40 Endangered Animals in Argentina

Jonah Lester
40 Endangered Animals in Argentina

In Argentina there are more than 500 endangered animals, according to the latest study published by National Parks. A country with an extensive territory, with varied climates and landscapes, has an unequaled variety in its fauna, although severely affected by the lack of conservation.

From north to south and from east to west, from the puna to the ice of Antarctica and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes mountain range, Argentina has all kinds of ecosystems.

Andean flamingo in danger of extinction.

Species from different kingdoms coexist in each ecosystem, with mammals and birds being the main protagonists of the scene, but also the most threatened.

From north to south there are the following natural regions in Argentina: Puno and Northwest Andean, Chaco, Mesopotamian, Pampean, Cuyana, Andean-Patagonian, Extra-Andean Patagonian, Oceanic, Subantarctic and Antarctic.

The extinction risk assessments are made according to the criteria established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which are objective and quantitative criteria..

Endangered animal species in Argentina

1- Tatú carreta (Priodonts maximus)

Fountain. Pxfuel.com

It is one of the typical animals of Argentina, however its survival is severely threatened by the loss of its natural habitat and indiscriminate hunting..

Also known as the giant armadillo, it is estimated that 30% of the population of this species was lost in the last two decades. It is currently in a "critical danger" situation..

For its conservation, the Formosa National Reserve has as one of its main objectives the protection of some of the last specimens of this species.

2- Yaguareté (Panthera onca)

Source: pixabay.com

This species of jaguar is one of the most threatened by clearing, poaching and the destruction of its natural habitat, which reduced it to subsist in the missionary jungle, mainly.

Although there are no exact records, it is estimated that only 100 jaguar specimens remain and their status is also "critically endangered".

There are different programs for conservation, especially focused on its natural habitat.

3- Long-tailed Chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)

Guérin Nicolas (messages) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

This friendly animal, whose evolution led them to become a domestic company, also suffers the advances of lack of protection.

In the last 15 years, 90% of its population disappeared as a result of illegal hunting and the reduction of its natural habitat. Currently there are few specimens and foxes are their main threat.

For its conservation, the Formosa National Reserve, as in other cases, has as one of its main objectives the protection of some of the last specimens of this species.

4- Andean flamenco (Phoenicoparrus andinus)

Source: pixabay.com

The rapid extinction of its population is due to the same causes as the previous species, with the aggravation that its reproduction rate is very low.

In addition, the sale of flamingo eggs for human consumption during the 20th century, especially in the last two decades, intensified its survival crisis..

Other factors that put this species at risk are increasing mining activity, low water levels, natural disasters and the erosion of nesting spaces..

For their conservation, measures were dictated for the conservation of eggs and habitat management..

5- Green macaw (Ara militaris)

Source: pixabay.com

Also known as the military macaw, it is one of the preferred victims of commercial poachers. This places it among the endangered species.

With a population in decline, with a pronounced decline in the last 50 years, it is estimated that there are about 10,000 copies left today..

For its conservation, Argentina has several National Parks that can take care of the species, however in some the conditions are not optimal.

6- Chaco peccary (Catagonus wagneri)

Gmmv1980 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

With a small population, this species suffers the same threats as the rest, aggravated by its dispersed spirit, which makes it vulnerable due to constant changes in its original habitats..

It is believed that in the last three generations, the number of specimens was reduced by 50%, which suggests that there are few peccaries alive.

In addition to trying to improve its habitat, in Argentina the Copo National Park, in the province of Santiago del Estero, and other small provincial reserves, are trying to maintain the species.

7- Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)

Source: pixabay.com

This mammal is a victim of deforestation in Chaco Salta, Formosa, north of Corrientes and Misiones. In addition, illegal hunting and a fragmented population put it at serious risk of extinction..

The tapir has different official programs for its conservation executed by national scientists and international organizations.

8- Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus)

Valentina Requesens from Viña del Mar, Chile / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

This robust deer, with large ears and antlers, in males, is one of the typical species of the mountain range of Patagonia.

Brown in color and with a solitary behavior, the huemul was the victim of poaching, attacks by other species and diseases, which put it at risk of extinction.

In addition, the forest fires of the last decades in its habitat considerably reduced its population. It is estimated that there are no more than 700 copies.

In Patagonia, measures were dictated to respect its habitat and the life of this species.

9- Pichiciego (Chlamyphorus truncatus)

Photo by David J. Stang / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

This tiny animal lives in the mountains of northern Argentina and the data on its conservation are not very precise. This puts it in danger of extinction, considering the changes produced in its natural habitat..

The National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) is in charge of the conservation of this species.

10- Aguará Guazú (Chrysocyon brachyurus)

sarefo / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

It is considered the largest fox in South America and inhabits the northern part of the country, especially in the Chaco. The advance of man on its ecosystem considerably reduced the number of specimens.

Distrustful and lonely, the maned guazú is nocturnal and was declared a Provincial Natural Monument in the Province of Corrientes.

The Temaikèn Foundation is in charge of different projects for the conservation of this species.

