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Amazon Jungle Animals in Peru

Few places on earth have such a variety of animals as the Amazon of Peru, and the richest area of all is the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. The diversity of Amazon jungle animals in Peru is the result of several factors:

  1. Located in the upper Amazon watershed, Manu is still located in the foothills of the Andes, which results of the presence of species from both the Amazon and the Andes flanks with cloud forests;

  2. At the higher elevations, Manu has clear fast-flowing rivers while relatively slow-flowing rivers and oxbow lakes allow for black-water conditions which favor additional fish species and other aquatic life-forms in addition to the more common "coffee and milk" waters which are more common in the Amazon.


Why consider booking our  Peru National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Peru is so famous, and on top of that, you get to see 9 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Peru can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Lima Cusco, Machu Picchu module, Manu National Park module, National Parks Module, All modules.

Destinations Overview:  World Heritage Site LimaWorld Heritage Site Cusco, Amazon park Manu National Park World Heritage Site Valle Sagrado/Sacred Valley, World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, Cloud Forest Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Highland wetland Titicaca National Reserve, Uros floating islands, Altiplano wildlife park Salinas & Aguadas Blancas National Reserve, World's second deepest canyon Colca Canyon, Word heritage site Arequipa, World heritage site Nazca Lines, Pampas Galeras National Reserve, San Fernando National Reserve, Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands National Reserve.



In the Amazon Region of Peru, 165 species of mammals are found, most of which live in Manu National Park. The most abundant group are the Bats, that you can see everywhere, followed by the rodents.


Manu national park supports a primate community of as many as ten species: The world's smallest true monkey, Pygmy marmoset, Cebuella pygmaea, The Black Mantle Tamarin, Saguinus nigricollis, the Spix's Night Monkey, Aotus vociferans, the Coppery Titi Monkey, Callicebus cupreus, Yellow-handed Titi Monkey, Callicebus lucifer, the Collared Titi Monkey, Callicebus torquatus, the Monk Saki, Pithecia monachus, the Common Squirrel Monkey, Saimiri sciureus, the White-fronted Capuchin Monkey, Cebus albifrons, the Red Howler Monkey, Alouatta seniculus and the Brown Woolly Monkey, Lagothrix lagotricha, many of which can be seen regularly.


Generalized birth peaks for all primate species occur in the dry season, from December through February. Among some of the groups, the callitrichids have a second birth peak  in the middle of the rainy season from June through August.

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Yellow Handed Titi Monkey is a common Jungle Animal at Cuyabeno

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Amazon Jungle animals include Black Mantled Tamarins at Cuyabeno

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Woolly Monkeys are common amazon jungle animals

Above: Yellow-handed Titi Monkey, Callicebus lucifer, Below: Brown Woolly Monkey, Lagothrix lagotricha.

A group of Black-mantled Tamarins, Saguinus nigricollis.


Amazon jungle animals Peru: Tapirs, Tapirus terrestris, are Amazon Jungle amimals

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Capybaras, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, as Amazon jungle animals

Tapirs, Tapirus terrestris, are terrestrial Amazon jungle animals but they also are very happy in the water. Loved for their meat, they may still occasionally be hunted by the Indians in the Reserve.

Capybaras, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, are the largest rodents on earth. They live along the banks of rivers and can be frequently seen in Manu. Of course there are many other species of rodents, and often one can see porcupines.


Amazon jungle animals Peru: White Colared Peccaris in the Amazon Jungle

From the other hoofed Amazon jungle animals, the peccaries are the most common. Both species, the Collared Peccary, Tayassu tajacu, and the White-lipped Peccary, T. pecari, occur, as well as several deer species: The omnipresent White Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, and the Brocket Deer, Manzama americana.


Most predators in Manu actually like water or at least tolerate it. Some of the predators include:

Amazon jungle animals Peru: rarely seen Amazon Jungle Animal is the Jaguar

Amazon jungle animals Peru: The Ocelot is a common Amazon cat

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Animals of the Amazon Rainforest

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Giant Otter at the Amazon Rainforest

Both the Jaguar, Panthera onca, and the Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis, like water rich forests; Jaguars are known to actually like swimming. These, and several other species of cats are present in Manu. Particularly at night, you can see them sneaking across low hanging branches, when you go looking for crocodiles. With a bit of luck, all of a sudden the eyes of a big cat are caught in your flashlight. Both Jaguars and Pumas, Panthera concolor, - which also live in the reserve - avoid people and are rarely seen, even by the indigenous people.


The South American coati, or ring-tailed coati, Nasua nasua, is a common predator in the Amazon region. Both the Giant Otter, Pteronura brasiliensis, and the Neotropical Otter, Lutra longicaudis, have been observed in the park. 

In such a water-rich area, one finds animals that are extremely adapted to the watery environment:

Amazon jungle animals Ecuador: Pink Dolphin at the Amazon River in Cuyabeno

Amazon jungle animals Ecuador: Amazon Dolphin in the Cuyabeno Lake

The Pink Amazon Dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, can be recognized by its hump-shaped dorsal fin and the more pronounced hump on its head and longer snout.

