Endangered Animals in South America that Need to Be Saved!

South America is very popular for being home to the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Who doesn’t know the Amazon rainforest? Due to this fact, this continent is also home for a lot of amazing animals.

You can find dangerous animals in South America and animals of South America. Unfortunately, there are also some endangered animals from this continent, which are also in the danger of extinction.

Extreme climates and habitat destruction may be the common factors causing endangered animals here. To prevent this condition from getting worse, we need to save them.

The first step of saving them is by knowing which species are endangered so that we can save them. Let’s discuss further about these 7 endangered animals in South America we need to protect.

  • Golden Lion Tamarin

The first endangered species of animals from South America will be the golden lion tamarin. It is also listed as one of the endangered animals in the Amazon rainforest. This species of animal can only be found in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, that’s why it belongs to one of the animals native to Brazil.

This place is the recent relocation and captive breeding programs which have improved the population of golden tamarin a lot. It has improved the status from “critically endangered” to “endangered”.

Despite their improving status, they are still under threat from some factors, such as agriculture-driven deforestation. This continues to fragment their forest homes which severes link between populations.

  • Amazonian Manatee

The next species which is endangered is Amazonian manatee. Amazonian manatees are commonly found in the murky waters of the Amazon River. They are considered as one of the three manatee species found in South America and Africa.

The population has been declining by 30% over the three generations. Continued hunting pressure, habitat loss, and mercury pollution are the main factors of this issue.

  • Waved Albatross

Waved albatross is considered as a species which is unique to Galapagos Islands. This sea bird is using its 2,4-meter wingspan to roam hundreds of miles in order to hunt for fish over the Pacific Ocean.

Unfortunately, this species is threatened due to habitat loss on the only island where they it can breed, Espanola Island. It is mainly caused by overgrazing caused by non-native goats.

The other two biggest threats to albatrosses are overfishing and climate change. These two threats have driven the fish stocks, which these birds depend on, to near extinction. Besides, albatrosses are frequently caught as bycatch of longline fishing.

  • Orinoco Crocodile

Being the largest predator in the Americas, Orinoco can only be found in the Orinoco River in Venezuela and Colombia. The males of this crocodile can reach up to 6 meters long and weigh nearly half a ton.

Despite the fact of being the largest predator, the Orinoco crocodile were greatly hunted to near extinction in the 19th to 20th centuries. The main cause was the high demand for crocodile leather.

Nowadays, due to pollution and collection of juvenile crocodiles for the live animal trade have made the population of this South America’s top reptilian predator reaching the number of 500 or so individuals.

  • Panamanian Golden Frog

Similar to the other members of the genus Atelopus, golden frog is critically endangered. Golden frog is famous for its waving dance. This little amphibian has evolved a method of communication which doesn’t need a sound, making it as a useful adaptation to their noisy habitat among river rapids.

Unfortunately, its population has declined by over 80% over last decade. It is mostly caused by a disease called plague chytridiomycosis. This disease is caused by a fungus and has pushed one-third of frog species to the brink of extinction over the past two decades.

  • Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Another member of Galapagos Islands, South America which faces endangered status is the giant tortoise. Galapagos giant tortoise can only be found in the Galapagos Islands, around 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.

The population of this tortoise were historically decimated by sailors who stored them on ships as a source of food and water along Pacific voyages.

In the modern day, these tortoises are also being edged out by non-native goats introduced by settlers, which decimate local plant life, which is leaving the tortoises with no food. Also read more about endangered animals in Galapagos islands.