Patagonia Animals and Wildlife

Almost 500 species of animals inhabit Patagonia, including 60 mammal, 400 birds and a variety of fish, amphibians and reptiles

Many native animals of Patagonia have been displaced in the last few centuries by species that were introduced by man during the times of the conquest and the colonization of the region. Sheep and cattle farming are two of the principal activities that led to this displacement.

In ancient times the region was inhabited by tigers, the aguara-guazu or "big fox", the peccary and the pampas deer. However, these species have all moved up north due to the influence of man in the region. Today we can still see several species around the National Parks, including many large mammals like Huemul, Pumas and Pundu.

Birds present in Patagonia are mainly predatory and carrion species. Amongst these are the famous Andean Condor, the Caracara, Vultures, Hawks, Eagles and Falcons. The largest bird in the region, the Lesser Rhea, similar to ostriches and known as ñandu locally, are found throughout Patagonia. Other smaller birds occur throughout Patagonia, like the Magellanic Woodpecker, a variety of geese and ducks, and penguins on the far south of the region.

The most characteristic land animals that can be easily observed around Patagonia, are skunks, Patagonia hare or mara, armadillos, foxes, guanacos and Pumas, which are the local mountain lions. One can also find in the mountains, huemuls (or regular deer), pudu (or dwarf deer) and red deer, although they are somewhat uncommon. The rivers in the region are also inhabited by introduced fish such as trout and salmon.

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