Below you can find a complete list of Peruvian animals. We currently track 169 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.
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.
Peruvian Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Black Widow Spider
- Caiman Lizard
- Camel Cricket
- Carpenter Ant
- Common House Spider
- Crab Spider
- Dung Beetle
- Electric Eel
- Emperor Tamarin
- Fallow deer
- False Widow Spider
- Fiddler Crab
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Guinea Pig
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Horned Frog
- House wren
- Humboldt Penguin
- Huntsman Spider
- Maned Wolf
- Marine Toad
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
- Mountain Lion
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Peregrine Falcon
- Peruvian Inca Orchid
- Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)
- Poison Dart Frog
- Pygmy Marmoset
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Scarlet Macaw
- Silver Dollar
- Skink Lizard
- Snapping Turtle
- Spectacled Bear
- Spider Monkey
- Spider Wasp
- Squirrel Monkey
- Stick Insect
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- White-tail deer
- Wolf Spider
- Woolly Monkey
- X-Ray Tetra
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.