The world is in perhaps the worst crisis moment that it has ever faced. Everything is being shut down, as an invisible, invincible microbe has put us in danger. While so, not surprisingly, nature is finally healing. The entire phase can be visualized as a reminder that we humans aren’t the only occupants of this earth. Take the Amazon rainforest for instance. With thousands of species from the animal kingdom, Amazon wildlife is the perfect example of biodiversity. So, today in this article we will talk about the Amazon forest animals. Read ahead to know in detail about the diverse and rich wildlife as you browse about the Amazon rainforest animals list. Additionally, you will get to know more about the occupants of the Amazon river basin, as we have included the Amazon river animals too. Happy reading! Here is a list of some of the most diverse species of Amazon forest animals.
List of Amazon Rainforest animals in the great Amazon forest:
- Amazon river dolphin
- Giant river otter
- Pygmy marmoset
- Squirrel monkey
- Giant anteater
- Spider monkey
- Woolly monkey
- Titi monkey
- Howler monkey
- Saki monkey
- Golden lion tamarin
- Giant armadillo
- Lophostoma Yasuni bat
- South American Tapir
- Capuchin monkey
- Uakari monkey
- South American coati
- Brown-throated three-toed sloth
- Bald Uakari
- Vampire bat
- Amazonian manatee
1. Amazon river dolphin
Scientific name: Inea geoffrensis
The Amazon river dolphin is one of the most popular among Amazon river animals. It comes under a toothed whale species while remaining the largest of the river dolphin kind in the world. Also famous as the pink dolphin, it is found in aquatic habitats. It predominantly occupies the Amazon river basin. It is an endangered species, because of deforestation and pollution threats affecting its population.
Scientific name: Panthera Onca
Jaguar is a member of the cat family and the third-largest of its kind in the world. Inhabiting mostly dense forest areas, it is also found near water bodies like rivers and swamps. This is because jaguars are great natural swimmers. It is in the category of Near Threatened species on the IUCN red list. The major threat to the decline in the jaguar population is deforestation. Life survival chances and density of jaguars are more in the Amazon rainforest than in the other parts, making it one important mention on the Amazon rainforest animals list.
Scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Capybara is a member of the rodent family and the largest of its kind in the world. It is particularly native to South America and has a semi-aquatic habitat. That is to clarify, capybara prefers dense forests with rivers, swamps, or lakes. So, it is an Amazon rainforest animal because of the presence of the vast Amazon river basin. They are also found in great numbers in savannas. It is a social animal and so, mostly visible in groups between ten to a hundred individuals. Although not a threatened fauna species, Capybara is heavily hunted for its skin and meat.
4. Giant river otter
Scientific name: Pteronura brasiliensis
The Giant river otter is an Amazon river animal particularly found in the northern and central parts of South America. It has an aquatic habitat and inhabits freshwater lakes and rivers of the Amazon basin that flood seasonally. A member of the weasel family, it is the longest of its kind in the world. The giant river otter is an endangered species owing to the heavy trend in the loss of its habitat. Although exact numbers cannot be estimated, about 5000 individuals of this species are left.
Sloths come under the suborder Folivora. There are two genera identifying three-toed and two-toed sloths respectively under this suborder. Among Amazon rainforest animals, one cannot forget the various species of sloths in the Amazon. Sloths are identified into two categories depending on their physical aspect as three-toed and two-toed sloths. They have a terrestrial habitat. This is why sloths are seen mostly in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. They are especially known for the extremely low metabolism of their bodies. There are six species of sloths, out of which two species are threatened. According to the IUCN, the maned three-toed sloth is vulnerable, while the pygmy three-toed sloth is critically endangered. Habitat loss due to deforestation is the major concern for the decreasing trend.
Scientific name: Puma concolor
Cougar is the second-largest member of the cat family native to the Americas. It is adaptable to most habitats, ranging from mountains, forests, and lowlands. Found mostly in South and North America, it is sighted in the Amazon rainforests. Although it falls under the least concern category of IUCN, the number of cougars is going downhill with time. The major threat is habitat fragmentation.
7. Pygmy marmoset
Scientific name: Cebuella pygmaea
The pygmy marmoset is a New World monkey species, which is an Amazon basin animal. This is because it occupies the rainforests in the western part of the Amazon River basin. It is also found in evergreen forests that have rivers nearby across South America. This animal is additionally credited as the smallest primate in the world. Pygmy marmosets are mostly visible in groups of two to nine members. It is under the vulnerable category of animals of the IUCN. Owing to its tiny size, it comes under the threat of the illegal pet trade. In addition to this, deforestation also contributes to the decreasing numbers.
8. Squirrel monkey
Squirrel monkeys come under the genus Saimiri. There are eight species of squirrel monkeys under this genus. Squirrel monkey is a genus of New World monkeys that are found in the tropical forests of South and Central America. They occupy the canopy and are Amazon rainforest animals. These monkeys generally live in groups as large as 500 members. Out of the eight extant species, two are in the threatened category. The black squirrel monkey and the Central American squirrel monkey are vulnerable as per the findings of the IUCN. Habitat loss due to logging, pet trade, and hunting are the main threats.
9. Giant anteater
Scientific name: Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Also popular as the ant bear, the giant anteater is a regular mention in the Amazon rainforest animals list. It is a mammal found in the grasslands and rainforests of Central and South America. It is categorized under the sloth family but has a terrestrial habitat. This is not the case with other anteaters as they have arboreal habitats. The giant anteater is a vulnerable species according to the IUCN, while the threats include poaching, fire, and habitat loss.
10. Spider monkey
Spider monkey comes under the genus Ateles. There are seven species of squirrel monkeys under this genus. The largest living New World Monkeys, spider monkeys are generally found in moist evergreen forests in South America. They inhabit the upper canopy of rainforests and are sighted in the northern forests near the Amazon River. All seven species of spider monkeys are threatened according to the IUCN. While two species are critically endangered, four others are endangered and the remaining one species is vulnerable. Logging and deforestation are mainly responsible for this declining trend.
