Amazon Endangered Animals
Amazon Rainforest Endangered Animals
Unfortunately there are a number of endangered animals in the Amazon Rainforest. The IUCN Red List currently (May 2013) lists 2633 species of near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered forest inhabiting species in South America. A lot of these will be within the Amazon Rainforest, but will also live in the highly threatened Atlantic Forest and temperate forests in Chile & Argentina. The most threatened higher classification of Amazon Rainforest animals are the amphibians, which are facing a world wide crisis from introduced species, climate change, and changes in habitat.
Amazon Endangered Animals – Giant Otter
- Giant Otter
An Amazon icon, giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) are the largest species in the weasel family (Mustelidae). They are also the most social animals within the family and despite being rarely seen in the northern Amazon are quite commonly encountered in areas like the Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park in south Peru. Giant otters feed on Amazon fish and crustaceans. There are ecotourism operations that revolve around communities of giant otters like the Sandoval Lake Lodge from Puerto Maldonado, Peru. Habitat destruction and hunting for pelts continues to threaten the species and their numbers are decreasing.
Sandoval Lake Lodge Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Sandoval Lake lodge is another popular choice for short Amazon tours from Puerto Maldonado. On your stay, you will overlook the beauty of Lake Sandoval where you will take tours to find the population of Giant Amazon Otters. You will also be looking for monkeys, Amazon birds, and then caiman when you tour the lake at night.Sandoval Lake, Giant Otters
- JocoToco Antipitta
- Small Range
- Recently Discovered
The jocotoco antipitta (Grallaria ridgelyi) lives in a remote area on the Amazon Rainforest side of the Ecuadorian Andes. The JocoToco foundation and series of reserves & tour lodges sourced inspiration from this species. You can see the birds on tours of the Tapichalaca Reserve, which was established to protect this bird and many others.
The jocotoco antipitta is an antbird about the size of a small melon and likes to hop around the forest floor. Luckily, the bird was recently discovered in 1997 and protected within a reserve just in time. The birds have a very small range and are threatened by deforestation. Their numbers are decreasing.
South American Tapir
- Eat Fruit
- Hoofed Mammal
- Use Clay Licks
Along with the giant otter above and the jaguar, South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris) are classed among the big three animals to see in South America. Tapir are hoofed mammals that inhabit South American forests and despite a bulky appearance can move well across seemingly impassible terrain. They have a thick skin and like many animals feed off clay to obtain various essential minerals. Tapir eat a range of different Amazon fruit and seem to have a preference for palm fruit of Mauritia flexuosa. The fruits are also enjoyed by people throughout the Amazon region. The photo above was obtained from a clay lick in Manu National Park, south Peru, which you can visit on tours from the Manu Wildlife Center and Manu Tented Camp (a low impact lodge). Clay licks are also accessible in the Tambopata National Reserve from tours like the Heath River Lodge. Tapir are threatened by hunting and habitat destruction and their numbers are decreasing.
Heath River Wildlife Center Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Another remote Amazon tour, this is the only lodge on the Heath River, which runs through the middle of the Tambopata / Madidi protected areas between Peru and Bolivia. At the Heath River Lodge, you can view a nearby macaw clay lick & stand a chance of seeing Amazon tapir at the tapir hide.Clay Lick, Tapir Hide
- Extinct Tribe
The red faced uakari (Cacajao calvus) is one of the endangered monkeys in the Amazon Rainforest. The above photograph was taken in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, which was established to protect this species. Keeping with the depressing theme of endangered life, the name uakari is from an extinct tribe that inhabited the Amazon Rainforest and we will never know its true meaning. Habitat destruction and hunting continue to threaten the monkey and their numbers are decreasing.
Tahuayo Lodge Iquitos, PeruAt the Tahuayo Lodge you receive a private guide as standard. You will have access to the associated Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center where you can observe abundant monkeys and Amazon animals. Enjoy the most activities available in the rainforest as you whiz along the canopy zipline, visit Frog Belly, canoe the forest, & customise your tour to your liking. If you have specific interests, we will assign you a guide with this specialty.Private Guide, Zipline, Primate Research Grid
Books on Wildlife
Here is a selection of good books and guides on wildlife to help you learn more about animals and plants in their natural environment.
- Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide
- Natural History (Smithsonian)
- The Encyclopedia of Animals
- Wild Amazon: A Photogapher’s Incredible Journey
- The Diversity of Life