Ethiopia Lions

H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his Lions


Haile Selassie's Pet Lion
The Lions were Protected by the Ethiopian Emperors’ Law


H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lion4 H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his Lions

An impressive looking captive lion from Emperor Selassie’s palace.

Crown Prince Asfa Wossen with the Imperial Pet Lions


 Ethiopian Lion


 H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lion3 H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his Lions

H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lion H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his LionsH.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lion1 H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his LionsH.I.M. Haile Selassie I Lion2 H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, and his Lions

A small vintage collection of Ethiopia‘s emperor Haile Selassie I with his Lions. The lion is considered asEthiopia‘s national animal and can be seen on various national artifacts such as the Ethiopian Lion of Judah flag and Ethiopian Airline. Images via ethiopianreview, and flickriver



Lion cub rescued in Ethiopia

This young lion cub was found chained in a small wooden shed in Ethiopia…  Please help Born Free help her – read her full story below and help give her a brighter future…

Safia © BFF / J Young

Safia, before rescue – please help Born Free help her. © BFF

The Born Free Foundation project partner, the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), is strengthening its resource infrastructure across the country, but for the time being EWCA has little or no presence in some of the more remote areas.

Over the past two years I have spread the word about the work of Born Free Foundation among the human development non-government organisations, and on several occasions these NGO’s have provided important information about wildlife being kept illegally that I have then relayed to EWCA.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a development work representative who had recently returned from a trip to the far south of Ethiopia. They reported seeing a small lion cub chained in a wooden shack. The lion cub was being poked with sticks and pelted with rocks by local children. I reported the information to EWCA who asked Born Free Foundation to help.

At the crack of dawn, with all the necessary items ready for an animal rescue, Bereket (the construction supervisor for the new Born Free Foundation Wildlife Centre) and I collected Dr Fekada, a newly qualified vet employed by EWCA.  I drove south to Awasser and then on to Yabelo. Driving through these rich hills it is difficult to conceive of the famine and drought in other parts of the country.  The journey from Addis Ababa to Yabelo was 595 kilometres and took nearly 10 hours.

Road to Safia © BFF / J Young

On the way out of Yabelo, we collected Aman, the warden of the Yabelo Sanctuary before turning off the Moyale road to head east into the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The red soil road stretched away into the distance and we saw no other vehicle on the 180 kilometre drive to the town of Hudet.

We reached Hudet at midday, and met with the local government administrator. The Administrator’s office soon filled with people as the news spread through the village that a foreigner was in town. Dr Fekada and Aman explained the new Government Proclamation that forbids the keeping of wildlife without a permit, and the Administrator agreed that the lion cub should not be kept in the village. The Administrator and some of his team accompanied us to meet Hussein Sheik Hassen, who had the lion in a wood, slatted building behind his café. According to Hussein, three lion cubs had been ‘found’. No one seemed to know what had happened to the mother, but the Administrator told us that on several occasions lions have taken farmers’ livestock, so a farmer probably had shot the lioness. Two of the cubs had died, but Hussein had kept the female cub that he called Safia.

Hussein showed us where Safia was chained up. The cub was far older than I expected. I had been told the cub was seven weeks old. The cub in front of me was more like seven months old. Safia’s front right foot looked unnaturally offset. I asked Hussein whether the foot had been damaged and he calmly told the story of how children had thrown rocks at the cub and broken its foot a while back. Even as Hussein told us the story, children had come up on the other side of the slatted wall behind the cub and were pushing sticks through the gaps and screaming at the lion. Understandably the cub snarled and roared and ran back to escape the sticks and noise. However, the lion’s escape was choked back harshly when the cub ran to the end of its two metre length of chain.

I crouched down just out of reach of the lion and asked if all the children could please be taken away so the lion cub would calm down. Although there were over a hundred villagers noisily discussing the event out in the courtyard, within a few minutes of the children being ushered away, Safia cautiously came over to sniff at my outstretched hand. I tried to look at the damaged foot, but Safia was having none of it!

Safia and James © BFF

The Hudet Administrator with his assistants, Hussein and the Born Free Foundation team then retired to the shade of a tree to debate the lion’s future. After nearly two hours, Hussein agreed that the lion should be given a spacious home where it could live without a chain around its neck.

Discussing Safia’s future © BFF

Then Hussein told me to take the lion away, but that the cub’s full name must be Safia Hussain Sheik Hassen.

I was not at all sure how the cub would react to a white-skinned stranger and had already seen how the cub’s mood could switch rapidly from being calm to being a dangerous liability. The EWCA vet had moved about 25 metres away and informed me he had not brought any tranquillisers as he thought the cub was very small, however, we had to collect the cub there and then. I positioned the dog crate where the cub obviously liked to sit furthest from where the children could reach it with sticks. I then slowly moved towards the cub to gauge its reaction. The cub snarled and climbed the wood slatted wall to get away from me, but could not hold its grip for long, and dropped back to the ground. Seeing the safety of the dark dog crate, the cub snarled and shot inside.