11. Woolly monkey
The Woolly monkey comes under the genus Lagothrix. There are four species of woolly monkeys under this genus. Woolly monkey is a New World Monkey that is predominantly found in the rainforests of South America. Since it prefers seasonally flooding rainforests, it is among the animals on the Amazon rainforest list. It can also be found in mature tropical forests. Additionally, these monkeys live in groups that range from 10 to 45 members in number. Due to the risks of habitat encroachment and the illegal pet trade, woolly monkeys are highly endangered.
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12. Titi monkey
Titi monkeys come under the subfamily Callicebinae. There are three extant genera of Titi monkeys under this subfamily. Titi monkeys are mostly found in the Amazon basin in parts of South America. It is a New World monkey, which has a terrestrial habitat. It prefers the lower canopy and occupies forests and swamps with nearby river shores. The Titi monkey is an Amazon rainforest animal that has many subspecies as critically endangered. Due to habitat destruction and poaching, the population of these monkeys is highly at risk.
13. Howler monkey
Howler monkey comes under the genus Alouatta. There are 15 species of Howler monkeys under this genus. As the name suggests, howler monkeys are quite famous for their exceptionally loud howl. Studies state that the howl can travel up to 5 kilometres! A New World monkey is prominent in the forests of Central and South America, it is an inclusion in the list of Amazon rainforest animals. It can be generally found in a group of six to fifteen members. Howler monkeys prefer the upper canopy and are also found in savannas. Some of the species of howler monkeys are under the endangered category of IUCN, owing to the pet trade, hunting, and deforestation.
14. Saki monkey
The Saki monkey comes under the genus Pithecia. There are sixteen species of Saki monkeys under this genus. Saki monkeys are mostly found in central and northern parts of South America. They are New World monkeys that prefer rainforests as habitat. There are sixteen species under the genus Pithecia, out of which most species are showing a decreasing trend in the population. Although in the least concern list of IUCN, the decreasing number is mainly due to logging and hunting. It is an Amazon forest animal that is more prominent in South America.
Tapir comes under the genus Tapirus. There are four extant species of Tapir under this genus. Resembling the appearance of a pig, Tapirs are herbivorous mammals that are prominent in Central and South America. They prefer to inhabit tropical rainforests and lowland grasslands. There are four species of Tapir. The IUCN has listed three of these species are endangered, while one is vulnerable. The major concern for this declining trend is habitat loss and hunting for hides and meat.
Scientific name: Potos flavus
Also popular as the honey bear, Kinkajou is an Amazon forest animal. It is also the only surviving member of the genus Potus. It prefers to inhabit the closed canopy of tropical rainforests. More prominent in the forests of South and Central America, Kinkajou is hardly seen in the light as they are nocturnal mammals. Although not endangered, this animal is showing a decreasing trend in recent times. The illegal pet trade and deforestation have a lot to do with this situation.
17. Golden lion tamarin
Scientific name: Leontopithecus rosalia
A New World monkey, the golden lion tamarin is a species more prominent in South-eastern Brazil. It is also popular as the golden marmoset. This Amazon jungle animal prefers tropical rainforests as its habitat. As per the IUCN records, it is an endangered species with only about 4000 members left in the world. Poaching, mining, logging, and deforestation contribute to this critically declining trend of golden lion tamarins.
18. Giant armadillo
Scientific name: Priodontes Maximus
The Giant armadillo is the largest living member of the armadillo family. It is predominantly found in the northern regions of South America. It prefers an open habitat and hence occupies lowland forests and Cerrado grasslands. The IUCN lists the giant armadillo as a vulnerable species, as it is heavily hunted for meat while deforestation adds to the decreasing trend.
Scientific name: Herpailurus yagouaroundi
Jaguarundi is a member of the cat family that lives in the wild. It is prominent in the Americas, mostly in Central and South America. It inhabits both open and closed habitats and can be found in a range of rainforests, savannas, and thorn scrubs. Jaguarundi generally prefers to stay in the proximity of running water. This species is considered in the least concern category of the IUCN. However, there is a decline in its numbers which is mainly because of deforestation, which causes habitat loss.
20. Lophostoma Yasuni bat
Scientific name: Lophostoma yasuni
A bat species exclusive to the Yasuni national park in the Amazon basin, the Lophostoma Yasuni bat is a rare name in the Amazon forest animals list. It belongs to the genus Lophostoma and is one of the many genera of bats native to South and Central America. These bats mostly occupy tropical rainforests. The population trend of the bat species is declining and can be contributed to habitat loss.
Scientific name: Leopardus pardalis
Another member of the wild cat family, ocelots are a common sight in the forests of South and Central America. This member of Amazon wildlife prefers to inhabit tropical rainforests, swamps, and savannas. So, the basic idea is that they prefer thick forest cover with water resources in the vicinity. Ocelots are among the least concern list of IUCN. But, there is a steadily decreasing trend in the numbers during recent times. The major concerns, like in most other cases, include hunting and deforestation.
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22. South American Tapir
Scientific name: Tapirus terrestris
The South American tapir is the largest of all terrestrial mammals that call the Amazon home. It inhabits forests, grasslands, and savannas. So, it is prominent in the Amazon basin and rainforest parts that lie in South America. It is an Amazon forest animal that has been declared vulnerable by the IUCN. One of the biggest threats to the South American Tapir is poaching.
Tamarin comes under the genus Saguinus. There are thirteen species of Tamarins under this genus. Tamarin is an Amazon basin animal and a member of the New World monkey family. It is spread across the forests of Central and South America throughout the Amazon basin region. It is also especially famous for its tiny size. This is because it is only about the size of a squirrel. The IUCN categorizes some of the thirteen species of Tamarins as endangered. The decreasing number of tamarins owes mainly to logging which leads to habitat loss.
Marmoset comes under the family Callitrichidae. There are four genera of marmosets in this family. Marmoset is a New World monkey. It is a mammal that mostly occupies parts of Central and South America. Better known as Zaris in many regions, marmosets are mentioned in the list of Amazon forest animals. It prefers tropical rainforests and savannas. This is why logging is a major concern to the decreasing trend of these animals. Additionally, hunting and poaching also endanger the population of marmosets.
