Endemic Animals in the Rainforest


This is not the complete list of endemic animals in the rainforest, but rather a description of some more obvious ones.


But what is an endemic animal?


Just like endemic plants, it is an animal that is found nowhere else in the world. 

Black and White Ruffed Lemur Portrait, Madagascar
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South and Central America
Rainforest animals endemic to South and Central America are jaguars, ocelots and cougars; many species of monkeys and lizards; poison dart frogs and birds such as macaws and toucans. Hummingbirds are also endemic to Americas, although to South, Central and North America.
 
Buffon's or Great Green Macaw, at the Zoo
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Africa and Madagascar

The animals endemic to African rainforests are large, intelligent primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees; lions which used to live in India and Middle East but are now restricted to Africa; plus many species of reptiles, snakes and frogs.



Madagascar is one of the classic places - just like Australia, it has been isolated from the rest of the world since the breakup of Gondwana continent, and 75% of its animal species are endemic. Examples include species of lemurs, aye-ayes, indris, sifakas, fossas, fanalokas, chameleons and many more.

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Beringei)Behind Green Leaves
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India and South-east Asia
Rainforest animals restricted to India and South-east Asia are tigers, snow leopards, clouded leopards and Bornean leopards. Primates found nowhere else are orangutans and many species of monkeys. And as elsewhere, there are numerous other mammals, amphibians and reptiles found nowhere else.
 
Bengal Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park, India
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Australia and Oceania

Like Madagascar, Australia has been isolated from the rest of the world since the breakup of Gondwana continent. This has created a unique fauna with many endemic animals such as kangaroos, koalas and other species of marsupials. The ones that inhabit rainforests are tree kangaroos, platypus, many species of lizards and ringtail possums, sugar gliders, dingoes, and in the southern temperate rainforests - Tasmanian Devils.

An Elevated View of a Platypus Featuring its Bill
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The famous endemic Australian birds are kookaburras; and Southern Cassowary is only shared with New Guinea.
New Zealand has also been isolated for a long time. They've got many endemic species of birds such as kiwis, kakapos, keas, takahes etc; famous large insects like wetas, and reptiles like tuataras.



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