11- Huillín (Lontra provocax)

Laura Pagés Méndez / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

This otter, also known as a river wolf, native to the areas surrounding the Nahuel Huapi National Park, has been at risk of extinction since 1977 when a sharp decline in its population was detected due to indiscriminate killings.

In addition, the destruction of its habitat, pollution in lakes and attacks by other species represent a serious threat to the Huillín..

The National Wildlife Foundation of Argentina is carrying out different projects to ensure its conservation.

12- Margay (Felis wiedii)

Source: pixabay.com

This long-tailed wild cat lives in the humid areas of South America and is a victim of the advance of humanity on its ecosystem.

The transformation of its natural spaces and poaching for its required skin, place it among the endangered species in Argentina.

13- Deer of the swamps (Blastocerus dichotomus)

Source: pixabay.com

This deer, the largest in South America, lives in the Esteros del Iberá, but indiscriminate hunting and environmental changes due to livestock expansion and forest production have reduced its population notably in the last four decades..

It is estimated that at the beginning of the 21st century there were no more than 500 specimens left, which is why their situation was classified as being in "international danger".

For its conservation, the Directorate of Wild Fauna issued particular measures for this species.

14- Suri cordillerano (Rhea pennata)

Source: Pixabay.com

This bird, which lives in the Andes Mountains of Argentina, was intensely persecuted due to the high price of its feathers and the problems for its reproduction due to the ingestion of its eggs by other species..

The situation of this small rhea is slightly better than that of the species that precede it in this list. Only their situation is classified as "vulnerable".

Also National Parks and other organizations are ensuring its conservation with active measures.

15- Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)

Image by zoosnow from Pixabay

While in other countries of the region this animal is extinct, in Argentina its situation is a little better. Inhabitant of the mountain range, the Andean condor is the largest bird on the continent.

The main threat to their survival is given by the high level of poisoning they are victims of by livestock producers to defend their animals.

Through the Andean Condor Conservation Program, different organizations and foundation work for the maintenance of the species.

16- Red cauquén (Chloephaga rubidiceps)


This particular bird, which migrates from the south to the center of the country in winter to avoid the low temperatures, was declared a national pest in 1960 and 50 years later is in danger of extinction.

The indiscriminate killings reduced its population to only 700 specimens and since 2000 it is the National Provincial Monument of Buenos Aires.

The red cauquén is a bird of the duck family, whose hunting is prohibited in Argentina due to its risk. In addition, there are active policies to maintain and improve their habitat..

17- Hyalinobatrachium uranoscopum

Axel Kwet / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)

Amphibian inhabitant of the glass frog family is the most threatened species of the missionary forest. Their situation has worsened in recent decades due to the introduction of exotic animals, pollution and the destruction of their habitat..

Although there are active policies for their conservation, no progress has yet been made in their state of extinction.

18- Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis)

Michaël CATANZARITI / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Cetacean distributed by the seas of the Southern Hemisphere. It is believed that only about 10,000 individuals remain, with about 2,000 being counted in Argentine waters. The main (and almost only) cause of their extinction is indiscriminate hunting.

19- Andean cat (Leopardus jacobitus)

Jim Sanderson / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Also known as titi, it is the most threatened feline in the American continent. Natural of the Andes, there are some specimens in the northeast of Argentina, such as the province of Mendoza. Listed as Endangered by the IUCN, the main reason is poaching.

20- Glaucous Macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus)

Rod6807 (Martín Rodríguez Pontes) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

There are many doubts about whether this species is extinct or not. Distributed by Brazil, Uruguay and northwestern Argentina, the last records date from the 50s of the 20th century. The destruction of the yatay palm, the tree from which they obtained their main source of food, is believed to have been the main reason for their disappearance.

21- Chungungo (Lontra felina)

Sakura1994 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

This species of otter is the smallest of its kind and inhabits the pacific coasts of Peru, Chile and Argentina. It is an animal little studied, unknown much of its behavior or diet. The main reason for its extinction is the massive hunting it suffered in the last century.

22- Bombus dahlbomii (Bombus dahlbomii)

USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab from Beltsville, Maryland, USA / Public domain

Better known as the Chilean bumblebee, it is one of the largest species of its genus on the planet. In Argentina it can be located west of Patagonia, although its population each year decreases at an alarming rate. According to the IUCN, it is Endangered, the main reason being the introduction of exotic animals in their environment.

23- Guanaco (Lama guanicoe)

Source: pixabay.com

The "wild llama" is not a species that is in danger at a global level (it is distributed by Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay), but it has suffered a serious population decline in Argentina, where it has lost 58% of their copies in recent decades. The deterioration of their habitat and uncontrolled hunting, the main reasons.

24- Charao (Amazon pretrei)

Amazona_pretrei_-Rio_Grande_do_Sul_-Brazil-8e.jpg: Mariederivative work: Snowmanradio / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Declared a natural monument in the province of Misiones (Argentina), this parrot is Vulnerable according to the IUCN. In the case of Argentina, its situation is even worse, since it went from having more than 200,000 specimens in the 60s to less than 2000 in the first decade of 2000. Sale as a domestic animal is the main threat to this endemic species in South America..

