate!
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!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
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.
Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking
The largest species of parrot in the world!
Will only live in wet areas
Despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf.
Margays are one of the world’s most highly adapted cat species for climbing trees!
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Megatherium probably used its lips more than its tongue when feeling for choice leaves in the treetops.
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!
Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!
Collectors prize them for their bright wings
Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood
There are 250,000 different species!
Has no real natural predators!
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
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
There are more than 5,000 species.
An invasive species, one female nutria can birth up to 200 babies in just a few years of living!
Also known as the Painted Leopard!
They inhabit the lowlands of the Amazon rainforest
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!
Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.
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 is known for their aggressive behavior and predatory instincts, making them a challenging target for sport fishermen.
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.
Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!
There are 30 different species worldwide!
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
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!
The rainbow boa is named for its iridescent skin that refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect.
Omnivores that eat anything!
Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.
Rattlesnakes may have evolved their rattle to warn bison away from them.
Male and female Red-Footed Tortoises move their heads to communicate.
Red tailed boas don’t suffocate their prey, they squeeze until the heart stops circulating blood to the brain.
Male rheas mate with up to a dozen females and single-handedly raise up to 80 chicks at once!
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!
The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!
Canines up to 7 inches long!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
There are more than 700 different species!
There are around 2,000 known species!
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Senepol cattle have a distinctive red color and no horns.
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
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!
Closely related to the Piranha
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
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!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
They can’t sing like other birds.
Their wings form a “V” shape when flying.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Most closely related to horses and rhinos!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
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
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!
They make music with their wings
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!
They make jerky movements as they walk through the grass, searching for food.
The female Urutu snake grows longer and heavier than males of the same species
Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!
They have a fast song that lasts up to 10 syllables at max.
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
There are 30 different species worldwide!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
They are typically noisy birds but take on a soft tone with their young.
Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.
There are two different types of white ferrets!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
Females are much larger than males
Anacondas take prey much bigger compared to body weight than other snakes.
Paraguayan Animals List
Animals in Paraguay FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Are the Animals in Paraguay?
The wildlife of Paraguay reflects the contrast of east and west. The lowlands reflect an ecosystem that will be familiar to people from around the world. Boars and tapirs exist alongside foxes, deer, and any number of freshwater fish.
Things get more exotic once you extend into the marshland and the jungle. You’re unlikely to see wild cats like ocelots and jaguars, but you can be confident they’re out there. Toucans and armadillos provide species that will be far more exotic to the average traveler.
What Animals Went Extinct in Paraguay?
There are no species that are specifically known to have gone extinct in Paraguay, but South America, in general, was once home to species as varied as the giant sloth and the saber-toothed cat. And while it’s been some time since a species we know of has gone extinct in Paraguay, doesn’t mean that we don’t need to be concerned about the country’s biodiversity. Paraguay is home to two endangered species, and the density of the Paraguayan rain forest means it’s hard to really gauge what hidden species might be at risk or lost entirely.
Are There Monkeys in Paraguay?
Paraguay is actually home to five native species of monkeys. These include the black howler monkey, white-coated titi, black-tailed marmoset, and both the Azaras’s capuchin and the Azara’s night monkey. All of these species live in the jungle and have habitats that extend beyond the borders of Paraguay. The Azaras’s’ capuchin — also known as the hooded capuchin — is listed as a least threatened species on the endangered species list.