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25 Superpower Endemic Animals in Colombia

Santa Marta brushfinch on a tree

Updated on 04/30/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Colombia is a country abundant in biodiversity, boasting a variety of ecosystems and habitats that support a wide range of wildlife. Among the many animals that call Colombia home, some are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. In this blog, we will explore some of the most fascinating and unique endemic animals in Colombia, learning about their characteristics, behaviors, and conservation status.

Understand the endemic species of Colombia

What are endemic species? These are species that are distributed in a limited geographic area and they do not occur naturally in any other part of the world.

One or few populations, reduced habitats, heavy hunting by humans, specialized habitat requirements and/or low reproductive capacity endanger or threaten many endemic species with extinction. We call these species critically endangered.

Human activities such as agriculture, pollution, ranching, and human settlements cause habitat loss that affects some endemic animals in Colombia. For this reason, it is important to promote their conservation, as their disappearance could mean not only the loss of unique species, but also the loss of their natural habitat and important ecosystem functions and services.

According to the Humboldt Institute bulletin on unique species in Colombia:

Colombia has approximately 62,819 known species, and 8,803 of them are endemic, which is 14% of the country’s total number of known unique species. However, that percentage could rise to 28% thanks to new scientific expeditions across Colombia leading to the discovery of new species and even the redefinition of some existing ones. This would make Colombia the country with the third-highest number of endemic species in the world after Brazil and Indonesia.

The following biological groups of endemic species exist in Colombia:

  • 6,383 plant species
  • 367 amphibian species
  • 350 butterfly species
  • 311 freshwater fish species
  • 115 reptile species
  • 79 bird species
  • 34 mammal species

We’ve selected a list of the 25 most curious endemic species to be found in Colombia.

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Endemic animals in Colombia

Golden Poison Frog

Scientific name: Phyllobates terribilis
Common name: golden frog, golden poison arrow frog, or golden dart frog
Habitat: Rainforests in the departments of Chocó, Cauca and Valle del Cauca on the Pacific coast of Colombia.
Conservation status: Endangered.

The golden frog is one of the most poisonous animals in the world, and the most poisonous frog. It can kill up to ten people with its poison alone! Its color varies between yellow, orange and pale green. The frog also uses a strategy called aposematic coloring. The bright colors are used to warn predators that they are dealing with a poisonous animal. This species feeds on flies, ants, beetles, termites, and crickets.

However, when these frogs are raised in captivity and isolated from their natural source of food, they are harmless and do not develop poison. They also need special care, such as keeping them at a temperature of no more than 20 °C. The reason is this frog is sensitive to heat and needs moisture since its natural environment is the rainforest.

This species is very important to the Emberá Indians, who have used the poison to coat the tip of their arrows for centuries. These are then used with blowguns to hunt their food. The name of this species comes from these arrow practices.

Golden poison frog in the forest
Taken from: www.pixabay.com

Multicoloured Tanager

Scientific name: Chlorochrysa nitidissima
Common name: Multicoloured Tanager
Habitat: Forests of the central and western Andes mountains of Colombia
Conservation status: Near threatened

This bird is noticeable for its diverse colors in both males and females. A bright yellow head and back, a gold-orange throat, and some black, red, and blue on the rest of the body characterize males. The females are similar, but with duller colors and mostly green.

This species feeds on tree fruits and insects such as larvae and caterpillars. The multicoloured tanager is one of the endemic animals in Colombia that can be found in the forests of the departments of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Chocó, Quindío, Risaralda, Caldas and Antioquia. If you want to see this beautiful bird, you can visit the Ucumarí Regional Natural Park, located in the Risaralda department between the municipalities of Santa Rosa de Cabal and Pereira.

The best place to photograph the multicoloured tanager is at kilometer 18 near Cali, where the IBA Bosque de Niebla San Antonio is located, which advertises the tanager as the flagship bird. Because its population is very small and habitat loss is declining these into small sub-populations, it currently has a near threatened classification.

