Birds and Animals found in Tambopata

Birds and Animals found in Tambopata

The jaguar

The word Jaguar comes from a term of one of the Brazilian Tupi-Guarani languages “yaguara”, which means a beast.

The jaguar belongs to the same species of big cats like the tiger, the lion, the leopard, cheetah, ocelot.

The Jaguars have no qualms about going to the rivers in search of prey. They run towards the wetlands to hunt capybaras or small alligators. We can even observe them swimming through the Tambopata or Madre de Dios rivers.

One of the ways to distinguish a Jaguar is by its appearance is by the pattern on its skin. Jaguars have rosettes, or distinct groups of three or four dark marks that surround a smaller point.

Historically, jaguars existed in the southeastern United States to the south through the neotropics to the east of Argentina. Unfortunately, they disappeared from the populated areas. They are listed as Near Threatened by conservation organizations.

The macaws red green and yellow blue.

They nest in iron trees or shihuahuacos (and in hollow palm trees) these trees are hardwood of the genus Dypteryx. In the late 1990s, loggers learned how to use a titanium alloy to cut these trees. The shiuahuaco (ironwood) is exported to different countries for parquet boards. Because of this, they are disappearing outside the protected areas, a very difficult situation for the macaws.

These birds lay one to four eggs. When more than one egg hatches, the larger chick monopolizes all the food and the brothers die of starvation.

The Scarlet Macaw

Historically, scarlet macaws could be found from Mexico to the south to the Amazon rainforest but unfortunately, they have disappeared from many areas. Luckily for us, they are still quite common in remote parts of the Amazon, such as in the Tambopata Reserve.

It is very similar to the red and green macaw, but the scarlet macaws differ from this one, being a little heavier, because of the yellow color in the middle of their wings and their long wavy tail. Scarlet macaws also have smaller heads.

These large birds require large areas of forest with many large trees for food and nesting sites.

Few scarlet macaws in Tambopata nest every year, this is due to the lack of adequate trees to house their nests. They require cavities of a certain size, which limit their population in the region, now there are already programs to help increase these nests.

Red macaws can live between 35 to 40 years in the wild, it has been found that some in captivity can reach 60 years of age; This longevity compensates for its low birth rates, which allows the population to remain stable and healthy.

The toucans.

They are omnivores, most species of toucans feed on the canopy of the jungle to obtain fruits, insects, and lizards. including bird eggs and chicks.

They are very sociable, generally staying in pairs or in small groups, while the smaller aracari toucans often fly through the forest in groups of more than 8 individuals.

Male toucans have slightly larger peaks than females. This difference is very clear when a male and female are observed together.

The toucans seem to be very intelligent. In captivity, it has been reported that they “bother” other family pets. Toucans actually look a lot like ravens, another family of intelligent and social birds.


The Agouti (paca).

It usually feeds on chestnuts or Brazil nuts, for this, first they gnaw the seed pod with their strong and sharp incisors. Then they take out and eat some of these chestnuts. The only other animals capable of opening a pod of Brazil nut seeds are the Macaws.

The agoutis eat the seeds of the Brazil nuts, but they also help to grow the plant. They buried many of these nuts for later use. They forget some of the seeds that later grow into the trees of the Brazil nut.

The fur of the agouti: has different shades of brown depending on the angle of light. Each hair has bands of light and dark colors with a black tip.

The capybara

These large animals are actually the largest species of rodents in the world. They can weigh up to 80 kilos.

These creatures are adapted to live in rivers, swamps, and lakes. These peculiar rodents even sleep inside the water, with their noses held just above the surface.

They are an important source of food for predators such as anacondas, jaguars, and other animals such as Black Caimans and Ocelots that also take advantage of them.

Capybaras spend most of their time eating herbs and other plants by the river.

The alligator

Fossils of Purrusaurus brasiliensis indicate that this huge caiman used to lurk in the waterways of Peru 8 million years ago. It was more than 12 meters long, therefore, it was one of the largest crocodiles that existed on Earth.

