Peru is a country that boasts with such a diverse fauna. It is no wonder, as three ecosystems exist within the Peruvian borders – the desert Pacific coastline, the Andes mountains, and the Amazon. Out of 32 climatic zones that exist on earth, Peru is home to 28. There are over 300 species of reptiles, 500 mammals, and 1,800 species of birds. Peru is primarily renowned thanks to its great archaeological and historical highlights, but it’s also a unique wildlife destination. The array of exotic species inhabits areas from the high Andes to the mighty Amazon. Let’s take a look at the five impressive animals you can see in the Amazon jungle in Peru .
Jaguar, the big cat of the Amazon, is very elusive and camera shy. It puts it on the bucket list for the animal lovers who are visiting Peru . Jaguars are spotted on the river banks in the Manu Biosphere Reserve. The cat belongs to the same genus as lions, tigers, and leopards, and have a specific pattern to its coat – groupings of 3-4 spots that surround a smaller spot. They are water-loving (you can see them swimming across the Tambopata river.) Remember that sightings are not guaranteed because they quickly get out of areas impacted by people.
2. Giant Otter
One of the rarest animals that live in Tambopata the Giant Otter can be seen quite easily. For example, you can see them in the oxbow lakes in the Tambopata region that provide habitat for many Amazonian animals, such as Anacondas, waterbirds, fish species, Black Caimans, and others. The Giant Otter belongs to the Mustelidae family of mammals, which includes Ferrets, Martins, River Otters, and Weasels. There are only 5,000 of these mammals left in the world. Living in extended family groups, they are social animals that spend most of their time together.
The Amazonian tapir or the South American tapir is one of the five species in the tapir family and the most significant surviving native terrestrial mammal of the Amazon region. They’re expert divers and swimmers, but also move quickly on land. Their primary predators are the Orinoco crocodile, the Black Caiman, and the Green anaconda. The tapir is a herbivore, feeding on shoots, buds, leaves, grasses, fruit, and aquatic plants.
4. Spider Monkey
The adorable and elusive Spider Monkey can be seen deep in the Peruvian rainforest. They are a favorite sighting of Amazon guests and are rarely seen elsewhere. Spider Monkeys are limber primates – they have small heads, long tails, long limbs, and are very acrobatic (your prototypical primate.) They only live in the high treetops of undisturbed forests and need to move between areas with flowers and fruits (the upper strata of lowland rainforests). Like the Giant Otter, the Spider Monkey is also a social animal.
5. Black Caiman
The relative of the American Alligator, Black Caimans, can be found lurking in the waters of South and Central America. Four of the six species of caimans live in the rainforests of Tambopata. Black Caiman is the largest of the six, growing to be 15 feet in length, and it's been around for millions of years. They feed primarily on fish, crustaceans, and insects, but will also eat birds and mammals. Unfortunately, they were hunted to extinction in different areas, and now they mostly live in protected areas like the Tambopata National Reserve.