25. Capuchin monkey
Capuchin monkeys come under the subfamily Cebinae. There are two genera of these monkeys under this subfamily.
Another member of the New World monkeys, the Capuchin monkey is quite popular. It inhabits various tropical rainforests across South and Central America. Capuchin monkeys live in various habitats like deciduous dry forests, rainforests, and lowland forests among others. Among the several species of these monkeys, Sapajus Flavius, also commonly known as the blond Capuchin, is a critically endangered species. IUCN studies state that this trend is because of habitat fragmentation.
26. Uakari monkey
Uakari monkeys come under the genus Cacajao. There are four species of these monkeys under this genus.
Uakaris are New World monkeys that are especially popular for their bright red facial feature. It is mainly visible in the northwestern regions of the Amazon basin. It can be also found in neotropical Amazon forests, towards the northern parts of the Amazon River. So, it is an Amazon basin animal. The IUCN states the Uakari monkeys are among the least concern list. However, there is a declining trend in the numbers. This is primarily because of habitat loss caused by logging and deforestation.
27. South American coati
Scientific name: Nasua nasua
A member of the raccoon family, South American coati is an Amazon forest animal. As the name suggests, it is a native of South America. It inhabits tropical and subtropical regions, mainly lowland forests. Coatis in general have rainforests, mountains, and grasslands as their habitat. Although it is on the least concern list of IUCN, the numbers of this animal show a downward trend. Unregulated hunting and habitat destruction contribute heavily to this situation.
Agouti comes under the genus Dasyprocta. There are eleven species of Agouti under this genus.
Another member of the rodent family, Agouti is native to several parts of South America and Central America. It is majorly found in the central and northern regions of South America. It is an Amazon jungle animal as it mainly inhabits rainforests and savannas. Agouti is also credited as a good swimmer. So, they prefer areas with water sources nearby. The current population trend of Agouti is stable and great.
Paca comes under the genus Cuniculus. There are three species of Paca under this genus.
Paca is a large member of the rodent family. This animal is especially identified for its appearance. This is because Paca has notable stripes and dots on its back surface. It inhabits quite a range of habitats like grasslands, mangrove swamps, and rainforests. It has a herbivorous diet and prefers living in forests that have running water sources. They are more prominent in the forests of Central and South America. Due to the threat of hunting and habitat loss, the number of Paca is significantly going down.
30. Brown-throated three-toed sloth
Scientific name: Bradypus variegatus
Brown-throated three-toed sloths are the most prominent species of three-toed sloths. It is an Amazon rainforest animal as it prefers tropical rainforests and evergreen, highly perturbed areas to live in. So, it mainly occupies the neotropical ecozone of South America and Central America. The range of these sloths is widespread in the forests of the Amazon. Therefore, it is among the least concerned animals of the IUCN. However, habitat fragmentation poses quite a threat to the population of these animals.
31. Bald Uakari
Scientific name: Cacajao calvus
The bald Uakari is a member of the Uakari monkeys. It is the most famous of all Uakaris for its crimson red face. It is also a New World monkey which is relatively small in size. As it prefers to live in flooded rainforests, it is one of the many Amazon rainforest animals. It is most visible in Brazil and Peru, which is the western part of the Amazon Basin. Due to heavy deforestation and illegal hunting, bald uakaris have become vulnerable according to the IUCN.
32. Vampire bat
Vampire bats come under the subfamily Desmodontinae. There are three genera of vampire bats under this subfamily.
The vampire bat is a member of the bat family, which is native to the Americas. It inhabits tropical and subtropical areas and lives in colonies ranging from ten to a hundred members. These leaf-nosed bats are prominent in parts of Mexico and Brazil, which is mostly in Central and South America. This is one of the few Amazon forest animals that have a stable population trend, as of now.
33. Amazonian manatee
Scientific name: Trichechus inunguis
An Amazon basin animal, the Amazonian manatee is the smallest species of the manatee family. To clarify, manatees are herbivorous mammals that live in the sea. They are also popularly called ‘sea cows’. However, the Amazonian manatee is an exception from the rest of its kind. This is because Amazonian manatees live in a freshwater habitat. This is a mammal that is prominent in the Amazon basin in parts of Brazil and Peru among others. It is native to the northern parts of South America. The Amazonian manatee is a vulnerable species as per IUCN studies. Hunting, climate change, and habitat loss contribute largely to this situation.
Scientific name: Leopardus wiedii
Margay is a member of the cat family native to the Americas. It is prominent in primary and tropical evergreen forests in Central America, as well as the northern regions of South America. It is also found in deciduous forests. Additionally, it is relatively smaller in size compared to other wild cats found in the Amazon rainforest. Margay is near threatened according to the IUCN. Hunting and deforestation are the major threats to this Amazon jungle animal.
- Hyacinth macaw
- Toco Toucan
- Harpy eagle
- Scarlet Macaw
- Blue-throated macaw
- King vulture
- Spectacled owl
- Amazon parrot
- Barred antshrike
- Star-throated Antwren
- Tyrant flycatcher
- Greater yellow-headed vulture
- Wire-tailed Manakin
35. Hyacinth macaw
Scientific name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
The hyacinth macaw is the largest flying member of the parrot family in the world. This bird is native to eastern parts of South America and Central America. It inhabits woodlands, palm swamps, savannas, and grasslands among others. According to the IUCN, the hyacinth macaw is vulnerable. This is not surprising as parrots are the most threatened birds all across the world. The reasons for the declining trend of hyacinth macaws are cage bird trade and habitat loss.
Scientific name: Opisthocomus hoazin
Hoatzin is a tropical bird native to the Americas. It is also popular as the ‘reptile bird’. It prefers the mangroves, swamps, and riparian forests of the Amazon. Some hoatzins are also found in the Orinoco basin of South America. Hoatzin has a wide range of habitat and is among the least concerned animals and birds of IUCN. Additionally, this bird is the only existing species of the genus Opisthocomus.
