Being the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina has a variety of interesting plants and wildlife.
You can also find a myriad of habitats in Argentina like marshes, grasslands, mountains, deserts, and rainforests.
Sadly, some of the amazing wildlife is experiencing a decrease in population, and some may even become extinct.
Here you will find a list of the endangered species of Argentina and the important things to know about these rare animals.
Human activity is one of the main causes of animals losing their populations.
The destruction of essential habitats and resources, as well as pollution are dangers animals are always under the threat of.
Learning about endangered animals and supporting their conservation efforts are important in sustaining species in Argentina and around the world.
Let’s take a look at the endangered animals in Argentina.
10. Short-tailed Chinchilla
Short-tailed chinchillas (Chinchilla chinchilla) are native to South America.
These rodents originally had a range in parts of Argentina, Peru, and Chile.
Today short-tailed chinchillas are considered endangered, and only a few populations are known within the Andes mountains north of Chile.
Short-haired chinchillas once lived across the rocky mountains and grasslands of the Andes.
As herbivores, they fed on different grass and plants.
Seeing this animal as a pet, or in the wild is extremely uncommon, and they are listed as critically endangered, and may soon be extinct.
Short-haired chinchillas are small rodents that have a size between 9 to 11 inches in length.
They are very furry, and gray, and weigh between 2.4 to 3.1 lbs.
Being so hairy this species was sought after by hunters and is what caused their populations to decline in the last 90 years.
Hunters are believed to be the cause of over 20 million short-haired chinchillas within the 20th century.
Their cuteness also makes this animal popular within the pet trade.
The various major threats short-haired chinchillas face include threats like habitat loss, and pollution from mining.
9. South Andean Deer
The south Andean deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) also called the huemul, or southern guemal is an endangered deer species native to Argentina.
Also native to Chile, they live across the high mountain sides and valleys in the Andes mountains.
The south Andean deer’s smaller population and limited habitat are what caused researchers to be concerned about this animal, and why they are classified as “Endangered”.
Low bluffs, upland forests, and open periglacial scrublands are where these deer live.
A stocky build and nimble legs allow this deer to survive in their harsh, and rocky terrain.
Andean deer have tan to greyish coloring and are covered in a thick coat.
Standing at around 3 feet tall, Andean deer are smaller and on average weigh around 110 lbs.
The south Andean deer is an important animal since it is one of the only large herbivores that live in the sub-Antartic Patagonia region.
Populations of the Andean deer in Argentina have declined by nearly 90% and it is estimated there are less than 1500 today.
Threats that have caused Andean deer to decline include poaching, death by predation, wild dogs, and the degradation of their habitat by humans.
8. Andean Mountain Cat
The Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobita) is a small native cat, found high in the Andes mountains.
This species is classified as “Endangered”.
Today there are more than 1,500 of these cats left in the wild.
In Argentina, this cat is documented to live at elevations between 5,900 to 13,000 ft. within the southern Andes mountains.
Rocky, and slightly vegetated areas are the habitats the Andean mountain cat lives in.
They have fragmented populations across South America within the Andes.
In Argentina this cat is has been reported in only 7 areas, and they are classified as a protected species.
Andean mountain cats are small cats with thick fur.
They have gray, or silver fur, with some orange, and hazel markings on them.
When fully grown adults only weigh around 18 lbs and have a length of up to 33.5 inches long.
The Andean mountain cat is known as one of the most endangered cats in the world.
Habitat destruction, illegal hunting for fur, and habitat fragmentation are reasons for their population loss over the years.
7. Chacoan Peccary
Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay are where the Chacoan peccary (Catagonus wagneri) lives, and they are found in the Gran Chaco region.
Hot, and dry areas with succulent plants, and other scrub vegetation are the habitat where this species lives.
Chacoan peccaries are endangered, with only around 3,000 of them left in the wild.
This species is also the only one of its genus, Catagonus.
Small in size, Chacoan peccaries look similar to a pig or boar but are in the family of Peccaries.
Their hair is gray, or brown, and has a bristly texture.
Fully grown Chocaon peccaries weigh between 65 to 85 lbs and have a length of up to 44 inches.
The population of Chacoan peccaries has seen a massive decline in their population.
Habitat loss because of farming is one of their biggest threats.
They are also overhunted in Argentina which has caused them to become endangered.
6. Chaco Side-necked Turtle
Found in Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia, the Chaco side-necked turtle (Acanthochelys pallidpectoris) is an endangered species native to the Gran Chaco region.
In the wild, they are found in tropical, and subtropical forests.
This turtle is a freshwater species, and they are found in moist environments.
In the winter they bury themselves in the mud and are less active.
Chaco side-necked turtles are medium-sized and have a shell length of around 7 inches.
They have a flat appearance, with brown, or copper coloring.
