Uruguay is a country that, due to its geographical location, has a wide variety of biomes and landforms, which give uniqueness to its native flora and fauna. This AgroCorrn article aims to partially publicize what the native fauna of Uruguay is . To do this, the autochthonous and native animals of Uruguay are exposed, including examples of animals in danger of extinction or near threatened. It is necessary to clarify that the autochthonous and native character of the briefly described species does not restrict their distribution to other parts of the world, unlike what we would understand as endemic species, which would be from a single place. Therefore, some of these species, such as the bottlenose dolphin, can be easily found even on other continents.
Keep reading these interesting lines if you want to discover 13 native animals of Uruguay , their names, some characteristics and photos.
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi)
The Northern Royal Albatross ( Diomedea sanfordi ) is a biannual breeding seabird , it is strongly threatened by accidental capture by longliners. This has led to a substantial decline in their populations, becoming since 2000, one of the endangered animals in Uruguay (EN category by the IUCN).
Saint Martin’s Frog (Melanophryniscus sammartini)
The San Martín toad ( Melanophryniscus sammartini ) is an amphibian of high medicinal, cultural and economic value and lives in the mountainous areas of the north and east of Uruguay. Currently, it has lost at least 50% of its habitat, due to climate change, deforestation and the cultivation of soybeans, which is why it is classified by the IUCN, on a global scale, as near threatened (NT, Near Threatened ).
Gualacate or hairy tatú (Euphractus sexcintus flavimanus)
The gualacate or hairy tattoo ( Euphractus sexcintus flavimanus ) is an omnivorous mammal, also known as the yellow armadillo , it is widely distributed in South America. It lives in jungles, bushes, grasslands and open areas and protects itself in caves.
Although locally this species is hunted, it does not present great threats and according to the IUCN its conservation status is of least concern (LC, Least Concern ).
Common or Yellow-breasted Beaver (Pitangus sulphuratus)
The common or yellow breast ( Pitangus sulphuratus ) is a passerine bird native to Uruguay . As for its plumage, black and white stripes on the head stand out as distinctive. It lives in bushy areas, mainly, but they also inhabit areas near bodies of water. Its diet is omnivorous (shallow water fish, insects, lizards, fruits, rodents, worms, crustaceans).
Mulita or southern long-nosed armadillo (Dasypus hybridus)
The mulita or southern long-nosed armadillo ( Dasypus hybridus ) gets its name from having a long, pointed nose with which it digs its own caves for shelter and to obtain food, using its nails. Its diet has great restrictions since it has a limited chewing function. This species of animal native to Uruguay is almost threatened, according to the IUCN (NT).
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)
This Uruguayan bird can be found on beaches and other wet areas such as mangroves and riverside areas. Also, but less commonly in dry grasslands and in metropolitan areas. Its reproduction can take place any month of the year. The Tero Lapwing ( Vanellus chilensis ) feeds on small animals.
Capybara, capybara or chigüire (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
The capybara, capybara or chigüire ( Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris ) is a herbivorous and rodent mammal that lives in herds and inhabits regions with tropical and temperate climates, close to water. Despite adapting easily, hunting has brought this species to a near threat status (NT) and DINAMA (Uruguay’s National Directorate for the Environment) has declared it a protected species in Uruguay .
Carancho (Caracara plancus)
The carancho bird ( Caracara plancus ) is from the Falconidae family, it is visually distinguished by its crest of black feathers and long yellow legs with curved claws. This species of native Uruguayan animals, mainly scavengers, also feeds on small animals, lives on the edge of forests, in open spaces and is characterized by walking more than other birds of prey.
Here we show you another 112 birds of prey or raptors .
Right whale (Eubalaena australis)
The right whale ( Eubalaena australis ) belongs to the family of baleen whales . It moves with its mouth open, swallowing large amounts of water that filter the beards to retain food (plankton). It lacks a dorsal fin and is black with white spots in the ventral area. This animal that inhabits the marine waters of Uruguay can measure about 15 meters long and weigh more than 45 tons.
Mouse-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)
We continue this list of native Uruguayan animals (and also autochthonous) talking about the mouse-tailed bat ( Tadarida brasiliensis ) . This brown, nocturnal animal is insectivorous and takes refuge in caves, rock crevices, holes in trees and roofs of houses. In addition, its presence is very common in cities.
Tursio, tonina or bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
The tursion, tonina or bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) is a gray dolphin, has a high dorsal fin, wide at the base and pointing backwards. It lives in coastal and estuarine areas, being highly exposed to anthropogenic impacts. Although at a global level their conservation status is of least concern (LC), in Uruguay they are increasingly scarce .
Chick spider (Grammostola anthracina)
The chick spider ( Grammostola anthracina ) is an insectivorous nocturnal predator that lives in savannas, deserts, jungles and forests of Uruguay , although it mainly occupies trees or lives under stones. The hairs that cover their body surface allow them to detect prey and are characterized by their longevity (they can live up to 15-20 years).
Rhea (Rhea americana)
The rhea ( Rhea americana ) is the largest bird in South America . It is distributed from the South of the Amazon River to the North of Patagonia, which includes it in the list of autochthonous animals of Uruguay . Its diet is omnivorous (seeds, small vertebrates and insects), it inhabits open grasslands, steppes and crops and its long legs are adapted for running.