37. Toco Toucan
Scientific name: Ramphastos toco
Toco Toucan is the largest bird of the toucan family of birds. It is found in the lower areas adjoining the Amazon river. Widely spread across Central America and eastern parts of South America, this bird mainly inhabits lowlands. It is found in Cerrado plantations, woodlands, and savannas among others. Since it has a semi-open habitat, this bird is found in healthy numbers across various regions. This is why it is the least concerned bird on the IUCN list.
38. Harpy eagle
Scientific name: Harpia harpyja
More famous as the American Harpy eagle, this is the largest eagle in the world. It majorly inhabits the upper canopy of tropical lowland rainforests in Central and South America. The Harpy eagle is also credited as the most powerful bird of prey in the world. However, this eagle is near threatened according to the IUCN. It is found in very few numbers and in the remotest locations near the Amazon basin. Logging and urbanization leading to habitat loss is the main threat to harpy eagle populations.
Cock-of-the-rock is a passerine bird that comes under the genus Rupicola. There are two species of bird under this genus.
Native to South America, cock-of-the-rock is a large bird that mostly inhabits the Amazon in Brazil. It prefers tropical and subtropical rainforests and humid forests. Additionally, it chooses forests with rocky areas and outcrops as their habitat. It is also found in ravines in montane ecosystems. As it has a stable population across the northern parts of the Amazon basin, it is among the least concerned birds with the fear of extinction.
Hummingbird comes under the family Trochilidae. There are two subfamilies of hummingbirds in this family.
Hummingbirds are the smallest of all birds in the world. Native to the Americas, it is mainly visible in the South and Central American regions. Hummingbirds prefer tropical and subtropical habitats. They are also famous for having the highest metabolic rate among all homeothermic animals. These birds come in several species and are widely distributed across continents. Hence, the population trend of this bird is stable and healthy.
41. Scarlet macaw
Scientific name: Ara macao
Found in the tropical ranges of Central and South America, the scarlet macaw is the most common macaw bird. This parrot which has a fusion of red, yellow, and blue on the plumage, is widely seen in the evergreen forests of the Amazon. It is found mainly in subtropical rainforests, savannas, and open woodlands. Although scarlet macaw is among the least concerned birds of IUCN, they face the threat of illegal pet trade and habitat loss.
42. Blue-throated macaw
Scientific name: Ara glaucogularis
The blue-throated macaw is the rarest bird species in the world. It is only seen in Los Llanos de Moxos, which is a small region in Bolivia. It inhabits forest islands, grasslands, and marshes. As there are only about 400 individuals of this species in the wild, it is critically endangered. Hunting, pet trade, and avian predation are the major threats to this bird species. Undoubtedly, this rare bird species needs more attention so that it is not wiped off the earth’s surface.
43. King Vulture
Scientific name: Sarcoramphus papa
The only existing species of the genus Sarcoramphus, king vulture is one of the largest birds in the world. It is prominent in the tropical lowland forests in South and Central America, This bird also inhabits savannas and grasslands. It has a comparatively lower population in the Amazon basin. The majority of these birds are found in the forests from the southern regions of Mexico to the northern parts of Argentina. King vulture is on the least concern list of IUCN as of now. However, their numbers show a decreasing trend, owing to poaching and habitat loss.
44. Spectacled owl
Scientific name: Pulsatrix perspicillata
Spectacled owls are prominent birds in the forests of Central America. They are comparatively larger than other owls from the owl family. There are six subspecies of spectacled owls, native to the Americas. These birds primarily occupy tropical rainforests, treed savannas, and dense, dry forests. The population of spectacled owls is stable as for now. This is why it is among the least concerned group of IUCN. However, the numbers are decreasing owing to habitat loss and hunting.
45. Amazon parrot
Amazon parrots are parrots that come under the genus Amazona. There are about 34 species of Amazon parrots under this genus.
Amazon parrots are medium-sized parrots native to the Americas. They are particularly sighted in Central and South America as also in the Caribbean islands. These birds prefer rainforests, woodlands, and lowland forests. They live in the upper canopy of rainforests. It is one of the Amazon rainforest birds that is widely distributed in the area. Yet, a few species face the threat of extinction. Logging and human interaction is a major concern.
Antpitta come under the family Grallariidae. There are four genera of antpittas in this family.
Antpittas are small birds that are found in tropical and subtropical regions of South America and Central America. They prefer to inhabit rainforests, swamps, bamboo stands, and mossy forests. They are insectivorous forest birds, that are closely related to antbirds. Some species of this bird are in the endangered category. Deforestation and logging contribute to this.
47. Barred Antshrike
Scientific name: Thamnophilus doliatus
The barred antshrike is an antbird that is very prominent across Central and South America. Unlike most other birds in our list that are restricted to forests, barred antshrikes are found in a wide range of humid and arid regions. They prefer wooded habitats, dense thickets, and forest edges. It is one of the most commonly seen antbirds in America. The barred antshrike population is of least concern, though the numbers are going down.
48. Star-throated Antwren
Scientific name: Rhopias gularis
Another member of the antbird family, the star-throated Antwren is an insectivorous forest bird. It is restricted to Brazil and is found only in the Atlantic forest. It prefers subtropical and tropical forests as its habitat. Hence, it is prominent in moist lowland and montane forests. The population trend of this bird is decreasing although it is noted in the least concern by the IUCN.
Kingfishers are birds that come under the family Alcedinidae. There are three subfamilies of kingfishers under this family.
Having bright plumage, these medium-sized birds are among the most popular birds in the world. Kingfishers occupy a wide variety of habitats, while most prefer regions close to water bodies like rivers, lakes, and streams. They are found in tropical regions like forests, savannas, and grasslands. About six species of kingfishers are found distributed in the Americas. They are also prominent in the Amazon basin. A few of the species of this bird is near threatened and in danger of extinction. Human intervention is the major reason behind this situation.
Parakeets come under the family Psittaccidae. There are about 115 species of these birds in the world.
