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Native animals of Argentina

When it comes to country size, Argentina is the eighth largest country. Thanks to its geographic location and its enormous extension, it presents a diversity of reliefs and climates that give rise to 18 ecoregions , each of them with unique biodiversity. Can you imagine how many species of animals there are in Argentina? The truth is that there are many, however most of Argentina’s animals are threatened either by poaching, loss of habitat, climate change or another factor.

Therefore, from AgroCorrn we will teach you not only some of the many native animals of Argentina , but also their peculiarities, the threats they face daily and their state of conservation. So, if you were looking to learn more about the fauna of Argentina , read on!

Jaguar or jaguar (Panthera onca)

It is the largest feline on the American continent and is considered the top predator of the ecosystems of this great region of the world. Originally, the yaguareté or jaguar ( Panthera onca ) was distributed from the southern part of the United States to the north of Argentine Patagonia.

Particularly in Argentina, indiscriminate hunting and loss of habitat led to the species being in danger of extinction and there are only 200 scattered specimens in the north of the country.

Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna)

The vicuña is one of the most representative animals of northern Argentina . It is characterized by being herbivorous and inhabiting high steppes with cold climates, extremely arid and with great thermal amplitude. In the past it was highly exploited for its meat but, after the prohibition of its hunting and a meticulous conservation program, the vicuña ( Vicugna vicugna ) has managed to recover its populations.

Yacaré overo (Caiman latirostris)

Among the reptiles of Argentina , is the alligator overo ( Caiman latirostris ) : an alligator whose distribution includes Argentine Mesopotamia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Their diet is based on aquatic birds, fish, small mammals and snails. Fortunately, their populations in Argentina remain stable; however, they must contend with the continuing threat from poachers.

Hornero (Furnarius rufus)

Did you know that this little bird is the national animal of Argentina ? If it is! Although it is distributed throughout South America, it has an important value for the Argentine people. It is characterized by being a sedentary bird that feeds on insects and worms, over the years it managed to adapt to urban areas and now it is easy to observe in the streets and recognize its particular nests. The conservation of the species called hornero ( Furnarius rufus ) is not a problem since their populations are increasing.

Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

This extraordinary species of Argentine fauna is, in fact, endemic to Latin America. As its name implies, it has a diet based solely on ants and termites. In Argentina, its original distribution occupied much of the north and east of the country, but due to habitat loss and poaching, anteater populations Myrmecophaga tridactyla ) have drastically decreased and today it is considered in danger of extinction.

Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis)

The southern right whale ( Eubalaena australis ) inhabits the seas of the Southern Hemisphere, in Argentina it surrounds the coasts from the north of Buenos Aires to Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands .

This animal was hunted for many years, practically causing its extinction. Fortunately, their hunting was banned worldwide and in Argentina it was declared a Natural Monument, so the southern right whale populations are recovering, but slowly. However, illegal hunting of their specimens exists and is a problem that must be faced when conserving the species.

Yarara (Bothrops alternatus)

Is the Yaará snake the most dangerous animal in Argentina? Well, many believe that it is because it presents a powerful poison that can cause tissue damage or even be lethal. However, it is not an aggressive snake, it only attacks when it is disturbed or feels threatened.

Regarding its distribution, it covers Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. In the latter country it is located to the north and center east, but, due to the fear imposed by its presence, it is frequently hunted and that is why its populations are decreasing.

Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)

The Andean condor ( Vultur gryphus ) is considered the largest flying bird in the world . It is characterized by inhabiting mountainous areas along the Andes Mountains and fulfills a fundamental ecological role: it feeds on dead animals, keeping the environment clean of possible pathogens.

Currently, due to the ingestion of animals intentionally intoxicated by hunters and ranchers, Andean condor populations are decreasing and are vulnerable to extinction.

Hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus)

The hairy armadillo ( Chaetophractus villosus ) is distributed throughout Argentina. Unlike the rest of the Argentine mammals , the armadillo has a shell. Loss of habitat, run over on roads and poaching are some of the factors that threaten the species, but fortunately its populations do not present risk of extinction.

Scotsweed (Ceratophrys ornata)

Although its appearance is confusing, the tortoise ( Ceratophrys ornata ) is a large frog with a robust body. It is part of the animals of the Argentine Pampas , but it is also located in the Mesopotamian region.

Toadstools, along with other amphibians, have highly sensitive skins that depend on the quality of the water in the pools they inhabit. For this reason, environmental pollution is the main factor that threatens the fire and, consequently, the species in Argentina is classified as vulnerable to extinction.

Other native animals of Argentina

We finish this list of animals in Argentina by mentioning other species that are part of the fauna of Argentina , some being endemic and others not, since they are also found in other countries.

  • Capybara ( Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris )
  • Puma ( Puma concolor )
  • Rhea ( Rhea americana )
  • Magellanic Penguin ( Spheniscus magellanicus )
  • Maned Guazú ( Chrysocyon brachyurus )
  • Guanaco ( Lama guanicoe )
  • Huemul ( Hippocamelus bisulcus )
  • Marsh Deer ( Blastocerus dichotomus )
  • Carayá or howler monkey ( Alouatta caraya )
  • South American wash bear or raccoon ( Procyon cancrivorus )
  • Tapir Tapirus terrestris )
  • Honey bear Tamandua tetradactyla )
  • Snake-necked turtle ( Phrynops hilarii )
  • Flemish (Phoenicopterus chilensis )
  • Pudú ( Pudu puda )
  • Mara Dolichotis patagonum )
  • Sea lion ( Otaria flavescens )
  • Toucan toco ( Ramphastos toco )
  • Deer of the Pampas ( Ozotoceros bezoarticus )
  • Huillín ( Lontra provocax )

Argentina’s native animals in danger of extinction

To finish, here we mention several of the Argentine autochthonous animals that are in danger of extinction :

  • Jaguar or jaguar ( Panthera onca )
  • Anteater ( Myrmecophaga tridactyla )
  • Maned Guazú ( Chrysocyon brachyurus )
  • Huemul ( Hippocamelus bisulcus )
  • Pudú ( Pudu puda )
  • Deer of the Pampas ( Ozotoceros bezoarticus )
  • Huillín ( Lontra provocax )

It is worth clarifying that the species not mentioned in this section, although they are not in danger of extinction, many of them are classified as “vulnerable to extinction” and require management and conservation programs to preserve the existence of the species. If you want to know more about which animals are in danger of extinction in Argentina , we encourage you to read this other article.

In addition, after knowing all these autochthonous animals of Argentina , we recommend you learn more about the Flora and fauna of Argentina and about the invasive Species of Argentina with these other AgroCorrn posts.

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