Black alligators were hunted to extinction in many parts of their range. Currently, they exist mainly in protected areas such as the Tambopata National Reserve.

After their young hatch their eggs, mothers use their mouths to take them to safe waters.

There are the white alligators that are more common, like the dwarf alligator that usually lives in small creeks and streams of the Amazon.

The turtle with a lateral neck with yellow spots.

This species of turtle often has yellow spots on its head and when predators threaten it moves its head to the side, instead of going directly back to its shell.

Like most turtle species, it can live for several decades.

As a result of the human overexploitation of eggs and the hunting of adult turtles in search of food is a vulnerable species, this ancient creature has disappeared from many areas.

The giant Otter

This family of mammals includes weasels, river otters, and ferrets. While most of the Mustelids are small, the giant otter reaches a length of five feet (more than one and a half meters) –

It is a protected species due to the small number that we can still observe in the lakes of the Tambopata reserve.

The Harpy Eagle.

In the Amazon jungle, the harpy eagles are at the top of the food chain with Jaguars and Anacondas. the Harpy eagle dominates the canopy of the rainforest just as the Jaguar rules the forest floor, and the Anaconda is the king of the swamps and lakes.

It is commonly believed that harpy eagles take advantage only of sloths and monkeys. However, recent studies have found that they capture and eat a variety of animals. They also hunt large birds such as toucans, kinkajus, and even kill deer.

Harpy eagles look very intimidating because of their huge claws and a large beak. The legs of the harpy eagle are as thick as a person’s wrist.

They need large tracts of tropical forest with enough animals to survive and, therefore, have disappeared from many regions of their range.

The Hawks.

Some hawks have short tails and long wings, while others have short wings and long tails. Most species have a slightly different structure that adapts to their hunting strategies. For example, hawks that hunt inside the forest have shorter wings and long tails that help them maneuver in the thick vegetation. species with long wings and short tails look for prey while rising high in the sky. The sight of the hawks is much better than anyone. Your eyeballs have up to five times more photoreceptors than ours and are designed to really increase the central part of your visual field.

The Hoatzin or Shansho

the natives referred to this bird as something similar to a “pheasant”. The Hoatzin is one of the few mainly herbivorous birds in the world. He spends most of his time picking and eating succulent leaves of vegetation on the shores of the lakes. Hoatzin uses bacteria to help digest the plant material it consumes.

They are reluctant to go on the air because they can barely fly. Most birds have strong muscles in the chest; these birds have small muscles to beat their wings.

The Hoatzins have an unpleasant odor because they are fermenting leaves.

They are born with claws in the wings, this is an adaptation so that when they fall to the water they can climb through the vegetation next to their nests near the lakes.

The Goose of Orinoco

The name comes from one of the longest rivers in South America, this bird is named after the Orinoco River, the most important waterway in northern South America. A large number of these geese live in the savannahs around this river.

Only Orinoco geese can be found in the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin and in the Pantanal wetlands in southern Brazil and Paraguay.

Despite their great variety, geese have disappeared from many areas due to excessive hunting, they can only be found in remote and protected places such as Tambopata.

Interestingly, the closest relative of the Orinoco Goose is the similar-looking Egyptian Goose that comes from Africa.

The Anhinga

The word Anhinga comes from the Tupi language and means “snake bird”. As soon as one observes an Anhinga swimming in the water the reason for this name is immediately apparent, with only its snaking neck and head sticking out from the surface.

The anhinga is found in a small family of birds known as “darter”. There are three other species of darts in the world; one in Asia, another in Africa and the last in Australia.

The anhingas can not waterproof their feathers, therefore, their plumage is filled with water when diving under the surface. This is probably an adaptation to catch prey underwater.

The anhingas may be fishing in the water, but they also frequently fly. The anhingas fly overhead with flat wings. The long neck and tail give them the appearance of a cross in flight.

The manakin or jumping birds.

The name Manakins comes from the Dutch word “mannekij” meaning “little man”.