Parakeets are basically smaller versions of parrots. They’re greatly distributed across all the continents and are hence prominent in the Amazon too. They prefer grasslands, scrublands, and open woodlands as habitats. It is a fact that parrots are the most threatened birds. This is mainly because of the illegal pet trade prevailing in all parts of the world. In the same vein, some species of parakeets are also facing an endangered status. Habitat loss and the pet trade heavily contribute to this.
51. Tyrant flycatcher
Tyrant flycatchers come under the family Tyrannidae. There are about a hundred genera of these birds under this family.
With over 400 species, the tyrant flycatcher is the largest family of birds in the world. They are so evenly spread throughout the Americas, that almost every habitat has these birds. These birds occupy a wide variety of habitats. These include tropical lowland evergreen forests, montane forests, deciduous forests, palm forests, grasslands, and many others, Estimates state that nearly ninety species of tyrant flycatchers are visible in tropical lowland evergreen forests. Although there is a great diversity of these birds, certain species are facing threats of extinction. Nearly eighteen species are vulnerable, while seven are endangered and two are critically endangered. The major threat causing this declining trend is deforestation.
Woodpeckers belong to the family Picidae. There are 3 subfamilies of woodpeckers under this family.
Abundant worldwide, woodpeckers are found in the greatest diversity in the continent of South America. They inhabit tropical rainforests, woodlands, scrublands, bamboo forests, and savannas. They have an arboreal habitat. In comparison to other bird families, woodpeckers are in more abundance across the world. However, several species face a serious threat of extinction, owing to deforestation. Among these, two species namely, the imperial woodpecker and the ivory-billed woodpecker are critically endangered. Both of these species are native to America.
Tanager comes under the family Thraupidae. There are about 240 species of tanagers in this family.
Tanagers are the second-largest family among all bird families across the globe. These birds primarily occupy deciduous and evergreen forests. It is widely distributed across the forests in America. About 60% of the overall tanager population inhabits South America and hence is abundantly found in the Amazon rainforest. The scarlet tanager is a popular species of this family. Some of the species of this bird are in danger of extinction. The major cause of this is deforestation and habitat loss.
Manakins come under the family of Pipridae. There are over 60 species of these birds in this family.
Manakins are small birds that have a wide diversity in the tropical regions of the Americas. They inhabit tropical rainforests, humid lowlands, river forests, and woodlands. They are highly arboreal birds, that is, live on trees, and feed on fruits and berries. Among the sixty species found in the Americas, a few species are under threat. Araripe manakin is a critically endangered species of manakin. The decreasing trend owes to habitat loss due to logging and deforestation.
Guans are birds from the family Cracidae. There are seven genera of the bird under this family.
Guans are another bird family that has a great distribution across South and Central America. They inhabit montane forests as well as mature tropical humid forests. They are mainly sighted across the forests of southern parts of Central America and northern South America. Out of the several extant species of guans, few species are nearing extinction, owing to habitat loss.
Storks come under the family Ciconiidae. There are about six genera of these birds under this family.
Storks are large, white birds prominent in the Americas. They are especially famous for their long physical structure owing to a long neck and legs. Three species of storks are visible in the Americas. They inhabit woodlands, marshes, flooded grasslands, and regions with rivers and ponds at large. The jabiru species of the stork is the tallest flying bird of all birds in America. Storks have a wide diversity and hence a healthy population around the world.
Herons come under the family Ardeidae. There are about 64 species of herons in this family.
Heron is bird that can be sighted all across the world except in Antarctica. These birds have a freshwater or coastal habitat although they aren’t swimming birds. They live near lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps, and the sea. Herons are prominent in the Amazon. This is because they feed on fish and other aquatic animals. They have a distinctive long beak. The majority of herons are found in the tropics and the lowlands areas. A few species are prone to the threat of extinction due to habitat loss.
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Oropendola come under the genus Psarocolius. There are over six species of bird under this genus.
Oropendolas are large passerine birds. They are native to South and Central America. These birds occupy the canopy of tropical forests and open woodlands of the New World. They are often sighted in a group, ranging from two to twenty individuals. The physical structure is characterized by long, pointed bills and a bright yellow-coloured tail. They are also famous for producing various kinds of voices and calls. These birds have a stable population trend and great diversity in the Amazon rainforest.
Potoos are of the genus Nyctibius and there are seven species of this bird under this genus.
Potoos are native to tropical regions of Central and South America. In fact, they are so greatly distributed that you can spot them in nearly every country of Central and South America. They inhabit humid forests and have a neotropical distribution. There are about five species of Potoos in the Amazon basin alone, thus showing a rich diversity here. These birds are nocturnal and sedentary in nature. They feed on insects and worms. Although they are listed in the least concern category, their numbers are going down owing to habitat destruction.
60. Greater yellow-headed vulture
Scientific name: Cathartes melambrotus
Also popular as the forest vulture, the greater yellow-headed vultures are New World vultures. They belong to the family Cathartidae. They are prominent in the tropical regions of South America. Therefore, a great variety is found in the Amazon basin area of South America. These vultures prefer tropical moist lowland forests. Additionally, this vulture species is hardly visible in areas away from densely forested areas. It falls in the least concern category of the IUCN. However, due to the risk of deforestation, their numbers are significantly declining.
61. Wire-tailed manakin
Scientific name: Pipra filicauda
Wire-tailed manakin is one of the prominent manakins found in the Amazon. It belongs to the family Pipridae. It naturally inhabits subtropical and tropical regions in the Americas. This species of manakin is visible in moist lowland forests and swamplands. It is also abundant in humid forests near streams and in the western parts of the Amazon basin. The population of Wire-tailed manakin is decreasing even though it is under the least concern category of IUCN.
- Black caiman
- Green anaconda
- Yellow anaconda
- South American river turtle
- Common basilisk
- Boa constrictor
- Freshwater turtle
- Matamata turtle
- Eyelash viper
- Golden lancehead pit viper
- Amazon Tree boa
62. Black caiman
Scientific name: Melanosuchus niger
Black caiman comes under the family of alligators and crocodiles. It is the largest of all predators of the Amazon ecosystem. Black caiman comes in the category of carnivorous reptiles in the Amazon. This crocodile is an Amazon basin animal prominent in seasonally flooded savannas and slow-moving rivers. It is also found in other freshwater ecosystems of South America. The Black caiman is one of the largest members of all the alligators and crocodiles in the world. It suffers threats from human intervention due to large scale hunting for hides and meat. This is why it was once under the status of endangerment. However now, the status has improved to conservation dependent species.
