What Animals Live in Peru?

animals-live-peru Credit: Axel Fassio/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Because of its variety of terrains and ecosystems, Peru is home to 500 species of mammals, including pumas, jaguars, spectacled bears, yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, llamas, alpacas and vicunas. In addition to mammals, Peru has 1800 species of birds and 300 species of reptiles.

Out of the 500 species of mammals in Peru, 70 are endemic, and almost 100 are threatened or endangered. Among the rare endemic species are the jaguar, the spectacled bear and the yellow-tailed woolly monkey.

Peru's rain forest is part of the Amazon rain forest, which is home to many rare species of birds, reptiles and mammals not found anywhere else. On Peru's Pacific coast, many species have adapted to living in a dry desert climate. The Pacific coastal waters support vast fish and seabird life, including the Humboldt penguin. Peru is also known for its mountains. These mountains support the growth of many grasses and plants that serve as food for llamas, alpacas and vicunas. Mammals that live in Peru have adapted to living in high altitudes.

In 2007, scientists discovered a new species of cloud-forest rodent in Peru. It is closely related to the spiny rat. As of 2014, scientists continue to discover new species in Peru's diverse ecosystems.