Below you can find a complete list of Paraguayan animals. We currently track 121 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 List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Caiman Lizard
- Collared Peccary
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Guinea Pig
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Horned Frog
- Howler Monkey
- Maned Wolf
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
- Mountain Lion
- Peregrine Falcon
- Poison Dart Frog
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Silver Dollar
- Snapping Turtle
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- Wolf Spider
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.