63. Green anaconda
Scientific name: Eunectes murinus
The green anaconda is the longest and heaviest of all snakes in the world. It is native to South American tropical rainforests. The green anaconda comes under the category of boa species and hence is non-venomous. It attacks by constricting the prey. It inhabits areas near slow-moving water bodies, marshes, and swamps. This enormous snake is an Amazon basin animal as also the largest snake in the Americas. It is listed under the CITES treaty to ensure a stable population. Hence, the trade of this snake is banned across international borders.
64. Yellow anaconda
Scientific name: Eunectes notes
Yellow anaconda is one of the few members of the anaconda group of snakes. It is solely found in the tropical regions of southern parts of South America. It is an Amazon forest animal of semi-aquatic habitat. Since it is a boa species, it is non-venomous and constricts its prey to kill. It inhabits slow-moving river banks, swamps, and marshes. It is included under the CITES treaty for endangered species. Therefore, the current population trend of yellow anacondas is stable as international trade is strictly banned.
65. South American river turtle
Scientific name: Podocnemis expansa
Originally called the Arrau turtle, this turtle is an Amazon river animal native to Americans. There is a good diversity of this turtle in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It prefers freshwater lagoons, ponds, and deep rivers in flooded rainforests. Additionally, it is prominent in white water, black water as well as clear water. It is the largest side-neck turtle in the world. Moreover, it is also the largest member of freshwater turtles in America. The South American river turtle is critically endangered according to the IUCN. This is because of illegal hunting, habitat loss, and pollution.
Iguana is a genus of lizards. There are three species of lizards under this genus.
Prominent in tropical areas of Central and South America, Iguana is a member of the lizard family. They inhabit tropical rainforests and hence, is an Amazon rainforest animal. They are herbivorous and are especially popular for their ability to camouflage. The green iguana is the most famous iguana species and has a wide range of distribution. Of the three extant species, two species of Iguana fall under the endangered category. Hunting and habitat loss are major concerns.
67. Common basilisk
Scientific name: Basiliscus basiliscus
The common basilisk is a lizard species found only in Central and South America. It is one of the many rainforest animals, as it inhabits tropical rainforests with nearby rivers or streams. It is also quite popular as Jesus lizard. This is because of its ability to walk on water surfaces. The population trend of this lizard species is stable. Therefore, it is in the least concern category of the IUCN.
68. Boa constrictor
Scientific name: Boa constrictor
Boa constrictors are a very common category of snake, distributed worldwide. This is because it can sustain and survive in a variety of environmental conditions. It is found in great numbers in the tropical rainforests of North, South, and Central America. A good swimmer, this Amazon jungle animal is found near water bodies like streams and rivers. It is non-venomous, and kills by constriction, as the name suggests. There are several extant subspecies of boa constrictors. Like anacondas, this snake comes under the CITES treaty, and therefore, trade of boa constrictors is strictly prohibited.
69. Freshwater turtle
Freshwater turtle are of the order Testudines. There are two subgroups and about 14 families under this order.
Among the oldest reptiles in the world, freshwater turtles are present on earth since the Middle Jurassic period. It is an Amazon river animal, as nearly four species of these turtles are abundant in the Amazon basin. These turtles inhabit rivers, lakes, and ponds. There are over 300 extant species of freshwater turtle in the world. Some of these species come under the highly endangered category. Pet trade, harvesting and habitat destruction owing to a major threat to this group of turtles.
70. Matamata turtle
Scientific name: Chelus fimbriata
An Amazon basin animal, the Matamata turtle is a member of the turtle family native to South America. It is a freshwater turtle that prefers to stay in slow-moving rivers and streams, swamps, pools, and marshes. It occupies black water. Matamata turtles are prominent in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It is especially known for its instant attack and subduing of prey. This turtle species also have the ability to camouflage. Since it has a good diversity across South America, it is among the least concerned animals on the IUCN list.
71. Eyelash viper
Scientific name: Bothriechis schlegelii
Eyelash viper belongs to the viper family of snakes that are prominent in the lowlands of Central America and tropical regions of northern South America. This Amazon jungle animal is highly venomous. It belongs to the family Viperidae. It inhabits tropical forest areas having humid temperatures and low altitudes. Additionally, it prefers habitats near water bodies. This species of viper is not at risk of extinction. However, the numbers of eyelash vipers show a declining trend in recent times. This owes to urbanization and deforestation.
72. Green lancehead pit viper
Scientific name: Bothrops insularis
This particular viper is found only in Brazil, on the island of Ilha da Queimada Grande. It is a highly venomous viper and is credited as among the most venomous snakes in Latin America. It prefers tropical moist forests and shrublands as habitats. Golden lancehead pit viper is a critically endangered species of snake. One of the major reasons for this is the restricted distribution. Habitat loss also contributes to the threat.
73. Amazon Tree Boa
Scientific name: Corallus hortulanus
Amazon tree boa is one of the nine extant species of non-venomous boas under the genus Corallus. This boa species is native to South America. Occupying a wide range of habitats, the Amazon tree boa, as the name suggests, is an Amazon rainforest animal. They prefer humid forests as well as savannas or even dry forests. This boa species has two subspecies under it. It is found in great diversity in the Amazon rainforest. Hence, the populations of Amazon tree boas are stable and are under the least concern category of IUCN.
- Poison dart frog
- Glass frog
- Tree frog
- Giant cane toad
74. Poison dart frog
Poison dart frogs come under the family Dendrobatidae. There are 3 subfamilies of poison dart frogs under this family.
