10 Endangered species of Amazon Rainforest Wildlife
The Amazon Rainforest has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on earth and is home to hundreds of thousands of animal, bird, and insect species. Unfortunately, this utopia of wildlife and vegetation is under attack and has been for some years now. The culprits? Humans.
Deforestation is not the only thing that causes animals to become endangered or extinct, climate change, illegal hunting, and contamination are also playing a role in destroying habitats and endangering species of Amazon Rainforest Wildlife. But deforestation is the leading cause of extinction in the Amazon Rainforest. Every year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) publishes a list of endangered animals. This list contains thousands of species of Amazon Rainforest Wildlife that are in danger of becoming extinct if nothing is done to protect them. Here are ten of the Amazon’s precious creatures that might not be around for much longer in Perú.
Amazonian jaguar is one of the endangered species of Amazon Rainforest Wildlife. The jaguar is the largest feline in South America and in the Amazon there are, unfortunately, currently many specimens. With a length (including tail) of up to 2.5 meters it weighs up to 120 kilos. He is a good swimmer, has nocturnal habits and is a solitary animal.
2. Golden lion tamarin
It consists of a species of endemic monkey of Brazil, its weight is of more or less 800 grams. The popular name of the species comes from its mane that has a very strong orange hue. Appears in the list of species that have a great risk of extinction.
A curiosity about this species is that its name was attributed when an individual was taken to Madame de Pompadour in 1754, who called him le petit singe-lion which literally means little golden lion.
3. The South American Tapir
This adorable creature is one of the three big animals visitors hope to see in the jungle, along with jaguars and the giant otter. The hoofed mammals are surprisingly nimble given their bulky appearance and they feed on clay licks found in the jungle.
Currently, it is considered that in Peru it is in danger of becoming extinct, but in the rest of the areas inhabited by its population it is not much greater. Its main threats are the loss of its habitats such as logging and burning.
Also, tapirs have come under threat as a result of illegal hunting and due to their habitat being destroyed by human activity.
4. Giant Otters
Among the cutest animals in the Amazon Rainforest Wildlife, giant otters can grow up to 1.7 metres long and can be found in the waterways that run through the jungle. Thanks to its resistant whiskers and a sharp eye, it easily identifies the movements of prey in the water.
The otters feeds on fish mostly, playing an important role as a predator in ecosystems.
Indiscriminate hunting is its most representative threat, in addition to habitat destruction, water pollution and the action of fishing in the area. Peru protects the species in several national parks, such as the one in Manu National Park and in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
5. The Uakari Monkey
The most noticeable feature of the Uakari monkey is its unusual, bright red face. Monkeys derive their name from the Uakari tribe that once lived in the Amazon but is now extinct. This creature can often be found lounging in the trees, feasting on fruits hanging from branches.
It is considered a vulnerable species and is included in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Poaching and deforestation are the main factors in its decline. Although the Peruvian government considers it a protected species, there is no program for its conservation.
6. White-Cheeked Spider Monkey
Another cheeky tree-dweller has seen its number dwindle due to the expansion of farmland in the Amazon and the building of new roads through the region. The white-cheeked spider monkey may not be swinging through the trees for much longer if conservation efforts are not ramped up.
7. Hyacinth Macaw
So far we have looked at land animals, but we must not forget our winged friends that soar up above. Hyacinth macaw is an astonishingly beautiful bird, with feathers in rich blues and green. The main threat to the survival of this magnificent bird is the illegal pet trade. Unfortunately, there is a market for these birds due to their splendour and this is reducing the numbers found in the wild.
8. Lazy Bear
The sloth is one of the most unique animals of the Amazon and is known for its slowness: it moves at a maximum speed of about 0.24 km / h and sleeps about 20 hours a day. This is because unlike other mammals, you can not keep your body temperature constant, which can range from 24 ° C to 33 ° C.
9. Pink Amazon dolphin
The Inia geoffrensis is a dolphin that is also known as boto or Amazon dolphin. It lives in the basin of the Amazon River and may have a pink or pale blue coloration, although the most common is that they are albino. It is one of the five species of freshwater dolphins that live on the planet.
Throughout the Amazon region, including Peru, the Amazon pink dolphin is in danger of extinction. As it happens in the majority of the cases of the different animals of Peru in danger of extinction, their main threats are the construction of dams, canals and the deviation of natural courses of the rivers.
10. Common spider monkey
Ateles belzebuth, also called yellow-bellied monkey, is present not only in Peru, but also in other countries of South America, such as Brazil and Venezuela. It feeds mainly on fruits, insects and roots.
Measuring between 42 and 66 cm long, this species is the largest primate species in the Americas. The tail of the individuals of this species is 88 cm and can weigh up to 11 kg. One of the characteristics that gives great agility is to have very long limbs.
Its greatest threats are human hunting and the destruction of its habitat, since several areas where its life develops have been taken by the mining industry.
There are thousands of endangered species of the Amazon Rainforest Wildlife, but there are also dozens of excellent conservation programs in place. These conservation projects aim to reverse the damage done by human interference and replenish the rainforest with species that were previously dwindling. The programs have been largely successful so far and we can only hope this trend carries on in the future.