Animals in Colombia

Below you can find a complete list of Colombian animals. We currently track 154 animals in Colombia and are adding more every day!

The country of Colombia in South America is bordered by two bodies of water and has mountains, grasslands, and rainforests. So, it should be no surprise that it’s home to 10 percent of the world’s animal species. Well-known members of the wildlife community include jaguars, caimans, giant anteaters, and the spectacled bear just to name a few. In terms of numbers, there are 467 species of mammal, 518 species of reptiles, and 3200 species of fish in Colombia.

The Official National Animal of Colombia

The national animal of Colombia is the Andean condor. Take one look at the Andean condor and it’s not hard to believe that it’s one of the biggest birds of prey on the earth. It can weigh up to 25 pounds with a wingspan of 10 feet!

The Andean condor was chosen as the national bird of Colombia in 1834. The choice was partly due to the folklore attached to this unique bird. The Andean condor symbolizes health, power, and freedom. It has a long history and is even pictured in Andean art going back to 2500 BC.

Unfortunately, Andean condors have a conservation status of Vulnerable. Many die after eating animals with pesticides in their system. Furthermore, local farmers sometimes shoot these birds thinking they are killing their livestock. Andean condors do eat cows, sheep, and deer, but they eat animals after they have been killed by another predator.

Conservation actions are being taken by the Colombian government to keep this bird from going extinct. Their actions include the introduction of laws decreasing the use of pesticides. Also, there are captive breeding programs to increase the population.

The Andean condor is the national symbol of Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru as well.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Colombia

Colombia has unique animals living in each of its diverse habitats. Discover more facts about a few of the most notable wild animals in Colombia.

  • Jaguar – Some jaguars live in tropical rainforests around the Amazon basin. Others live on the savannas and grasslands of Colombia.
  • Giant Anteater – This unique animal lives mostly in the northwestern part of Colombia. Its habitats include dry and tropical forests, savannas, and the open plains.
  • Spectacled Bear – The spectacled bear is sometimes called the Andean bear. That stands to reason because this bear lives in the Andean jungle.
  • Capybara – This member of Colombian wildlife lives on the open plains in the eastern region of the country.
  • Pink River Dolphin – This unique dolphin lives in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins in Colombia.
  • Cotton-top Tamarin – Unless you visit a zoo, you can only find these unique monkeys in Colombia. They live in forests located in the northwestern region of this South American country.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Colombia Today

Like most countries, Colombia has its share of dangerous wildlife. Check out the most dangerous animals in Colombia:

  • Poison Dart Frog – Their small size and colorful skin can seem harmless at first glance. But don’t be fooled! This frog’s skin is coated with a layer of poison. In fact, this frog has enough poison on its skin to kill 20 humans. The poison causes nerve damage and involuntary muscle contraction which can stop the heart. This is certainly an effective weapon against its predators.
  • Chocoan Forest Pit Viper – These venomous snakes live in the Chocoan rainforests as well as in the Andes mountains. Out of all the reported snake bites in Colombia, viper bites account for 90-95% of them. These snakes stay well-hidden by lying on branches without moving for hours. Plus, they hide in bushes and plants until nightfall. One bite from a Chocoan Forest pit viper can cripple a human or even cause death. There’s antivenin medication available, but it has to be the appropriate type in order to be effective.
  • Black Caiman Crocodile – These crocodiles can grow to be 20 feet long and are the most common crocodile in the country. Their combined power and speed makes them an easy choice for the list of the most dangerous animals in Colombia. Their jaws are strong enough to crush the shell of a turtle! So, a human wouldn’t have a chance against this reptile. Their black scales help them to blend in with their watery habitat making them difficult to spot.
  • Bullet Ant – These ants live in bushes, tall grass and on the forest floor. People who have been stung by this ant say it feels similar to being shot with a gun. That’s one powerful sting! The ant’s sting contains a poison that causes temporary paralysis as well as pain in the spot where the person was stung. The poison is not deadly, but the pain can last anywhere from 5 to 24 hours.

Endangered Animals in Colombia

Unfortunately, there are several endangered animals in Colombia. Loss of habitat, poaching and poisoning of food sources are all reasons why these Colombian animals are at risk of going extinct. Some notable examples:

  • Cotton-headed Tamarin
  • Brown Spider Monkey
  • Giant Otter
  • Colombian Weasel
  • Black-Legged Poison Dart Frog
  • Mountain Tapir

Colombian Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Booby

Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Caiman

Can grow to up 6 meters long!

Caiman Lizard

Caiman lizards are among the largest lizards.

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Capybara

Excellent at both diving and swimming

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Coati

Found in dense forests and wet jungles!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Cotton-top Tamarin

Found in tropical forest edges!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Discus

One of the only schooling Cichlids!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Electric Eel

Can generate a 500 volt electric shock!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Geoffroys Tamarin

Has distinctive V shape on head!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Gray Fox

The gray fox has retractable claws and a rotating wrist that allow it to climb trees with some proficiency

Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horned Frog

Natively found in South America!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Iguana

Uses visual signals to communicate!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jaguar

The largest feline on the American continent!

Keel-Billed Toucan

It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kinkajou

The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard Frog

They can jump up to three feet

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Ocelot

Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)

Also known as the 'Pink Dolphin'

Piranha

Generally found in fast-flowing streams!

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Puma

Has longer back legs than front legs!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Quetzal

The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rattlesnake

It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Rodents

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.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted grosbeaks are closely related to cardinals

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scarlet Macaw

Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silver Dollar

Closely related to the Piranha

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Skunk

Also known as the Polecat!

Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Monkey

Found in the tropical jungles of South America!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Squirrel Monkey

Lives in groups of up to 500 individuals!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Tetra

Native to the freshwater streams of South America!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Uakari

Have a very short tail for their size!

Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

White-Faced Capuchin

One of the world's most intelligent monkeys!

White-tail deer

White-tail deer are good swimmers

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Woolly Monkey

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!

Colombian Animals List

Animals in Colombia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What types of animals live in Colombia?

Colombia has a variety of wildlife including insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. Unfortunately, many animals living in Colombia are considered Endangered and at risk of going extinct. One example is the blue-billed curassow.

What dangerous animals live in Colombia?

There are many dangerous animals living in Colombia. The group includes: the black caiman crocodile, the poison dart frog, the Chocoan Forest pit viper, and the bullet ant.

Are there tigers in Colombia?

No, there aren’t any tigers in Colombia. However, there are several big cats living in Colombia. This group includes jaguars, ocelots, pumas and jaguarundis.

Are there jaguars in Colombia?

Yes. Jaguars live in the tropical rainforests as well as on savannas and grasslands in Colombia.