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+15 animals in danger of extinction in Guatemala

The fact that a region has great natural wealth tends to also lead to dangerous situations in that place for the species that make up said biological wealth. Guatemala is one of the countries that suffers the most from the loss of species richness and the disappearance of emblems of wild fauna, such as the jaguar, puma or quetzal. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is in charge of studying these situations of danger of extinction suffered by wild fauna, establishing a Red List with the following classification: Least concern <almost threatened <vulnerable <en endangered <critically endangered <species extinct in the wild <species extinct.

In this AgroCorrn article we will focus on knowing different species of Guatemalan fauna that are included in this Red List, thus getting to know more than 15 animals in danger of extinction in Guatemala .

  1. Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  2. Central American Puma (Puma concolor)
  3. Quetzal, one of the most emblematic endangered animals in Guatemala
  4. Tapir centroamericano ( Tapirus bairdi )
  5. Black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)
  6. Ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata)
  7. Other endangered animals in Guatemala
  8. How to help endangered animals in Guatemala

Jaguar (Panthera onca)

The largest feline that lives in America, it has been venerated by the Guatemalan culture since pre-Hispanic times. However, it is currently included in the group of endangered animals in Guatemala .

Among the numerous threats that jaguars face in Guatemalan territory, the following stand out:

  • Loss of 37% of the territory of its natural habitat in Guatemala.
  • Reduction of its population level, with only just over 300 specimens in Guatemala.
  • Decrease in the population of their usual prey (deer and monkeys).
  • Poaching and murder by ranchers, attacking domestic animals for food.

In this other AgroCorrn article we tell you more about why the jaguar is in danger of extinction .

Central American Puma (Puma concolor)

It follows the jaguar in the ranking of the largest cats in America. In Guatemala, the Central American puma or Puma concolor suffers the displacement of its natural habitat every year, due to various threats. These carnivores, which can reach 150 kilograms in weight, suffer the loss of numerous of their main prey, for which they are forced to move to other areas in search of food.

This situation causes many pumas to lose their lives when entering regions where their food sources become even more scarce or when they encounter poachers who sell them within the international trade of exotic species.

Quetzal, one of the most emblematic endangered animals in Guatemala

The quetzal is in danger of extinction in Guatemala and Mexico and it can really be hard to believe, since it is a sacred bird for the culture of the place and was declared the national bird of Guatemala in 1871.

This threatening situation suffered by the colorful and majestic quetzal bird (Pharomacrus mocinno) is mainly due to the decline that its population suffers year after year, so that it could become extinct if its population size is not maintained in balance. As in many other cases, the main cause of its dangerous situation is the human being, since there are numerous cases of capture and illegal hunting that the quetzal suffers for its subsequent sale as a pet, being unable to survive in captivity conditions.

If you are curious to know more about this bird, do not hesitate to consult this other post in which we talk about Why the quetzal is in danger of extinction .

Tapir centroamericano ( Tapirus bairdi )

Quite unknown in Eurasia but abundant in America, tapirs have suffered the extinction of many of the genera that are included within the Tapiridiae family to which they belong.

In Guatemala, the Central American or northern tapir is the only species that inhabits its forests. They are herbivorous animals that reach 2 meters in length and 300 kilograms in weight. Currently, the estimated population in Guatemala is less than 1,000 specimens in the wild , which attributes to the Central American tapir the category of endangered species (EN), according to the IUCN Red List.

The main cause of its endangered status? Once again, indiscriminate hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat. Learn more about their situation here Why the tapir is in danger of extinction .

Black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)

In the tropical forests of northern Guatemala , as well as southern Mexico, the black-handed spider monkey finds its natural habitat.

It is one of the monkeys of the New World (a parvorden in which there are five families of primates that are native to Central and South America, as well as tropical regions of Mexico) and it is large, reaching 9 kilograms of weight. They are characterized by the absence of thumbs on their hands, which are black and by having a robust prehensile tail and arms longer than their legs, thus guaranteeing the balance and flexibility that allow them to move from tree branches to other

Due to the loss of their natural habitat , black-handed spider monkeys are in danger of extinction. Deforestation prevents them from surviving and they are sometimes poached to be exposed as pets.

Ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata)

Also known as the mount turkey , this colorful bird inhabits the forests of the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico), as well as northern Guatemala .

With terrestrial and diurnal habits, the ocellated turkey lives in small family groups, feeding on insects and earthworms. When night falls, they take refuge in the high branches of the trees to go unnoticed and not be attacked by their main nocturnal predators, the jaguars.

However, there are other predators that ocellated turkeys continually face: humans and their irresponsible actions, such as poaching and destruction of the natural environment .

Other endangered animals in Guatemala

Here we leave a list of more endangered animals in Guatemala , categorized by the main types of animals:


  • Giant anteater ( amandua mexicana ).
  • Leopardo tigre (Leopardus tigrinus).
  • Venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginianuses).
  • Southern flying squirrel ( Glaucomys volans ).

Guatemalan birds in danger of extinction

  • Scarlet Macaw ( Ara macao ).
  • Horned Turkey ( Oreophasis derbianus ).
  • Masked Duck ( Nomonyx dominicus ).
  • Whistling quail ( Dactylortyx thoracicus ).


  • Tree dragon lizard (genus Abronia).
  • Salamandra (Bradytriton silus).
  • Iguana negra (Ctenosaura pectinata).
  • Turtle ( Kinosternon scorpioides ).

Next, we leave a gallery of images of all these animals in the same order as the list.

How to help endangered animals in Guatemala

Without a doubt, the protection and conservation of endangered species in Guatemala is one of the main tasks to be taken into account by the government and the Guatemalan population. However, tourists visiting the Central American country must also participate in this joint responsibility. For this, it is important to have knowledge about the threatened and endangered species, being always positive and enriching the visit to Parks and Nature Reserves in which the disclosure and awareness about the vulnerability of the affected fauna is promoted.

Each action will be important to reverse the situation of danger in which many species of animals are in Guatemala, from each law that regulates and protects the natural spaces and habitats of the fauna, as well as the penalties that are made to the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and local conservation and dissemination efforts.

In this other article we explain more about why it is important to protect endangered animals and how to help them.

If you want to read more articles similar to +15 animals in danger of extinction in Guatemala , we recommend that you enter our category of Animals in danger of extinction .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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