Multicolored tanager on a bench
David Monroy, via Ebird.org

Blue Anole

Scientific name: Anolis gorgonae
Common name: Blue Anole
Habitat: Gorgona Island
Conservation status: Endangered

This tiny reptile is attracting researchers’ attention because of its bright blue color. The lizard mostly hangs out on tree trunks and is a bit difficult to spot. The introduction of other species such as the western basilisk (Basiliscus galeritus) and the destruction of its natural habitat by the Gorgona prison construction in the mid-1950s have classified it as endangered.

Experts such as Margarita Ramos from Princeton University and Nicolás Urbina from the National University of Mexico have conducted studies on the blue lizard in their natural habitat. Both studies agree that it is very difficult to find accurate population data as Margarita only found seven lizards and Nicolás only two during his stay on the island.

Another possible reason for this species’ conservation status is over-hunting, as this beautiful animal has attracted the attention of many people because of its unique and exotic blue color.

Lagarto azul de Gorgona on a rock
Diego Gómez, CC BY-NC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, via Flicker

White-Footed Tamarin

Scientific name: Saguinus leucopus
Common name: White-Footed Tamarin
Habitat: Dry tropical and humid tropical forests. In the continental regions of the Andes and the Caribbean, especially in the departments of Antioquia, Bolivar and Tolima.
Conservation status: Vulnerable

The White-Footed Tamarin is even smaller than a house cat, with a body length of 23 to 25 centimeters and a weight of about half a kilogram. Like spider monkeys, white-footed tamarins are seed dispersers in different parts of the forest. These primates are diurnal and very agile, they move constantly through the trees and can jump up to 4 meters. They are one of the few species that are able to adapt to human-modified habitats.

The Bogotá-Medellín motorway, which connects the municipality of Victoria in the department of Caldas, shows an example of the natural habitat destruction. Cattle breeding and agriculture now use the once tropical forest and home of the white-footed tamarin.

This species, which is now vulnerable to extinction, has survived in fragmented or degraded habitats, but it needs conservation strategies. Many animal dealers hunt the monkeys because of their beautiful silver-brown fur and sell them as pets later.

White-footed tamarin on a bench
Petruss, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Black Inca

Scientific name: Coeligena prunellei
Common name: Black Inca
Habitat: Moist montane forests in the departments of Santander, Boyacá and Cundinamarca
Conservation status: Vulnerable

This bird measures approximately 14 cm and weighs up to 6.7 g. This species has beautiful colors that stand out in the woods. The hummingbird is mostly black with white parts on the sides of the chest, the shoulders are iridescent blue and the legs vary between red and pink. The black inca is one of the endemic animals in Colombia that can only be found in a small area of the Andes mountains. Because of its beauty, it has been declared the symbolic and emblematic bird of the municipality of Arcabuco in Boyacá, hence one of its common names in Spanish.

For the sighting, I recommend a visit to the Rogitama nature reserve in the Boyacá department. In the nature reserve in the municipality of Arcabuco, the bird is easy to find, as the local residents have planted many trees and shrubs that have contributed to the recovery of this species.

The black inca hummingbird inhabits some other places, such as the Laguna de Pedro Palo Regional Nature Reserve, located in the department of Cundinamarca, and the Chachalú reserve in Santander.

Black inca eating
Phillip Edwards, via www.Ebird.org

Cauca Poison Frog

Scientific name: Andinobates bombetes
Common name: Cauca Poison Frog
Habitat: Forests in the Valle del Cauca, and departments of Quindío and Risaralda.
Conservation status: Vulnerable

This small amphibian measures 17 mm (males) and 18 mm (females). It has striking colors such as yellow, red or blue with black stripes that make it stand out. Some have a little red on the top of the head, the sides of the body are black with small spots that vary from white, yellow, or green.

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society Colombia (WCS) conducted a study on 69 frogs in the forests of Colombia and found that their main diets were ants and mites, which are believed to enable them to develop their venom.

