Animals in Costa Rica

With over 500,000 species calling it home, Costa Rica displays a wide variety of biodiversity. While only one-thirtieth of the planet’s total landmass, it is home to 4% of all species living on it. Hundreds of species are endemic to Costa Rica, i.e., they live exclusively within the confines of the nation. Most of them are insects, with over 300,000 specimens. Other endemic fauna include frogs, lizards, snakes, and more.

Costa Rica’s high biodiversity is because three to five million years ago, the landmass was a bridge between the North and South American continents. This allowed wildlife from both to interact. Currently, there are a wide variety of ecosystems in the country, including cloud forests, coastlines, deciduous forests, mangroves, and tropical rainforests.

Some of the animals living in the forests of Costa Rica are the keel-billed toucan, the two toed sloth, the scarlet macaw, the resplendent quetzal, and the hawksbill sea turtle.

The rapidly growing human population threatens Costa Rica’s biodiversity due to environmental degradation and deadly agricultural practices. However, there are programs implemented to protect flora and fauna by the government, as well as ecotourism efforts that bring in $1.92 billion in revenue. This funding incentivizes businesses and locals to protect and conserve natural resources rather than depleting and exhausting them.

Costa Rica Animals

List of Animals living in Costa Rica

Mammals

  • Agouti
  • Baird’s Tapir
  • Bottlenose Dolphin
  • Coatimundi
  • Collared Peccary
  • Common Dolphin
  • Dyde Whale
  • Fishing Bulldog Bat
  • Giant Anteater
  • Honduran White Bat
  • Humpback Whale
  • Jaguar
  • Jaguarundi
  • Jamaican Fruit Bat
  • Kinkajou
  • Margay
  • Mantled Howler Monkey
  • Northern Tamandua
  • Ocelot
  • Oncilla
  • Orca
  • Paca
  • Puma
  • Risso’s Dolphin
  • Rough-toothed Dolphin
  • Sei Whale
  • Silky Anteater
  • Spider Monkey
  • Spinner Dolphin
  • Squirrel Monkey
  • Striped Dolphin
  • Tayra
  • Three Toed Sloth
  • Two Toed Sloth
  • Vampire Bat
  • White Indian Manatee
  • White-faced Capuchin Monkey

Birds

  • Brown Pelican
  • Chestnut Mandibled Toucan
  • Clay-colored Thrush
  • Collared Aracari
  • Emerald Toucanet
  • Fiery-billed Aracari
  • Fiery-throated Hummingbird
  • Great Green Macaw
  • Jabiru
  • Keel-billed Toucan
  • Mangrove Hummingbird
  • Purple-throated Mountain Gem Hummingbird
  • Resplendent Quetzal
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Scintillant Hummingbird
  • Volcano Hummingbird
  • Yellow-eared Toucanet

Amphibians

  • Blue Jeans Poison Dart Frog
  • Cane Toad
  • Glass Frog
  • Harlequin Toad
  • Lemur Leaf Frog
  • Red-eyed Tree Frog
  • Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Reptiles

  • American Crocodile
  • Brown Basilisk
  • Common Basilisk
  • Emerald Basilisk
  • Eyelash Viper
  • Fer-de-lance
  • Green Iguana
  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
  • Spectacled Caiman
  • Spiny-taled Iguana

Insects

  • Amber Daggerwing
  • Banded Peacock Butterfly
  • Blue Morpho Butterfly
  • Florida White Butterfly
  • Glasswing Butterfly
  • Green Page Moth
  • Hercules Beetle
  • Leafcutter Ant
  • Mosquito
  • Owl Butterfly
  • Ruby-spotted Swallowtail
  • Silver Emperor Butterfly
  • Thoas Swallowtail
  • Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Invertebrates

  • Bluefront Tarantula
  • Golden Orb Weaver
  • Halloween Moon Crab
  • Rainbow Grasshopper
  • Starfish
  • Zebra Tarantula

Fish

  • Angel Fish
  • Eel
  • Machaca
  • Rainbow Bass
  • Sailfish
  • Sea Horse
  • Spotted Eagle Ray
  • Snook
  • Wahoo
  • Whale Shark

FAQs

1. What is Costa Rica’s national animal?

The two toed and three toed sloths.

2. What are some of the most dangerous animals in Costa Rica?

Fer-de-lance, Eyelash Viper, American Crocodile, Jaguar