25- Monkey I fell (Cebus apella)

Fran420 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Also known as a capuchin, it is one of the few monkeys that live in Argentina, specifically in the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Misiones. Its population grows every year mainly due to deforestation. It is not possible to conclude how many specimens are left due to the few studies carried out.

26- Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

Also known as the flag bear, this species can be found in northern Argentina. It is a really rare animal, which is why it is considered a highly valued game. In addition, native people of Mesopotamia use it as food. This has meant that it is a species in serious danger of extinction.

27- Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Although today it is not considered an endangered species, experts do not doubt that, if its habitat and tourism continue to be destroyed, it will soon enter the IUCN Red List. Oil is another of the great threats to this southern bird.

28- Endemic frog

Known as somoncuria somuncurensis, this amphibian has its natural habitat in the Valcheta stream of the Somuncurá plateau, in the province of Río Negro.

Although they are considered a resistant animal, the proliferation of fungi has caused a huge decline in their population. Policies for their conservation are not clearly defined, which puts their existence at risk.

29- Telmatobius atacamensis

This small amphibian that lives in the San Antonio de los Cobres River, Salta, has been in a state of "critical danger of extinction" since 2003.

The main cause of their situation is the introduction of exotic fish into their habitat, which predated the species, and the contamination of the water due to mining activity..

Modifications were made to the regulations for the conservation of their habitat but their effects may take several generations to reverse the current danger..

30- Laguna Blanca frog (Atelognathus patagonicus)

Their situation is similar to that of the telmatobius atacamensis frog and their conservation policies too, but their ease of adaptation helps their survival..

For this reason, the white lagoon frog was migrated to other nearby water sources where it managed to develop its life cycle without problems..

31- Large island frog (Argenteohyla siemersi siemersi)

Frog of which there are very few records, being considered a species in serious danger of extinction. In Argentina it is located in the southern part of Mesopotamia, although there are also signs of having been seen along the banks of the Río de la Plata. Pollution and destruction of its habitat are the main reasons for its critical state.

32- Golden vizcacha rat (Tympanoctomys aureus)

According to the IUCN and SAREM, this rodent is Critically Endangered, and it is also impossible to determine how many specimens remain. It is located in the Andean area and its main threat is the loss of its habitat due to agricultural expansion.

33- Zapala frog (TOtelognathus praebasalticus)

Endemic amphibian of Argentina, specifically in the province of Neuquén. It is Endangered by the IUCN, which indicates that there is a continuous decrease in size and quality of its habitat, as well as a reduction in the number of mature specimens due to the predation of introduced fish..

34- Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

Also known as array or wolf choker, its status according to the IUCN is Endangered. The reasons are very varied: from their poaching to get their skin to the construction of hydroelectric dams. However, the main cause is gold mining and extraction, which is causing the destruction of their habitat..

35- Handsaw Duck (Mergus octosetaceus)

Bird more typical of Brazil, although it is also found in the province of Misiones (Argentina), where it is declared a Natural Monument. It is currently Critically Endangered due to deforestation or river pollution. Fewer than 250 individuals are believed to remain.

36- Eagle of Azara (Buteogallus coronatus)

This huge bird is located mainly in the province of Neuquén, in addition to other territories in Paraguay or Brazil. It is estimated that less than 1000 species remain, which has led to it being considered a protected species. Hunting, city building or introduction of invasive species, some of its threats.

37- Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)

An endemic animal of the Valdivian forest (Chile and Argentina), it is classified by the IUCN as Endangered. The destruction of its habitat due to agricultural and livestock expansion is the main cause of the alarming decrease in the population of this amphibian.

38- Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)

The last record in Argentina was in 1990, being Critically Endangered according to the IUCN. It is believed that only 50 individuals remain distributed between the Pampa area and North America. The degradation of the ecosystem and indiscriminate hunting in the 20th century have been the cause of its almost certain extinction.

39- Dwarf Tinamou (Taoniscus nanus)

Bird locatable in Formosa and Chacho always near the Bermejo river. It is currently Endangered, with between 2,500 and 10,000 species left in South America. The destruction of grasslands, their main habitat, is being the main cause of their disappearance. In addition, it is a bird susceptible to fires, since it does not have a very high flight and that increases its chances of dying..

40- Marsupial frog (Gastrotheca gracilis)

It is distributed through the various forests and wetlands of Catamarca, Tucumán. The problem is that deforestation, fires and the introduction of invasive species such as domestic pigs are causing their constant decline. According to the IUCN their situation is Endangered.

Articles of interest

Animals in danger of extinction in the world.

Animals in danger of extinction in Mexico.

Endangered animals in Peru.

Animals in danger of extinction in Chile.

Animals in danger of extinction in Venezuela.

Animals in danger of extinction in Spain.


  1. Those who leave. Argentine species in danger, Juan Carlos Chebez, Claudio Bertonatti, Editorial Albatros, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1994.
  2. National Wildlife of Argentina, vidailvestre.org.
  3. Directorate of National Wildlife, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, ambiente.gob.ar.

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