Skip to content

Animals of Costa Rica

Due to its geographical location and its intertropical characteristics, Costa Rica is one of the countries that harbors the greatest biodiversity, accounting for 6% of the total worldwide. The anthropic impacts endured by the jungles and waters of the Costa Rican Caribbean Sea have endangered the survival of numerous species of animals in Costa Rica .

If you are curious to know which animals live in Costa Rica, check out this AgroCorrn article, where you can see the description of some of the Costa Rican species mentioned, as well as a list of Costa Rican animals that are currently in danger of extinction.


The coati ( Nasua nasua ) , better known in Costa Rica as a coati , is a mammal widely distributed in South America, which lives mainly in coastal areas, in humid areas, tropical jungles, and cloud, cloud or cloud forests .

Its name is related to its physical appearance, since coatí in Guaraní means elongated nose, a feature that characterizes this animal. Their diet is omnivorous and they are very social animals, which tend to live in a community, unlike raccoons ( Procyon lotor ) with whom, despite not having any kinship, they apparently have certain similarities.

Scarlet macaw or scarlet macaw

The scarlet macaw or scarlet macaw ( Ara macao ) can be found from southern Mexico to Peru and Bolivia, including the Republic of Costa Rica. This bird, which is part of the parrot family (Psittacidae), is unmistakable for its long, pointed tail feathers and its striking colors (mainly red and bluish). Its diet is based on obtaining fleshy fruits and seeds, which characterizes its robust and small beak. It nests in tall trees and is distributed in mangroves, dry, humid and very humid forests.

Velvet snake

The velvet or yellow beard snake ( Bothrops asper ) present in Central and South America, is one of the most dangerous animals in Costa Rica . This terrestrial and nocturnal reptile occupies a great variety of habitats (tropical rainforests, evergreen tropical forests, savannas , close to bodies of water), it reproduces at any time of the year and feeds on small mammals and reptiles, in the case of the adult specimens, and insects, during the juvenile phase.

Costa Rican crocodile

The American or Costa Rican crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) present in terrestrial, freshwater or marine ecosystems, has a great variety of habitats, among which the coastal areas, lagoons, mangroves , rivers and lakes stand out.

This nocturnal super predator feeds on fish, amphibians, turtles, water birds, and mammals. Its current conservation status is vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN, with man being its main threat (illegal hunting).

Olive or olive ridley tortoise

The olive ridley or olive sea turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) is one of the 5 species of sea ​​turtles that move to the waters of Costa Rica to nest (alone or in “arrivals”) and spawn. It feeds on fish, mollusks and crustaceans.

It is one of the smallest and most abundant sea turtle species in the world, currently threatened ( vulnerable conservation status by the IUCN) by urbanization, intentional and accidental hunting of specimens, pollution and extreme temperatures that are reached in the aquatic environment as a consequence of climate change.

sea ​​cow

This marine animal is a national symbol of the fauna of Costa Rica . The manatee ( Trichechus manatus ) , also known as “sea cows”, capable of living in fresh and salty waters, is a mammal that can measure 4 meters and weigh 1 ton.

In Costa Rica it is possible to find it in the Tortuguero National Park and in the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Threatened by the scarcity of aquatic plants that serve as food, by their capture for the commercialization of meat and skins and by the pollution of the marine environment, this is one of the national animals of Costa Rica protected since 1953.

Other animals of Costa Rica

In addition to the Costa Rican animals already mentioned and described, among the wild animals of Costa Rica the following stand out:

  • Guabina ( Eleotris picta )
  • Coconut flycatcher ( Nesotriccus ridgwayi )
  • Coconut finch ( Pinaroloxias inornata )
  • Lizard ( Norops torosendii )
  • Howler or howler monkey of the coast ( Alouatta palliata )
  • Leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea )
  • Ocelot ( Leopardus pardalis )
  • Lemon Green Macaw ( Ara ambiguus )
  • Wild pig ( Tayassu pecari )
  • Mangrove Amazília Hummingbird ( Amazilia boucardi )
  • Jaguar ( Panthera onca )
  • Costa Rican Puma ( Puma concolor costaricensis )
  • White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus )
  • Marmoset monkey ( Saimiri oerstedii )
  • Hairless fox ( Didelphis virginiana )
  • Tapir ( Tapirus bairdii )
  • Kemp’s ridley turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii )
  • Sloth bear ( Choloepus didactylus )

In addition, although they are not very abundant, some of the endemic animals of Costa Rica are:

  • Gopher ( Orthogeomys heterodus )
  • Sac mouse ( Heteromys oresterus )
  • Harvest Mouse ( Reithrodontomys rodriguezi )
  • Noted hummingbird ( Panterpe insignis )
  • Gecko ( Sphaerodactylus pacificus )

Animals in danger of extinction in Costa Rica

The highly threatened biodiversity leaves an important list of animals in Costa Rica that are in danger of extinction . Some of these native animals of Costa Rica , already mentioned in the previous sections, are:

If you want to discover more about this interesting topic, here you can see information about the Flora and fauna of Costa Rica .

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.