Fauna of Colombia

The fauna of Colombia is characterized by a high biodiversity, with the highest rate of species by area unit worldwide.[1]

The pink dolphin of the Amazon River is an endangered species.

Endemic animalsEdit

Colombia has the largest number of endemic species (species that are not found naturally anywhere else) worldwide. About 10% of the species in the world live in Colombia.[2] Some determinant factors in the distribution range of the species are the weather conditions, temperature, humidity and sunlight availability.

Endemics can easily become endangered or extinct due to their restricted habitat and vulnerability to the actions of man, including the introduction of new organisms.

Ecoregions with high endemismEdit

According to the Colombian Ministry of Environment, the following ecoregions have the highest percentage of endemic species:

Environmental issuesEdit


White-throated toucan (Ramphastos tucanus) inhabits the Amazon Basin
Channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Emerald toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
Northern helmeted curassow (Pauxi pauxi) lives in the Cordillera Oriental, Colombia mountain range
Oilbirds can be seen in Cueva de los Guacharos National Park
Collared inca (Coeligena torquata)
Long-billed starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris)
Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura)
White-crowned pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala)
Green jay (Cyanocorax yncas)
Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Townsend's warbler (Dendroica townsendi)
Blue-grey tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
White-throated tinamou (Tinamus guttatus)

Over 1800 species of birds have been described in Colombia, (more than the number of existent bird species in North America and Europe combined).[2] Some of the bird species in Colombia are:

The national birdEdit

The Vultur gryphus also known as the Andean condor is the national bird of Colombia.

The Andean condor inhabits the Andes mountain range. Although it is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion, this species belongs to the New World vulture family Cathartidae.

The condor is one of the largest birds on earth with a wingspan ranging from 274–310 cm (108–122 in) and weighing up to 11–15 kg (24–33 lb) for males and 7.5–11 kg (16–24 lb) for females, but overall length can range from 117 to 135 cm (46 to 53 inches).

The adult plumage is of a uniform black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large patches or bands of white on the wings which do not appear until the completion of the first molting.


There are 456 reported species of mammals in Colombia.[3] Of these, about 22% are endangered or critically endangered. Most of the threatened species status are due to human activities, in particular destruction of plant and animal habitats driven by local consumption of organic resources, especially related to tropical forest destruction.[4]

While most of the species that are becoming extinct are not food species, their biomass is converted into human food when their habitat is transformed into pasture and cropland.

Colombia has the largest number of terrestrial mammals species in the world, including among others:

Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)


Colombia has the largest number of amphibians in the world (including frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians) with 589 species, 208 of them being endangered, being the zoological group with the highest rate of endangerment. Some causes related with the decline of the amphibians are: chytridiomycosis, habitat destruction, drought, air pollution, water pollution and illegal trade.



Colombia has high fish diversity, with a 2017 estimate suggesting 1,494 species of freshwater fishes. Following a rapid inventory of the Bajo Caguán-Caquetá region in 2019, there are 513 known species in the Caquetá river and 148 known species in the Caguán. During this inventory eight species were identified as possibly new to science.[6]


There are more than 80 genera of land gastropods in (continental) Colombia.[7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ en Colombia Paisajes naturales de Colombia Archived 2009-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Colombia accounts for around 10% of the flora and fauna of the world". humboldt.org.co. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-07-13. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  4. ^ Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, Extinction, Random House, New York (1981) ISBN 0-394-51312-6
  5. ^ Brigit Katz (13 February 2020). "Pablo Escobar's Pooping Hippos Are Polluting Colombia's Lakes". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Rapid Inventories 30 (Fishes)" (PDF). Field Museum Rapid Biological Inventories. 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  7. ^ Mónica Lucía Vera Ardila. 2008. Lista de los géneros de moluscos terrestres de Colombia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Prosobranchia: Mesogastropoda y Pulmonata: Stylommatophora). Biota Colombiana 9 (1): 39-62.

External linksEdit