Poison dart frogs are brightly-coloured frogs that are found in the tropical regions of Central and South America. They inhabit tropical rainforests, lowland forests, shrublands, marshes, and swamps among others. This Amazon rainforest animal got its name because the poison from this frog was used at the tip of darts and arrows by Amerindians in history. There are over 170 species of poison dart frogs. Out of these, several species face the danger of extinction. This is because of habitat destruction, pet trade as well as chytrid diseases.
75. Glass frog
Glass frogs are of the family Centrolenidae. There are 2 subfamilies under this family of frogs.
Glass frogs are an amphibian family prominent in the forests of South and Central America. A great diversity of glass frogs are visible in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. This Amazon basin animal gets its name from the translucent abdominal skin which is a characteristic feature of many species. They live on trees and hence are arboreal in their habitat. Few species of this frog family are under threat owing to habitat loss due to increasing deforestation.
76. Tree frog
Tree frogs come under the family Hylidae. There are nearly 7 subfamilies of frogs under this family.
Tree frogs with over 600 species are abundant in South and Central America. These frogs are arboreal in habitat, as their name suggests. They can camouflage in accordance with the surrounding. They are quite tiny and this helps them to jump and carry themselves easily on twigs and branches of trees. Tree frogs inhabit dense forests with great diversity in trees and very rarely come down to the ground. Almost all species of tree frogs have stable populations.
77. Giant cane toad
Scientific name: Rhinella marina
The giant cane toad is the largest member of the toad family in the world. It is native to subtropical areas in South and Central America. It is found in great diversity across the central parts of the Amazon basin. Giant cane toads prefer woodlands, open grasslands, and flooded forests. This toad species is categorized as least concern on IUCN and has a stable trend in population.
- Bullet ant
- Peanut head bug
- Assassin bug
- Amazonian giant centipede
- Brazilian wandering spider
- Blue morpho butterfly
- Amber phantom butterfly
78. Bullet ant
Scientific name: Paraponera clavata
Can you imagine that the most painful sting in the Amazon is that of an ant? Well, it’s true! The bullet ant, rightly called so, is an ant species prominent in Central and South America. The sting of this ant is extremely potent and ranks the highest on Schmidt’s sting pain index. This ant species has colonies throughout the wet neotropical zones. It prefers humid lowland forests as a habitat.
79. Peanut head bug
Scientific name: Fulgora laternaria
This planthopper species gets its name from its long head that resembles that of a peanut. It is very common in the tropical forests of Central America and South America. It is an Amazon basin creature which also popular as the lanternfly. Peanut head bug is a herbivorous arthropod that can camouflage on tree trunks to protect itself from predators. In case of an attack, it uses its bright pseudo eyes on its hind wings that look similar to that of a snake or a huge lizard.
80. Assassin bug
Assassin bugs come under the family Reduviidae. There are 10 genera of these arthropods in this family.
The assassin bug is a wide-ranging insect family with over 155 species. They are all characterized by a proboscis, the stab of which is extremely painful and venomous. This is why it is popular as an assassin bug. A great diversity of assassin bugs are prominent in North America. It is also found in rainforests and rocky areas across Central and South America.
81. Amazonian giant centipede
Scientific name: Scolopendra gigantea
The Amazonian giant centipede is one of the largest of its kind on earth. This is because the length of this centipede is about 12 inches. It inhabits tropical and subtropical rainforests and dry forests. This Amazon rainforest creature is venomous and preys on other arthropods, mammals, amphibians as well as reptiles of its size. It is found in great abundance towards the northern parts of South America.
82. Brazilian wandering spider
These spiders come under the genus Phoneutria which has about eight species of spiders.
Brazilian wandering spiders are a venomous spider group prominent in the Americas. While most species are found in the tropical parts of northern South America, one species of this spider is also found in Central America. About three species of the Brazilian wandering spider can be spotted in the Amazon rainforest. Some of these spiders pose a fatal threat to most mammals including humans. They prefer tropical forests as their habitat.
83. Blue Morpho butterfly
Scientific name: Morpho menelaus
The blue morpho butterfly is an attractive member of the butterfly subfamily Morphine. There are about thirty species of butterflies in this sub-family. It is called so because of its bright blue dorsal forewings and hindwings. However, because of this attractive feature, it was under major threat of hunting during the twentieth century. Even today, it has a special place among collectors. It mainly inhabits the neotropical zone of Central and South America. Deforestation and habitat loss is a threat to the population of this rare butterfly species.
84. Amber Phantom butterfly
Scientific name: Haetera piera
Amber phantom butterfly is another unique butterfly species endemic to the neotropical zone of the Americas. It is a member of the sub-family Satyrinae. It is visible only in rainforests with dense vegetation, inside the deeply shaded portions. There are five subspecies of the amber phantom butterflies. Some of the countries where these butterflies inhabit are Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Guianas, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
- Red-bellied piranha
- Electric eel
- Silver Arowana
- Goliath catfish
- Neon tetra
- Discus fish
- Bull shark
- Arapaima gigas
85. Red-bellied piranha
Scientific name: Pygocentrus nattereri
Native to the Amazon basin in South America, the red-bellied piranha is a widespread fish species. It is abundant in the freshwater habitat of neotropical zones. This Amazon river animal inhabits rivers, lakes, streams, and floodplains across the continent. They are more prominent in whitewater but are also found in clear water and blackwater. Red-bellied piranhas are locally conserved in aquariums among others. Hence, the population trend of this fish species is stable.
86. Electric eel
Scientific name: Electrophorus electricus
The electric eel is a species of knife fish and not an eel fish, despite its name. It is an electric fish prominent in the continent of South America. Electric eels use electricity as a means of defence as well as to find prey. For this purpose, three pairs of organs of its abdominal region produce electricity. It is an Amazon basin animal that prefers small rivers, floodplains, creeks, swamps, and coastal plains as its habitat. It is found in great diversity in the Orinoco basin as well.
Arapaima is a genus of freshwater fishes which has several species under it.
The Arapaima genus of bony tongue fishes is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world. This is an Amazon river animal and is native to the river basins in South America. Also famous as pirarucu fishes, these fishes inhabit slow-moving rivers and floodplains. They are prominent in countries like Peru, Brazil and Guyana. Arapaima is under the danger of extinction because of habitat loss and overfishing.
