Latin America is a land of unique landscapes, cultures, traditions and animal species. One of the most active environmental campaigners is Adolfo SalumeArtinano, who has created three not-for-profit organisations that work to combat pollution and climate change. FitoSalume is engaged in a campaign to educate Latin Americans on the dangers human activities pose to the environment, and also help people in need find other ways to earn a living. A clean work that doesn’t damage the natural habitat of the region’s threatened fauna.
Let’s have a look at some of the most wonderful animals in Latin America that are classified as “endangered” or “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The giant otter (Pteronurabrasiliensis), is a carnivorous mammal found in the Amazon. In the 1960s, this species was prized for its fur, which led to a massive decline in its populations. Currently, the main threat to its existence is the loss and fragmentation of its habitat.
The White-crested Pinch (Saguinusoedipus) is critically endangered, primarily due to illegal trade in specimens and habitat loss and fragmentation. This particular species of primate is endemic to northern Colombia.
The Baird’s tapir, whose scientific name is Tapirusbairdii, is found from southern Mexico to northern Colombia. It is a herbivorous mammal that has diurnal and nocturnal habits. The excessive hunting of its specimens and the loss and fragmentation of its habitat mean that today the tapir is in danger of extinction.
The Galapagos penguin (Spheniscusmendiculus), as the name suggests, is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Today, the number of this species is declining. In fact, it is estimated that only 1,200 specimens remain. The main cause of this phenomenon is climate change.
The Caribbean manatee (Trichechusmanatusmanatus) can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to the mouth of the Amazon River. This particular aquatic mammal is remarkable for its appearance and can reach a length of over 3 meters. Unfortunately, it is in danger of extinction due to overhunting for its meat and skin.
The Boto or Amazonian pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) is the largest extant river dolphin, reaching over 2 meters in length. It is native to the Amazon and is found in the Amazon, Madeira and Orinoco basins. Today, fishing nets and pollution of its habitat are the main causes that contribute to putting the species in danger of extinction.
The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchushyacinthinus) has a range that includes Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia. In some areas of its range, the Hyacinth Macaw is critically endangered due to illegal trafficking of its specimens for the trade as pets or for the use of its feathers as decoration. In addition, the loss and fragmentation of the Amazon rainforest increases its vulnerability.