Although this species is poisonous, its small size makes it non-fatal, although the response to its venom will vary depending on the organism. These frogs are diurnal and use their venom to defend themselves against predators, along with the color warning mechanism.

Cauca poison frog
Diego Gómez, CC BY-NC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, via Flicker

Santa Marta Blossomcrown

Scientific name: Anthocephala floriceps
Common name: Santa Marta Blossomcrown
Habitat: Moist and dry forests of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Conservation status: Vulnerable

This bird can grow up to 8.4 cm long and its beak up to 13 mm long. The females can be recognized by the chestnut-colored crown, the males by the reddish crown. The plumage on the back is bright green, the middle part of the tail is bronze-green and the tip is slightly white. It belongs to the family of hummingbirds and is one of the endemic animals in Colombia.

This species feeds on forest flowers. One of the main threats is the destruction of the forest from illegal cultivation and the spraying of herbicides. Fortunately, protection initiatives have been proposed such as the establishment of the Important Bird Conservation Areas (IBAs) of San Salvador and Valle del Río Frío as protected areas and the monitoring of the populations of this species.

One of the best spots for sighting the Santa Marta blossomcrown is the El Dorado bird sanctuary in Magdalena. However, the hummingbird migrates and is not always found on site.

Magdalena Giant Glass Frog

Scientific name: Ikakogi tayrona
Common name: Magdalena Giant Glass Frog
Habitat: Forests of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Magdalena department
Conservation status: Vulnerable

These amphibians can reach a length of up to 30 mm. Their heads are large and their bodies are green to pale green in color. Their natural habitat are forests with vegetation near water. Curiously, the females in this species do take care of their tadpoles, contrary to other glass frogs in which males are in charge of this. The Magdalena glass frog is a rare and precious example of endemic animals in Colombia.

The main threats to this species are water pollution, agricultural activities in their habitat and the use of biological resources such as felling. Fortunately, there are some areas where this species is protected, such as the nature reserve El Dorado and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta national park.

Glass frog in Colombia
JurriaanH / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Cotton-Top Tamarin

Scientific name: Saguinus oedipus
Common name: Cotton-Top Tamarin, Cotton-Headed Tamarin and Crested Tamarin
Habitat: Flooded forests of the Atlantic and Bolivar regions.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered

This species of monkey is characterized by a comb of white hair that surrounds the head. They like to eat insects, fruits, nectar, leaves and lizards. They also have their own way of communicating, namely through 39 sounds with different combinations. These work like an alarm that changes the sound depending on the predator, i.e. the sound varies depending on whether the predator is a bird or a land animal.

The monkeys are always on the lookout for possible predators. At night they organize themselves so that one keeps a watch and warns of dangers. Cotton-top monkeys tend to stick closely together. They work together, including the parents, offspring, and sometimes other individuals who immigrate into the group to find food and to defend themselves against predators such as snakes, hawks, and big felines.

Interestingly, the females usually give birth during the rainy season (March to May and September to November) when the fruits are most plentiful. This is because they need a lot of energy to suckle and care for their young. Only the predominant female in the group can give birth to offspring. Then when she dies, the eldest daughter or the one of the highest rank becomes fertile and takes on the predominant role.

Tití Cabeciblanco

Colombian Woolly Monkey

Scientific name: Lagothrix lugens
Common name: Colombian Woolly Monkey
Habitat: Eastern Llanos Forests
Conservation status: Critically Endangered

The woolly monkey is known for having a sturdy body, a soft coat that varies between black, brown, and gray. It has a muscular tail and some parts of its body such as the head, tail and abdomen are darker in color. This species feeds on nectar, bark, flowers, and all the fruits found on trees. Along with other primates, it belongs to the group of endemic animals in Colombia that are threatened by human activities.

