Animals in Paraguay



Below you can find a complete list of Paraguayan animals. We currently track 150 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.

Paraguayan Animals

Amazon Parrot

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

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

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!

Bobolink

In spring, the male bobolink is the only North American bird who is dark below and light colored above. This makes identification easy.

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.

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!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common House Spider

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

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!

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!

Earthworm

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

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!

False Widow Spider

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

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.

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.

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!

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!

Maned Wolf

Despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf.

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

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!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

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.

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.

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!

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!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

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!

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!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

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.

Tiger Beetle

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

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!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

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.