The Gray Amazon Dolphin or Tucuxi, Sotalia fluviatilis, can be recognized by its shark-like triangular dorsal fin. Its belly is lighter and varies from light grey to pinkish. It has a closely related relative in the coastal waters of South America, but that species does not swim as deeply into the Amazon region as the Tucuxi. More so than the Pink Amazon Dolphin, Tucuxis tend to jump out of the water.


The Amazonian Manatee, Trichechus inunguis, is a species of manatee that lives in the freshwaters rivers and lakes of the Amazon basin and supposedly never leaves for the sea. It is found in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Venezuela.

It is closely related to the West Indian Manatee, that also ventures up the Amazon River, but never as deeply inland as the Amazonian Manatee. They are regular visitors of Manu. Their meat is highly appreciated by the Siona Indians, but we hope that we have convinced them to no longer hunt them, as they have great tourism value.


Of course the jungle is home to a fabulous variety of the most wonderful insects, big and small: colorful moths and butterflies, odd shaped beetles, dragonflies, etc. etc. After more than two decades in the reserve, we learned that for insects, every night is different. Some nights our lights attract great numbers of very different insects, while other nights insects abound, but most of them only belonging to only a few species.


During our nightly excursions, we go looking for nocturnal insects on the ground. Manu has some really strange looking critters that you only can see at night with flashlights.

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Moth with tranparent wings in the Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru:  Moths come at night to the Cuyabeno Lodge

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Yellow moth in the Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Hummingbird Moth at the tropical Jungle

Some evenings, insects come in great variety, while other evenings, only a few different species fly about. Particularly the moths that come after the lights of the lodge, are of great beauty and if you are lucky, you may see a few of these species of the "hummingbirds" of the insect world show off their incredibly rapid wing beats.


Amazon jungle animals Peru: Caterpillar in the forest

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Caterpillar in the Rainforest

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Monster Caterpillar in the rainforest

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Social caterpillars

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Yet another caterpillar

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Very hairy caterpillar

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Striped Caterpillar

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Strange Caterpillar

Caterpillars appear in amazing shapes and colors and are always a thankful subject for photographers.


Of course their adult life forms are also well-represented. Many diurnal butterflies like to gather at specific places, supposedly to nourish themselves with minerals.

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Butterflies gather at the banks of the Cuyabeno River

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Butterflies at a river bank in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Popping out of its coccoon

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Butterflies gathering at a salt lick


With so many insects to feast on, it is obvious that there are lots of bats in the Manu:

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Bats are very common animals of the Amazon jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Amazon jungle bat

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Hairy bat in the jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Bats may have ugly faces in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Flying bat at nigh in the Amazon jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: If I don't see you, you don't see me

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Bats often fly during the Day in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Crawling with one finger through the Amazon jungle

There are numerous species of bats in the jungle. Of course, at night you can see them fly in great numbers in the sky. But in daytime too, you can see quite a few of them. Some species hang from low braches above the water, and when you pass by them you chase them off their resting places and you get to see them from quite nearby. These pictures have been taken by biologists during a bat field study.



Other groups of the animal kingdom also love taking it out on insects: the Amphibians:

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Mating tree frogs in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Animals are wathing you in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Some animals are very difficult to find in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Frog waiting to snap up a fat insect

Frogs and toads are extremely common in the Amazon Jungle. In fact, most of the nightly concerts are sung by amphibians! Unless you know how and where to look for them, you rarely see them though. Some of those noisy critters are no more than one or two centimeters and they have perfect hiding colors. As soon as they notice you, they keep quiet, but the moment you are gone, they resume their song.



Many reptiles also like a to snatch up insects, although some of them also like other Peru Amazon jungle animals for dinner, such as amphibians, birds and even peccaries and deer, as is the case of anacondas:

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Reptiles are not commonly found in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Interesting lizard in the jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: A lizard wathing from a tree

Amazon jungle animals Peru: A helmed lizar

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Geckos are noctural lizards of the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru:  Anacondas are infamous Amazon Jungle animals

Amazon jungle animals Peru: A snake swallowing a toad in the Amazon Rainforest



And then of course there are spiders, in many sizes and colors:

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Spiders in many shapes in the jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: A jung tarantella spider

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Jumping spiders on its pray

Amazon jungle animals Peru: A spider in its web in the Jungle



In spite of the fact that birds are the jewels of the Peru Amazon jungle animals, we don't have all that many photographs to show for. We are working on that, but it will take a while before we can publish some nice pictures here. The guides of our Peru Amazon rainforest tour, are widely known for the knowledge about birds as well as other Amazon Jungle Animals and Amazon Rain forest Plants.

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Blue and Yellow Macaw in Cuyabeno Park

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Hummingbird in the Amazon

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Hoatzin, Opisthocomus hoazin, in flight

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Scarlet Macaw, Ara macao, in the Amazon Jungle

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Blue and Yellow Macaws are noisy inhabitants of the Amazon Jungle.

Amazon jungle animals Peru: Blue and Yellaw Macaw

Amazon jungle animals Peru: White-collared swift, Streptoprocne zonaris
Amazon jungle animals Peru  

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