The wild fauna is one of the richest and most exuberant in the country, product of a multitude of habitats and ecological niches present in the region.


  • Among felines: the puma; the black panther, both large and small; the ‘mariposo’ tiger; the jaguar, that prefers river banks; the ‘cunaguaro’ Felis pardalis, of nocturnal habits and which scarcely wanders out by day.

Among the smaller carnivorous we can name:

  • The Otter, or ‘water dog’, Pteronura brasiliensis, is difficult to find, having been the victim of poachers who sell the fur by way of Colombia, and which has been included in the mammal “Red Data Book” list as an endangered species. The water dog, inspiration for indigenous myths, is usually seen in groups of ten individuals hunting together.
  • The Kinkaju, Potos flavus is an arboreal carniverous of nocturnal habits; in captivity, it is amicable and tame.
  • The Guache fox, the weasels, and a rare example of the wild dog, or mute dog, is a scarcely known autochthonous survivor.
  • Among the edentates, the Armadillo, specially the giant specimen, is more than a meter long.

Among the larger mammals:

  • The Brazilian Tapir, Tapirus terrestris, is the most corpulent of the autochthonous forest fauna, it can weigh up to 300 kilos. It feeds on leaves and diverse fruit, and can be spotted frequently along the river banks and estuaries of the Ventuari region feeding on aquatic plants, in particular various species only found along the gushing streams. The tapir’s most developed sense is its sense of smell; it has poor vision.
  • Among the peccary family is the Collard peccary, Dicotyles tajacu, sometimes spotted in large herds; in regard to deer, some species can be found around savannahs or forests.

Among the better known rodents are:

  • The Chigüire, Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris is the biggest rodent of all, sometimes weighing more than 50 kilos; it can be found living in family groups, or large herds, near the rivers.

Extensive range of primates:

  • Spider monkey, or marimonda, the Ateles Bezelbuth hybridus is one of the largest monkeys in América, an excellent climber that uses its long prehensile tail to swing from branch to branch.
  • The Venezuelan Red Howler monkey, ‘Araguato’, Alouatta seniculus, with its loud shrieks at sunrise and sunset, makes it an easy target to spot.
  • The machango monkey, maicero or capuchino, Cebus nigrivitatus, is lively and easy to domesticate; it feed on insects, fruit, maize, cacao and leaves.
  • The tití monkey, Saimiri sciureus, is small, vivacious and playful.
  • Night monkey; machin; widow; and the mokey caparro, quiet, amicable and intelligent.



  • The ‘Garzón soldado’, Jabiru mycteria, is the largest stork species in Venezuela, measuring up to 1.50 meters; it builds its nest on tree tops and palm trees, and protects ferociously its young.
  • The ‘Gabán’, Euxenura maguari, is a type of stork more frequently seen in savannahs than around open waters, it builds its large nests atop low bushes and medium high trees, frequently near stork communities. It feeds on small mammals, toads, insects and reptiles.
  • Storks of various colors and statures.

Among the web-footed:

  • The Muscovy duck, Cairina moschata, is the ñlargest duck of all, it lays up to 30 eggs.
  • The Orinoco goose, Neochen jubata, frequent in lagoons, channels and rivers of open forest banks.
  • Guiriri or black-bellied whistling duck, Dendrocygna autumnalis, travels in flocks of up to a thousand specimen; it ows its name to its peculiar sound.


  • The Yellow-knobbed Curassow, Crax daubentoni, forms groups of four to twelve specimen during the dry season and the rest of the season in smaller family groups.
  • Spix’s Guan, Penelope jacquacu, considered an endangered species, looks for its food on the ground but nests atop trees, and perches when it feels threatened.
  • Partrige and Rufous-vented Chachalaca

Abundant and very imortant are the different bird families:

  • The hummingbirds; colibrí, tucusito or flower-sucker are the smallest of birds. Remaining still in mid-air, it flaps its wings 60 times per second to catch insects or suck flower nectar, its constant activity grants it an important role in plant pollination.
  • The Hyacinth Macaws are the largest species of the Macaw family; it lives in pairs, and fruits are its favorite food.
  • The Yellow-crowned parrot, Amazona ochrocephala, fly in noisy flocks; the color of its feathers makes it difficult to distinguish when perched on trees, blending in with the foliage; in captivity it is faithful, amicable, and learns to talk fast and immitate different sounds.