Piranha are fishes that are of the family Serrasalmidae. There are fiver genera of piranha under this family.
Another Amazon river animal, Piranhas are fishes that have a freshwater habitat. They are most prominent in the Amazon basin in South America. These fishes prefer rivers, lakes, floodplains, creeks, and reservoirs. They are found in the wetlands and flooded forests with freshwater bodies. Over twenty species of Piranha are found in the Amazon river alone. These fishes have a stable population trend as there is a great diversity of piranha in South American rivers.
89. Silver Arowana
Scientific name: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
Silver Arowana is a species of bony fish prominent in South America. It is another addition to Amazon basin animals. It has a freshwater habitat and inhabits flooded rainforests in both blackwater and whitewater. Silver Arowana is an ornamental fish belonging to the Osteoglossidae family. This is why it is a popular attraction for conservation and in aquariums. The population status of silver Arowana is hence stable.
90. Goliath catfish
Scientific name: Brachyplatystoma capapretum
The Goliath catfish is one of the largest members of the catfish family. It falls under the genus Brachyplatystoma. Catfishes from this genus are common to the Amazon basin. Goliath catfish inhabits freshwater as well as brackish habitats. Also called as Piraiba catfish, this Amazon basin animal is prominent in South America. Apart from the Amazon basin, it is also found in the Orinoco basin and other rivers and lakes which have soft substrates.
91. Neon tetra
Scientific name: Paracheirodon innesi
Neon tetra is a popular ornamental fish that is native to the Amazon basin in South America. It has a freshwater habitat and inhabits both blackwater and clearwater. In blackwater streams or rivers, the neon tetra is visible to conspecifics even in the dark. This is because of its bright-coloured abdomen. Hence the name, neon tetra. This fish species is prominent in the northern and western parts of the Amazon basin. It is favourite among aquarists and hence has a stable population trend.
92. Discus fish
Discus fish comes under the genus Symphysodon and there are three fish species under this genus.
Also known as pompadour fish, the discus fish is another addition to the list of Amazon basin animals. Discus fish are called so because they resemble a discus with a laterally compressed body structure. This unique shape and the brightly colored appearance make them a favourite among aquarium fish. It is prominent in the flooded forests of the neotropical zone of South America. It has a freshwater habitat and prefers floodplains, rivers, and lakes. These fishes have a stable trend in their numbers across the globe.
Angelfish are of the genus Pterophyllum. There are three species of angelfish under this genus.
Angelfish is another freshwater fish native to tropical South America. Pterophyllum is a small genus of the fish family Cichlidae. Angelfish are prominent in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. They prefer slow-moving rivers, streams, lakes, and floodplains. A majority of these fish are found in the Amazon River alone. Angelfish is widely distributed in the tropical areas of South America and therefore has a healthy and stable population.
94. Bull shark
Scientific name: Carcharhinus leucas
Bull shark is a member of the shark family that is found worldwide. These sharks can survive both freshwater and saltwater habitats. In the Americas, bull sharks are seen in the regions of southern Brazil. They are found in rivers and estuaries and prefer warm, shallow waters of the freshwater systems. Bull sharks are aggressive in nature. This species is currently in the near-threatened category of IUCN, owing to habitat loss.
Scientific name: Pseudorinelepis genibarbis
Carachama is a freshwater fish found in the Amazon basin. It is a member of the catfish family. It is more prominent in the countries of Brazil and Peru. This fish inhabits rivers, floodplains, lakes, and streams. It is has a wide range in the hydrographic systems of South America. This fish species falls in the least concern category of IUCN as the population trend of carachama is stable.
96. Arapaima Gigas
Scientific name: Arapaima gigas
Arapaima gigas is a fish species of the genus Arapaima. It is native to the Amazon basin. It has a freshwater habitat. So, it inhabits floodplains, tributaries of large rivers as wells as lakes, rivers, and streams. This Amazon river animal is one of the largest members of freshwater fishes in the world. It is found in whitewater and clear water. This fish species has recently gone down a declining trend because of overfishing. Hence, fishing has now been prohibited from this fish species.
Scientific name: Vandellia cirrhosa
Candiru is another addition to the freshwater fishes found in the Amazon basin. It belongs to the catfish family. It is primarily found in the neotropical zone of Amazonia. Candiru is a parasitic fish and feeds on the blood of larger fishes by entering their gill cavity. This Amazon basin animal lives in slow-moving shallow rivers, lakes, and floodplains. It is prominent in countries of Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru among others. It is considered as a dangerous fish among the other freshwater fishes occupying the Amazon and Orinoco basins.
Amazon rainforest boasts of rich wildlife ranging from mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes and arthropods.
Amazon rainforest has a huge variety of animals that may pose a serious threat to human beings in case of careless intervention. Among these, the green anaconda, the bullet ant, the poison dart frog, the Brazilian wandering spider, and the electric eel can be listed as the five most dangerous animals.
Amazon rainforest houses a wide range of wildlife. There are over 400 species of mammals and amphibians each, over 300 reptile species, about 2000 bird species, and more than 2 million insect species in the Amazon.
The Amazonian manatee is the largest mammal in the Amazon. Although it has an aquatic habitat, the size of this manatee is equal to that of an elephant on land.
The Pirarucu or Arapaima is a freshwater fish that is locally called the king of the Amazon River. It is called so because it is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world.
Tigers don’t dwell in the Amazon rainforest. However, one can find several members of the wild cat family here. For instance, jaguars, ocelots, pumas, and margays are all wild cats found in the Amazon rainforest.
There are no lions in the Amazon rainforest. Lions are prominent in the continents of Africa and Asia.
Amazon rainforest is indeed the home of the richest wildlife diversity in the world. Now that we have discussed almost a hundred different animals in the Amazon rainforest, it is clear that most of these are in danger of extinction. It is sad, that we humans forget, this beautiful planet belongs to all creatures as much as it belongs to us. That we are only another member of this diverse ecosystem and not its owner. On that note, let us commit to making our earth greener and fuller with life!