Below you can find a complete list of Peruvian animals. We currently track 234 animals in Peru and are adding more every day!
Bordered to the north by Ecuador and Colombia, to the east by Brazil and Bolivia, to the south by Chile, and the west by the Pacific Ocean, Peru is unusually rich in wildlife. Indeed, the recognition of the country’s natural resources is in its very constitution, and its National System of Natural Areas was established as far back as 1900.
The great diversity of Peru’s wildlife has much to do with the fact that it contains some of the Amazon rainforest and the Andes Mountains and has a coast on the Pacific Ocean. There are 1800 species of birds, 120 of which are only found in Peru, 500 types of mammals, 300 types of reptiles as well as many species of insects, cetaceans, crustaceans, fish, and seals. Unique species of animal are discovered in Peru on a regular basis, amazing when considering how many animals around the world are going extinct.
The Official National Animal of Peru
The national animal of Peru is the vicuña. Related to the llama, this animal is prized for the quality of its wool, and in ancient times only royalty was allowed to wear clothes made of vicuña wool. The vicuña is an herbivore and much of its diet is made up of the grasses found in its habitat, which are the plains and semi-arid grasslands found in Peru. It is the smallest camelid and stands less than five feet tall on average and weighs between 88 and 132 pounds.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Peru
Peru offers many places to find its top wild animals. They include the Ballestas Islands, which are the home of sea lions. Popular Huascarán National Park is one area to see herds vicuña as well as condors and the north Andean deer. The park also has Peru’s highest point, the majestic and snow-capped Mount Huascarán.
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park‘s rivers and hills are home to a variety of birds, including toucans, harpy eagles, egrets, and hummingbirds. It also has the maned wolf and the puma.
In addition to the Andes Mountains, Peru also has one of the world’s deepest canyons in Colca Canyon. This popular tourist site is also home to vicu˜ñas, flamingos, hummingbirds, the Andean condor, and the Andes skunk. Manú National Park has clouds and rainforests as well as grassland. At 4,241,057.9 acres, it is a World Heritage Site and is home to the Andean cock-of-the-rock, which is Peru’s national bird, jaguarundi, deer, sloth, squirrel monkeys, spectacled bears, roseate spoonbills, and ocelots.
Found in the Loreto region of the country, Pacaya–Samiria National Reserve is also a popular place to see the country’s wildlife. Animals include the coati, the jaguar, and the capybara, the world’s largest rodent.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Peru Today
The most dangerous animals in Peru include:
- Puma. This is the South American version of the cougar. It is territorial and an ambush predator. Though it’s rare, the puma has been known to kill humans. These attacks are becoming more frequent as humans start to encroach on the animal’s habitat. Most people killed by pumas are children.
- Jaguar. Like the puma, it is unusual for a jaguar to attack and kill a human being, but it has happened. It is a big and muscular animal with a bite so powerful its teeth can pierce the shells of tortoises and the skulls of human beings.
- Great White Shark. This shark is responsible for most human deaths by a shark. Humans are not the shark’s usual prey, and a bite may be investigatory. However, a grown Great White is so huge that even an investigatory bite can be fatal.
- Venomous Snakes. Of the hundreds of snakes in Peru, about 33 are venomous. One of the most dangerous is the fer-de-lance, or Bothrops asper. It is a pit viper and is especially dangerous because it lives close to humans and is nervous and unpredictable. It has a habit of seeming to flee then doubling back and attacking. In 2019, another venomous snake was discovered in Bahuaja Sonene National Park and named Bothrops sonene.
Endangered Animals In Peru
Though Peru is famous for protecting its unique wildlife, some animals are still threatened with going extinct. These include:
- Amazon river dolphin. This mammal is endangered.
- Amazonian manatee. This is the smallest of the three types of manatee that have not gone extinct and is vulnerable.
- Peruvian night monkey. This little monkey is little studied but considered endangered.
- Marine otter. The marine otter, unique because it lives almost exclusively in salt water, is endangered.
The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!
They can spit up to 10 feet.
These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech
They are the heaviest snake in the world
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!
One of the largest freshwater fish
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
Has a curved, upturned beak!
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!
Seabirds found across the South Pacific!
Can live its entire life indoors
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.
These birds travel more than 3,000 miles during migration!
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!
Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!
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.
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.
There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!
There are 93 different crab groups
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!
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
One of the only schooling Cichlids!
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
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!
Despite its powerful shock, electric eels have terrible vision.
Have a lifespan of 20 years or more
Has an elegant white moustache!
The fastest creatures on the planet!
The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas
The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.
The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world
Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air
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
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
The most common type of urban roach
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
There are 11,000 known species!
Females are often five times longer than males.
Many grouper can change their sex, and it is always from female to male.
Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!
Also known as the Millionfish!
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 40 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.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Found on the South American coast!
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.
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
Uses visual signals to communicate!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
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!
The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
The Livyatan had 1 to 1.2 foot long, interlocking teeth
There are around 5,000 different species!
Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!
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
With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day
Despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf.
Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!
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!
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!
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!
no stomach to digest food
There are more than 5,000 species.
Also known as the Painted Leopard!
Females are about four times the size of males
The Oscar fish has teeth in its throat!
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!
Can live for up to 100 years!
The parrot snake shows off with bright green and bronze colors that cover its entire body.
Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is the national dog of Peru
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
Also known as the 'Pink Dolphin'
Generally found in fast-flowing streams!
The male broods the eggs and baby fish in his mouth.
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.
It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!
Male and female Red-Footed Tortoises move their heads to communicate.
One of three giant catfish species
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!
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.
There are around 2,000 known species!
The frog's ears are underdeveloped, and if it hears it probably does so through its lungs.
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
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 3,000 known species worldwide
Only found in North America!
There are 140 different species!
Native to the Andes mountains of South America!
Found in the tropical jungles of South America!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
Lives in groups of up to 500 individuals!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
They can’t sing like other birds.
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!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Have a very short tail for their size!
Migrates up and down the mountains!
Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
There are 30 different species worldwide!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.
There are two different types of white ferrets!
White-tail deer are good swimmers
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
Has a long, strong prehensile tail!
Yellow, black and white striped fins!
Sea snakes spend approximately 90% of their lives under water.
Peruvian Animals List
Animals in Peru FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What kinds of animals live in Peru?
There is an amazing variety of animals that live in Peru and more are being discovered. Recently discovered animals include two kinds of beetles, a type of spiny rat, a new kind of mouse, a type of flycatcher and a pygmy frog. This frog, Noble’s pygmy frog, is unique because it lays only two eggs and these eggs hatch into tiny frogs instead of tadpoles.
What is a common animal in Peru?
A common animal found in Peru is the capuchin monkey. It is a monkey that grows between 12 and 22 inches long, save its tail, and its tail is often as long as its body. It can weigh between 3 and 9 pounds and can live 25 years in the wild. The capuchin monkey lives in both the rainforest and the dry forests on the coast, and its success is probably due to the fact that it’s not particular about its habitat or its diet. It’s an omnivore and eats plant material as well as animals from spiders to lizards to birds all the way up to other primates.
What is the most dangerous animal in Peru?
The most dangerous animal in Peru is probably the fer-de-lance because of its aggressiveness, its proximity to human habitation, and the potency of its venom.
Is there Puma in Peru?
The puma is found in Peru. It’s the second-largest big cat in Peru behind the jaguar.