Argentina Native Animals

Interested in the native animals of Argentina? Read our guide for facts & information about some unusual animal species found in Argentina…

The wildlife in Argentina varies by climatic regions with different animals living in the subtropic northern jungles and the subarctic southern areas. Some of the animals are endangered due to loss of habitat or hunting while others flourish. Not all the animals living in the wild in Argentina are native to the country. Wild boars are descendant from pigs imported by Europeans. Trout and some species of deer were also imported from other parts of the world.

The Northern Jungles

The subtropical climate in the north of Argentina makes it a wildlife paradise. The capybara, the largest rodent in the world makes its home in the wetlands of the north with crocodiles and a species of caiman indigenous to Argentina. Other mammalians include the bush dog, the raccoon, the tapir, small primates and the peccary. A variety of tortoise and turtle species thrive in this warm, wet region adjacent to the Amazon River.

Colorful birds are plentiful and can be seen flying through the jungles. There are flamingos, toucan and many species of hummingbird. Within the country there are over 1000 different species of birds, with seven non-native species, 70 rare species and 45 endangered species. Parrots and Macaws abound in the northern jungles and many more mundane species like swallows, pigeons, doves owls and swifts also share the skies.

The jaguar is a native of the northern jungles and is an endangered species in the wild. Ocelots are also found in the area and pumas are more common in the western mountains of the country. Snakes and lizards are also abundant and visitors are advised to use caution since while the majority of species are harmless, some including South American rattlesnake species, are venomous.

Western Plains and Southern Argentina

Giant armadillos inhabit the pampas, although they are in danger of extinction. Llamas, guanacos and vicuna can be found in the Andes Mountains, although vicuna, a llama like animal, is also on the endangered list. In the sub arctic south, whales are struggling for survival and penguin populations are dwindling. The rhea, a large flightless bird, is also found in the central and southern areas of the country.

Of the 2500 species of wildlife native to Argentina, about 500 are considered endangered or at risk. The endangered animals include 60 species of fish, several types of deer, and many types of reptiles and birds. The Amazon caiman, once abundant in both Argentina and Brazil, has been hunted almost to extinction for its skin.

The government of Argentina has taken steps to protect as many of these at risk and endangered species as possible and has created sanctuaries and parks where the animals are protected from hunters and habitat loss.

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