  • Black-headed parrot, Pionites melanocephala, one of the most eye-catching among parrots. Found in noisy flocks, and feeds on seeds, nuts and fruit.
  • Parrot Brotogerius jugularis can be seen in small flocks and remain in pairs throughout their lives.
  • Great Horned Owl, Buho virginianus, is the largest in South America, measuring up to 51 cm high; it feeds on rats and other smaller animals.
  • The Large Nictibios, Common Potoo, or flojo Nyctibius grandis, does not build its nest, but rather looks for slight depressions in thick tree branches to deposit its only egg; this and its low, guttural song that sounds like flooo-jooo, give it its name. Of nocturnal habits, it remains still during the day perched above a branch that resembles its plumage . It’s the largest insectivore of our fauna.
  • Amazon Kingfisher, Cloroceryle amazona, feeds mainly on small fish that it catches by diving in the water; it’s lively and confident.
  • Cock-of-the-rock, Rupicola rupicola, is one of the most beautiful birds of the forest, with its bright red plumage, it nests on waterfall and river rocks. A vulnerable species that deserves our protection.
  • Tucán, Piapoco Ramphastos tucanus, is intelligent and voracious; it feeds on ripe fruit such as guavas, papaya, etc.
  • Turpial, Oriol, Icterus icterus, the national Venezuelan bird and one of the most beautiful song birds of the country. Its melodious and varied song is heard at daybreak, and it’s very  appreciated in households; it lives alone or in pairs, and feeds on insects and fruit.
  • he Yellow Oriole, ‘Gonzalito’, Icterus nigrogularis, is a member of the oriol family.
  • Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus, a small flycatcher that stands out for its bright red color; during the winter, groups of this species migrate from Argentina to Venezuela and Colombia.
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis lepiscopus.
  • Black collared Hawk, Busarellus nigricollis, rapacious, feeds mainly on fish and crab.
  • We also find Crested Oropendola, verdines and seven colors.
  • To close, we will mention the important Harpya Eagle, of which is said can lift a child, with its powerful flight and its huge and strong claws, when approached it remains imposing with penetrating eyes.


  • The great Orinoco alligator, Crocodilus intermedius, a seriously endangered species that previously could be seen around the majority of rivers. Very few specimen survive today. It can measure up to  4 meters.
  • The ‘baba’ alligator crocodrilus: the adult female measures between 1.50 m y 1.80 m while the male can reach 2.90 meters. Nesting begins between July and August, every female spawns 25 to 35 eggs, and remains near the nest to protect it from predators, such as iguanas, fox and bird of prey. Shows great maternal care with its offspring, and, when the rainy season comes to end, it carries them to permanent water zones on its back or inside its snout.
  • The Iguana can measure up to 1.50 meters, including its long tail; spends most of the time atop trees feeding on leaves, fruit and flowers. Its color varies from light green to a bluish grey in the older and bigger specimen.

Among the outstanding venomous ophidian:

  • The anaconda or or water snake, Eunetes murinus, is the biggest there is, and can measure 10 meters long; it swims very well and feeds on fish, birds, lizards and, occasionally, larger animals.
  • The Boa constrictor, or deer-eater, measures up to 4 meters long and, notwithstanding its name, it cannot swallow a deer no matter how small it may be; it feeds on rats and small animals, and spends most of the time wrapped atop trees.
  • Batracius of great size like the zarando or aú; rare like the áparo or pipa, or the bilingo toad with its beautiful and poisonous skin.

There’s a great variety of cheloniidae:

  • MorrocoyThe ‘morrocoy’ Geochelone carbonoria.
  • Amphibian like the Galápago Prodocnemis vogli can be spotted basking in the sun atop fallen tree trunks or on river banks, they are sharp and run off at the first sign of danger.
  • The Orinoco Turtle or Arrau Podchemis expansa is the most important and an endangered species at the present; the female is larger than the male – it can weigh up to 30 kilos – and may spawn 120 eggs each time.
  • You also find the terecay, the’ cabezón’ (big head) and the ‘chipiro’.

  • The giant laulau or valentón, striped cat-fish, yake, carajo, morocoto, cachama, palometa, pámpano, blue caribe, payara, curbina, pavón, among others.
  • The ‘Temblador’, famous for the electrical potential of ots body, capable of killing almost any animal or person, it can grow up to two meters long.
  • There are smaller channels and numerous lagoons with a great variety of practically unknown, beautiful ornamental fish.