March 3, 2024

Ecuador is a South American country with diverse ecosystems, including deserts, peatlands, forests, mangroves, and oceans. This variety of ecosystems influences the fauna, whose biodiversity is impressive.

Ecuador‘s animals are distinguished by their impressive colors, intriguing behavior, and their unique distribution throughout this tropical country. Although we would like to show you all of them, we will limit our introduction here to those below. Perhaps it will inspire you to visit this beautiful country. Don’t miss it!

1) Oncilla

Introducing the Oncilla, a beautiful feline animal also known as the tiger cat, northern tiger, small spotted cat, or tigrillo. It is the smallest representative of this group with a body length of 45-65 cm and a tail of 25-35 cm when extended.

The animal is cute with its yellow and light brown coloration, striped fur, and dark irregular rosettes. But don’t let their appearance fool you; they are incredibly agile hunters and climbers. Its fur is highly prized, and poaching over the years has led to a decline in its population.

2) Nymphargus laurae

Ecuador ranks third in the world in amphibian diversity and is home to many endemic species. This frog is a small green frog with black spots and a yellow center. They are fun to look at and, moreover, they are unique to this region.

This frog is classified as “Near Extinction” due to deforestation, farming practices, and habitat fragmentation. Curiously, the name “Laura” or “Laurae” is a reference to the grandmother of one of the first scientists to describe it.

3) Whale Shark

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, measuring 12 meters long and weighing about 34 tons. Do not be fooled by its size. It is not a very aggressive species, and its behavior is quite different from other sharks, as it filters and feeds.

4) Sapphire-winged Hummingbird

With over 130 species of hummingbirds in Ecuador (38% of the world’s total), it is impossible not to include hummingbirds in this list. They are all beautiful, but we chose the Sapphire-winged Hummingbird.

It is a green hummingbird, but its metallic sapphire blue feathers are dazzling when it flies. Its maximum size is 17 cm, and its beak is about 3 cm long. The hummingbird has a long forked green tail. It is also characterized by its slow flight.

Free photos of Hummingbird

5) Chelonoidis Phantasticus

Several species of giant tortoises endemic to Ecuador have a truly amazing appearance, such as the Chelonoidis Phantasticus. Its carapace is blackish gray, its head and neck are gray, but its throat is yellow.

This reptile is critically endangered according to the IUCN and was even thought to be extinct, but a female was discovered in 2019 and is now being kept at a turtle breeding center. The main threat to the extinction of this species is not humans, but an active volcano on Fernandina Island, its natural habitat.

6) Red Lizard

Another interesting Ecuadorian reptile is the red-bellied lizard, which has a green body and red throat. It is a native species with a length of 13 cm.

Another curious thing about this species is that it can change its body color from green to brown or yellow; according to the IUCN, its conservation status is difficult. Its main threat is deforestation.

7) Andean fox

The Andean fox (Culpeus vulpes) is a large South American canid. It has a grayish body with a prominent reddish head and legs. The tail, like the rest of the body, is quite hairy. Although it is a game animal, it has a diverse diet, eating carrion as needed.

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