This primate can measure up to 1.3 meters from head to tail and its weight varies between 5 and 10 kilograms. Woolly monkeys are rare in the lower Guayabero river, but are more common in the Serranía de la Macarena. They are classified as critically endangered mainly because of habitat loss and hunting.

If you want to take a closer look at this amazing animal, I recommend you to visit the Isla Escondida reserve in the Putumayo department or you can also visit the Finca El Porvenir in the Caquetá department, where you can get to know this wonderful primate better. However, these monkeys are very difficult to see in their natural habitat.

Colombian woolly seated on the grass
T-34-85, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yellow-Headed Brushfinch

Scientific name: Atlapetes flaviceps
Common name: Yellow-Headed Brushfinch
Habitat: Some regions in the central and western Cordillera of the Colombian Andes
Conservation status: Near threatened

This species of bird is characterized by the different shades of yellow that it has all over its body. The head has a little green and yellow. The throat, chin, and eye contour are light yellow and the rest of the plumage is highlighted with a darker yellow.

This species measures approximately 18 inches in length. There are records of its occurrence specifically in the valley of the La Plata river in the Huila department and in some parts of the Tolima department, such as the Coello river basin, Juntas, the municipality of Roncesvalles and the Toche river. If you want to see this beautiful bird, I recommend traveling to the above-mentioned areas of Colombia.

The yellow-headed brushfinch generally forages with other bird species. Often found in degraded forests, scrubs and arracacha cultures. It is currently classified as near threatened for the loss of habitat due to activities such as agriculture and cattle ranching.

Yellow-headed brushfinch on a bench
Robert Lewis, via www.Ebird.org

Turquoise Dacnis

Scientific name: Dacnis hartlaubi
Common name: Turquoise Dacnis
Habitat: Forests, plantations and wooded areas in the departments of Valle de Cauca, Huila, Quindío, Antioquia, Risaralda, Cundinamarca, Boyacá and Santander.
Conservation status: Vulnerable

It is a bird about 11 cm long. Females and males have very different physical characteristics. For example, the female has a lime green color all over her body except for the head, which is mostly blue. The male, on the other hand, has turquoise-blue plumage all over its body with black areas around the eyes that resemble a mask, as well as on part of the wings and tail. Along with other birds, it belongs to the group of endemic animals in Colombia that are at risk of extinction.

This bird is very fond of fruit and can be seen in the Serranía de las Quinchas Regional Natural Park. This park extends on the right bank of the Magdalena River between Boyacá and Otanche. I also recommend visiting the ProAves Foundation’s Reinita Cielo Azul Reserve in the Santander department or the Botanical Garden of the Technological University of Pereira to see this endemic Colombian bird.

The turquoise dacnis has been classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its habitat is very fragmented. The estimated population is between 2,500 and 10,000 individuals.

Mielero Turquesa in Jardín Antioquia Colombia

Magdalena Striped Catfish

Scientific name: Pseudoplatystoma magdaleniatum
Common name: Magdalena Striped Catfish
Habitat: Rivers and flood lagoons
Conservation status: Endangered

The average size of this species is 57 cm in length, but this fish can reach a total length of 100 cm. Females are generally larger than males. It is characterized by a white belly, a gray back, and some black stripes that run through its body.

They are found in freshwaters and in tropical climates, especially in the basin of the Magdalena, Cauca and Nechi rivers. This fish is important in Colombia because not only is it part of biodiversity, but around 800 fishing families also benefit from it.

This fish was classified as unique in the country and received so much attention from scientists that they thought of declaring it as a national symbol. Currently, the striped catfish is facing massive fishing due to the high commercial demand. This is a matter of concern as some regions do not respect fishing controls. This could lead to the disappearance of this interesting animal.