Most manakins eat fruit, which is a large part of their diet. While flying, these birds collect small fruits of plants that hang at low altitude; These small individuals are rarely seen in the canopy. Because Manakins do not need to move around a lot to find food, they are difficult to get caught by predators.

Several species make sounds that sound almost like machines, the studies show that these noises are not vocal, but that the jumping ones do them when using modified feathers that they have in the wings.

The Amazonian pava (Spix Guan).

These birds are common in the ecological shelters of the tropical forest because hunting is prohibited in these protected areas.

The Amazonian pava is not necessarily nocturnal, sometimes this bird makes a very loud noise especially on moonlit nights.

Like other members of the same family (Crácidos), this bird makes a rattling sound at dusk and dawn. He does it by stretching his wings, shaking them as he slides from one tree to another, this is to attract companions.

Brown Heron (Cocoi Heron).

There is a familiarity with the blue and gray herons existing similarities between these species and the brown herons. In fact, these three birds are closely related, with similar forms, behavior and feathered patterns.

The Cocoi has also been called “White-necked Heron”. Since other herons have that name, most now refer to this bird as the Heron of Cocoi.

Cocoi herons grow in wetlands, from Panama to southern Chile and Argentina. Sometimes they live in high areas in the Andean mountains.

The brown capuchin monkey.

This small to medium sized monkey lives in much of the Amazon.

There is also the white-faced capuchin which is another more whitish capuchin species that is also found in Tambopata. The white-fronted cappuccino, however, is much rarer than the brown cappuccino.

The brown capuchin and the squirrel monkey (smaller) are often found together in the rainforests of Tambopata. While a large number of squirrel monkeys (groups of up to 200 individuals) roam the trees in search of insects, a smaller number of brown capuchins search the jungle for food.

Like people, this medium-sized monkey eats meat, fruits, and vegetables. Unlike us, they eat almost everything they can catch, including insects, lizards and bird eggs.

The Capuchins received their name because of their resemblance to the brown garb of the Capuchin monks.

The brown capuchin monkeys use stones to break the nuts of the rainforest. After picking a palm nut, let it dry for a few days or a week. Then they place it on a hard, fallen tree trunk and use a heavy stone to break the nut.

The black Titi monkey (stumps).

Titi black monkeys mate for life unlike many other primates, they form strong couple bonds. They are usually seen with their young partners and young, so a complete Titi family can often be detected.

Black Titi monkeys feed mainly on fruits, vegetables, and other plants, although they eat occasional insects.

Although this monkey remains off the ground, it rarely feeds very high in the trees. Usually, they are observed in the upper forest understory.

Compared to capuchins and squirrel monkeys, these primates barely move, spend a lot of time sitting on vines and snacking on fruits in low forest trees.

Great raptors such as the harpy eagle and the crested eagle hunt this little monkey, like many of its primate relatives in the Peruvian Amazon; Avoid these predators by staying out of the treetops and trying to stay hidden in the dense vegetation of the forest.

While squirrel monkeys are frequently fed in groups with brown capuchins, the Titi black monkey avoids larger and more aggressive primate species. Researchers have even seen Brown Capuchins attack and kill Titi black monkeys, possibly for this reason they avoid them.

The red howler monkey

The name of this primate species describes them well. They have reddish fur, and like all howler monkeys, they make a roaring noise created by a specially modified hyoid bone in their throats. The sound is so loud that you can hear many miles around, the howler monkeys are the noisiest animals in the New World.

The Red Howlers have a prehensile tail capable of holding on to the branches of the trees; this prevents them from falling to the forest floor.

The color vision in most of the monkeys of the Amazon is restricted to females, in the case of this primate both sexes can see in color.

Red howler monkeys generally live in groups of 10 to 15, each including a few males, several females and young monkeys.

Howler monkeys are the only primates with a diet composed mainly of leaves; sometimes they eat nuts, some fruits and occasionally snatch birds’ eggs.

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