The neck of this species is very long, and they have a pointed snout.
Currently, the Chaco side-necked turtle is classified as “Endangered”, and they are under various threats.
Population loss, as well as climate change, have affected the habitat this turtle relies on.
Turtles such as this can live for a few decades.
In Argentina, there are several otter species that make their home in the country that are endangered.
The main reasons that otters are becoming endangered are due to illegal hunting, and loss of suitable habitat.
The three otter species in Argentina that are classified as endangered are:
- Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
- Southern River Otter (Lontra provocax)
- Marine Otter (Lontra felina)
Otter species like the southern river otter live in both fresh and marine habitats in Argentina.
The giant otter lives in freshwater-like lakes, and the marine otter is only seen in saltwater habitats.
The giant otter is the largest otter species in the world, but even with the ability to grow up to 6 ft, they are endangered.
If not protected these endangered otter species may be completely extinct in Argentina.
The giant otter was once not sighted for 40 years and was considered extinct until recently.
Waters in the southern hemisphere around Argentina are home to tons of sea life.
Various whales swim near the country water, and migration to the region occurs in the last summer and fall months.
Here are the three whales that are endangered in Argentina:
- Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
- Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
- Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis)
Due to the location and population of whales in the country, there have been several studies done in Argentina to determine why several whale species are seeing a loss in population.
Habitat destruction is one of the main causes of why cetaceans and whales in Argentina are endangered.
Fishing equipment and pollution from the oil can drastically affect the waters whales live in.
Whaling is also one of the main causes of the extinction, and population decline of whales.
Argentina is a great spot for whale watching, as the country’s ocean gets visitors from whales basking, hunting, and mating in the latter half of the year.
There are several types of endangered bird species that live in Argentina.
Endangered birds in the country may be seasonal visitors, seabirds, while others like the Glaucous Macaw live in the country year-round.
Here is a list of the endangered birds in Argentina:
- Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)
- Grey-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma)
- Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos)
- Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi)
- Tristan Albatross (Diomedea dabbenena)
- Naked Characin (Gymnocharacinus bergii)
- Purple-barred Ground-dove (Claravis geoffroyi)
- Saffron-cowled Blackbird (Xanthopsar flavus)
- Black-fronted Piping Guan (Pipile jacutinga)
- Vinaceaous-Breasted Amazon (Amazona vinacea)
- Black Rail (Laterallus jamicensis jamaicensis)
- Darwin’s Rhea (Rhea pennata)
- Hooded Grebe (Podiceps gallardoi)
- Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari)
- Glaucous Macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus)
- Marsh Seedeater (Sporophila palustris)
- Black and Chesnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)
- Chaco Eagle (Buteogallus coronatus)
Birds are one of the world’s most endangered animals, and they are so at-risk because of the countless threats they face.
Humans destroying the breeding grounds, and living spaces for birds is one of the main causes so many go extinct.
Seabirds like the albatross or birds use specific habitats to mate, and their homes must be preserved to protect their population.
South America is known for its diverse array of frog species.
There are several frogs in Argentina that are considered endangered and are close to extinction.
Since frogs are amphibians, they have permeable skin.
Pollution, and toxins in frogs’ habitats are one of the main causes of their population decline.
These are the endangered frogs that live in Argentina:
- Pehuenche Spiny-chest Frog (Alsodes pehuenche)
- Atacama Water Frog (Titicaca scrotum)
- Darwin’s frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)
- Patagonia Frog (Atelognathus patagonicus)
- Alsodes pehuenche
- Rhinella achalensis
- Gastrotheca christiani
Frogs are also susceptible to disease, and climate change.
In Argentina, there are several conservation efforts in place to protect several vulnerable amphibians.
Due to their secrecy, and limited population, it is very difficult to study the Argentina frogs that are on the decline.
Rodents are the most abundant type of mammal.
In Argentina, you can find several endangered rodents, which include tuco-tuco species, and rats.
Tuco tucos are not seen often and live primarily in burrows.
They spend the majority of their lives underground, digging through the earth.
Some of the endangered rodent species in Argentina include:
- Mottled Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys latro)
- Social Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys sociabilis)
- Azara’s Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys mendocinus)
- Southern Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys australis)
- Reigs Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys osvaldoreigi)
- Chaclchalero Vischacha Rat (Tymphanocomys loschalchalerosorum)
- Golden Vizcacha Rat (Pipanacoctomys aureus)
- Pundt’s Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys pundti)
- Rio Negro Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys rioegrensis)
- Bergs Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys bergi)
- Furtive Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys occultus)
- Fossorial Giant Rat (Gyldenstolpia fronto)
The reason so many tuco-tucos are endangered is they are seen as agricultural pests, and are hunted down by humans.
Their diet of roots and other plant life make them bad for agricultural fields and that is why they are one of the many types of endangered animals in Argentina.