Pseudoplatystoma magdaleniatum
Vassil, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thickhead Ground Snake

Scientific name: Atractus crassicaudatus
Common name: Thickhead Ground Snake
Habitat: Waters in Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Meta and Santander.
Conservation status: Least concern

The Sabanera snake is non-toxic and can grow up to 40 cm long. It is mainly found in cold climates like Bogotá. It is mostly black in color but sometimes has some red and yellow parts. The main food is worms and arthropods. The females lay their eggs between October and December mostly between stones, tree trunks or underground. The Sabanera snake is also one of the endemic animals in Colombia that can be seen in some regions of the country.

The Muisca Indians regarded these animals as sacred, so they were not expelled from their habitat. It was a symbol of wisdom that represented the transformation of the goddess who came to earth and then returned to the waters in the form of a serpent. Unfortunately, however, many of these species, sacred to the indigenous people, have either disappeared or are on the verge of being classified as endangered.

These reptiles can be found in the following places:

  • Pantano La Libélula wetland
  • Torca-Guaymaral wetland
  • Capellanía wetland
  • Tibabuyes wetland
  • La Conejera wetland
Thickhead ground snake on dry grass
Alejandro Montañez Mendez, CC BY-NC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, via Flicker

Colombian Mountain Grackle

Scientific name: Macroagelaius subalaris
Common name: Colombian Mountain Grackle
Habitat: Eastern Cordillera of the Andes of Colombia
Conservation status: Endangered

The plumage of this bird is dull bluish-black, the beak is black and the tail is slightly rounded. It was found in limited areas in the departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Santander, specifically in the north and east of Bucaramanga, where primary forest can still be found.

The Colombian mountain grackle feeds mainly on grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. In many cases, it lives with other species such as blackbirds, woodpeckers, and other small birds. The animals usually live in groups of 6 to 18 conspecifics. The average size of the females is 30 cm while the males are 20 cm tall.

The species can be found in the Soatá reserve in Boyacá and Reinita Cielo Azul ProAves Reserve, which is located in the municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí in the department of Santander. This species habitat has been affected by agricultural and grazing activities, as well as tree felling.

Colombian mountain grackle on a mossy branch
Herman Amaya, via www.Ebird.org

Dahl’s Toad-Headed Turtle

Scientific name: Mesoclemmys dahli
Common name: Dahl’s Toad-Headed Turtle
Habitat: Bodies of water and tropical dry forests in the departments of Atlántico, Bolívar, Cesar, Córdoba, Magdalena and Sucre.
Conservation status: Critically endangered

The turtles are one of the endemic animals in Colombia that can be recognized by their distinctive features. The male turtles can be recognized by their longer and thicker tails, while the females have a wider head. The legs and tail vary between gray and brown and are a little lighter underneath. Their defense mechanism is to create an unpleasant smell, so avoid getting too close to the turtles.

These animals mainly inhabit ponds, streams, wetlands, and swamps. Sometimes the turtles hang out in tree roots, holes or thorny bushes when the waters are low.

Unfortunately, their habitat is disappearing due to deforestation. The fragmentation of their habitat leads to the formation of small groups or populations with few members, which affects their genetic diversity.

Blue-Billed Curassow

Scientific name: Crax alberti
Common name: Blue-Billed Curassow, Blue-Knobbed Curassow
Habitat: From the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to the lower Magdalena river basin.
Conservation status: Critically endangered

This bird is characterized by a curly crest that reaches to the nape of the neck and an extraordinary blue beak. Its size varies between 82 and 92 cm in length. The predominant body color is black, with some white on the belly and the tip of the tail. This species was found in the lower Cauca, the upper reaches of the rivers San Jorge and Sinú and also in the Serranía de Jacinto.

This animal likes fruits, earthworms, and some insects. It also tends to eat grains of sand, which serve as a mineral additive and aid digestion. It is considered a loner but is sometimes encountered in pairs or family groups.

The bird is known to eat shiny objects. So, locals use it to locate gold-bearing streams.

Blue-billed curassow on dry grass
Janos Olah, via www.Ebird.org

Sapphire-Bellied Hummingbird

Scientific name: Lepidopyga lilliae
Common name: Sapphire-Bellied Hummingbird
Habitat: Caribbean coast in northern Colombia
Conservation status: Critically endangered

The average size of the sapphire-bellied hummingbird is 8 to 9 cm, its weight is around 4.3 g, and its small beak measures around 1.5 cm. This species is known for its beautiful colors, which are different in the female and in the male.

The female can be recognized by a bright green color on the top, a little bright blue on the sides and on the chest, and the tail a bit green and black. In contrast, the male has a striking blue-green on the crown, neck and back, iridescent purple on the throat and bright blue on the underside.

The sapphire-bellied hummingbird is characteristically a loner, but also a bit aggressive when looking for food and uses its beak to fight for food. Communication with its conspecifics takes place via the hum of its wings. It is currently critically endangered due to the loss of its habitat.

Antioquian Sac-Winged Bat

Scientific name: Saccopteryx antioquensis
Common name: Antioquian Sac-Winged Bat
Habitat: Forests, caves and subterranean (non-aquatic) habitats of the department of Antioquia
Conservation status: Endangered

This species can grow up to 54 mm long, its ears measure 11 to 13 mm, and its teeth are usually small and fine. It can be distinguished from other bat species because it does not have white lines on its back. Their fur is thick, usually dark brown, and their faces are hairless.

The Antioquian sac-winged bat looks for insects in open forests and along rivers. This species was first spotted on the wall of a church in the municipality of Sonsón in 1996, and the second was discovered in the same year in the municipality of San Luis de Colombia.

It has been classified as endangered because its habitat has been reduced by agriculture, mining, and human recreational activities.

bats in El encanto Huila

Magdalena Tapaculo

Scientific name: Scytalopus rodriguezi
Common name: Magdalena Tapaculo, Upper Magdalena Tapaculo
Habitat: Moist montane forests
Conservation status: Endangered

The Magdalena tapaculo was designated as a new species in 2005. The bird is about 11.5 cm long and weighs up to 22 g. It is characterized by its mostly dark coloring; its beak is dark black, its legs are brown, and the rest of the body is predominantly dark gray with some brown. Along with other birds, it belongs to the group of endemic animals in Colombia that are threatened by human activities.

It feeds mainly on small insects and likes to move about in forests at low altitudes or on the ground. This species was found in the north of the department of Santander and in the department of Huila, where you can visit the Meremberg Nature Reserve for observing it.

The main threats to the Magdalena tapaculo are agriculture, aquaculture, and the use of biological resources such as logging.

Magdalena tapaculo on a branch
Dubi Shapiro, via www.Ebird.org

Dotted Galliwasp

Scientific name: Diploglossus millepunctatus
Common name: Dotted Galliwasp, Malpelo Galliwasp
Habitat: Malpelo Island in the Valle del Cauca department
Conservation status: Least concern

It is a very small, harmless species that can grow anywhere from 180 mm to 360 mm. The lizard may shed its tail in defense when feeling in danger. The dotted galliwasp wags its tail to divert the attack to the least lethal part of the body and distract the attacker. Do not worry! As with almost all lizards, the tail grows back again, but maybe a little thinner and in a different color. Interesting, isn’t it?

The main foods are insects, worms and sea crabs. Feathers have also been found in the lizard’s stomachs. These animals can be found all over the island of Malpelo and are known to be good swimmers.

Malpelo galliwasp on a rock
Daniel Vásquez-Restrepo, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/, via Flicker

Malpelo Crab

Scientific name: Johngarthia malpilensis
Common name: Malpelo Crab
Habitat: Malpelo Island in the Valle del Cauca department
Conservation status: Not evaluated

There is a difference in weight and size between the sexes in this species. Females can grow up to 65 mm wide and weigh up to 93 g. The males are up to 82 mm wide and weigh up to 180 g. The colors vary mainly between orange and pink or pink with a little blue-green. Along with other crustaceans, it belongs to the group of endemic animals in Colombia that are unique to Malpelo Island.

This species can be found in most parts of Malpelo Island, except in very steep areas or near cliffs. These crabs are land animals and cannot swim. Their diet consists mainly of algae, insects, excrement, lizards, bird feathers and, during the breeding season, some eggs from other species. Adult crabs are usually most active during the night through the early morning.

Agassiz’s Anole

Scientific name: Anolis agassizi (syn.Dactyloa agassizi)
Common name: Anolis Agassizi
Habitat: Malpelo Island in the Valle del Cauca department
Conservation status: Least Concern

This lizard lives from sea level to the highest peaks on the island of Malpelo. As with the Malpelo crab, there is a difference in size and weight between the sexes in Agassiz’s Anole. The males reach a size of 105 mm to 114 mm, while the females can reach an average of 85 mm and a maximum of 87 mm.

The lizard usually feeds primarily on ants and beetles, but sometimes also eats snails, crabs, ticks, spiders, and insects such as crickets, caterpillars, and flies. Its main enemy is birds. In defense, these lizards can also shed their tails, which grow back after a while.

Anolis agassizi on a rock
Maria del Rosario Castañeda, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/, via Flicker

Lehmann’s Poison Frog

Scientific name: Oophaga lehmanni
Common name: Lehmann’s Poison Frog, Red-banded Poison Frog
Habitat: The western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in Valle del Cauca and Chocó.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered

The Lehmann’s Poison Frog is one of the endemic animals in Colombia that is known for its exotic colors, its body is mostly brown or black, and the broad bands across its body can be red, yellow, and orange. This species is mostly solitary, diurnal and only gathers to mate with other specimens.

During the breeding season, the males usually look for a suitable place for the female to lay eggs, usually in damp places or on low branches. They then make high-pitched sounds to attract attention and be chosen by the females.

The bright colors of this species act as a defense mechanism and as a warning that you are dealing with a poisonous animal. The substances in their poison can cause severe pain and swelling, so care should be taken.

The habitat of this species of frog is very small and it is severely affected by deforestation. Unfortunately, these animals are also targeted by animal traffickers because of their exotic beauty.

Sierra Nevada Brushfinch

Scientific name: Arremon basilicus
Common name: Sierra Nevada Brushfinch
Habitat: Moist montane forests
Conservation status: Near Threatened

Females and males are very similar in this species of bird. They can grow up to 19 cm long, their beaks are long and their faces are black. The throat is slightly white, the tail and wings are olive green, and the rest of the body is gray with brown. This species is endemic to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia, where the forests are between 600 and 2800 meters above sea level.

These birds tend to be alone or in pairs. Habitat degradation is causing a likely decline in their population. Illegal farming, deforestation, logging, and pollution harm areas of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Santa Marta brushfinch on a tree

Caquetá Titi

Scientific name: Callicebus caquetensis
Common name: Caquetá Titi, Red-Bearded Titi or Bushy-Bearded Titi
Habitat: Humid forests between the Caquetá and Orteguaza rivers.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered

This animal is characterized by its lush, reddish-colored fur, mainly on the neck and part of the tail is black with a little white. They are usually organized in small groups of 3 to 6 members. Their preferred foods are fruits, insects, and flowers. The young of this species are usually born in January, although some are born as early as December. The titi monkey is also one of the endemic animals in Colombia that can be seen in some regions of Caquetá.

Titi monkeys choose a partner for the rest of their lives. They also tend to intertwine their tails. Romantic, isn’t it? Since this species only inhabits a small and limited area, it is threatened with extinction. In fact, these primates were declared endangered in record time.

In the past, it was difficult for scientists to analyze and classify this species because of the armed conflict that made it impossible to reach the areas in Caquetá. However, as the situation in Colombia improved, experts investigated this species and soon after it was classified as critically endangered. This was largely due to the loss of thousands of acres of forest and agricultural activities.

You may also be interested in: The 31 Most Exciting Animals in Colombia You Have Never Seen

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Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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