Rather too many villagers shouted farewells and tapped on the windows to get the cub to give some last roars, but at last we were away to drive the 180 kilometres back to Yabelo.

Leaving with Safia © BFF

On the drive back to Addis I debated where we could keep Safia, since we have only just resolved all the land issues for the new Wildlife Centre site, so have no suitable enclosure for a seven month old cub. There was no alternative but to hastily move the spare bed into the garage.  The cub became my house guest whilst we organised a temporary enclosure.

Safia at the BF Office © BFF

Over the next few days, Safia calmed down a lot since she is not being poked with sticks or shouted at, but I don’t think she will ever completely trust human beings. We have had to leave the chain around her neck, because I cannot get close to her to cut it off while she is unsure about her new surroundings. However, the chain is loose and not attached anywhere so she can move around the room. When we move Safi to her new enclosure, we will anaesthetize her, remove the chain and check her damaged foot.

James will be posting another blog from Ethiopia next week on Wednesday 9th December so please do check back to see how Safia and her new temporary enclosure are progressing!

Please help sponsor the food for Safia and the construction of a spacious enclosure at the Centre – to donate, please visit choose “General donations” and state you would like the funds to be put towards “Safia”


Meet Dolo the lion!

Hello from a wet and cold Ethiopia!

Many people think Ethiopia is baking hot all year. In fact, different parts of the country have very different climates. Here in the capital of Addis Abeba, we are 2,400 metres (6,500 feet) above sea level. For the three month rainy season the weather is much like an autumn day in Europe.

A few months ago, Born Free was told about a lion that was being illegally kept as a tourist attraction in a small cage in the town of Dolo on the Ethiopian/ Somali border. For the first four years of his life, the ‘Dolo lion’ had been kept restrained on a chain just one metre long for 24 hours a day. The chain was biting into the lion’s neck and the photo below shows his dejected stance and poor condition.

Dolo before being confiscated by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority

The Wildlife Department asked the Born Free team to help and the lion was confiscated. However, because our new Wildlife rescue, Conservation and Education Centre has not yet been built, we had to quickly select a temporary home for the lion. The enclosure he is now in at the headquarters of the Awash National Park is by no means ideal, but is the only enclosure we can use until we can build a spacious new enclosure with trees and grass. (Lions that have been raised in captivity can never be released back into the wild because they have lost their fear of humans and can be more dangerous than wild lions that stay away from humans.)

Even after a few weeks on a proper diet and without that restricting chain the Dolo lion had a spring in his step. (see below).

Dolo shortly after confiscation © BFF / JY

The photo below shows the lion today. His mane is growing, but may never grow around his neck where the chain was.

Dolo on July 3rd 2008 © BFF / JY

If anyone wants to help pay for the care of this lion, he costs £10 (US$20) per day to keep.

And, if you’d like to help Born Free raise funds for the new Centre or would like to sponsor an animal please visit


Help rescue four lions in Ethiopia

We urgently need your help to stop deprivation and suffering, and a life of misery for two pairs of lions.  Below is the story of two of the lions.

Three abandoned lion cubs were found by a group of soldiers in the Bale Region of Ethiopia. We don’t know what happened to their parents, but the soldiers captured the cubs. Tragically, on the drive back to the army base, one of cubs, the only female, leapt out of the moving vehicle and was killed. The two remaining brothers survived the journey and were put in a cage near the Battalion’s parade ground. They have lived in that cage ever since.

Military lions - May 2011 © BF Ethiopia

Now the army have asked us to help them and we want to rescue the lions without delay. First they would need a full health check by Born Free’s Senior Veterinary Consultant and big cat rescue expert John Knight. We would then have to construct special travel crates, one per lion.

Major and General would need to be darted with a tranquilizer, carefully placed in the crates, loaded into a lorry and driven for 16 hours to our Rescue Centre. John and the Born Free team would keep a careful eye on their progress at all times. Their welfare would be our priority throughout the long journey. At Ensessakotteh the brothers would be released into their large bush enclosure – a world away from their squalid cage. Here they would receive expert care for the rest of their lives.

Alongside Major and General are two other large, male lions, the “Italian lions” who need to be relocated to Ensessakotteh and be given the care they deserve.

A life of concrete and bricks at the army barracks

I’m writing to you in a rush to ask for help. We have an emergency situation in Ethiopia and I urgently need your support without delay. We’ve just done something rather impulsive. We acted instinctively, with our hearts not our heads. Let me tell you what we’ve done. I know you’ll understand…

Last week I got a heart-wrenching phone call from Ethiopia. It was Stephen Brend, our project director there. “If we don’t rescue this lion cub, they’re going to shoot him”.

Well, what would you have done?

Here’s the background story from Stephen:“Last December, in Kebri Dehar in the badlands of eastern Ethiopia, where the country borders Somalia, a lioness killed a camel. The angry villagers poisoned the lioness in retaliation. That left two orphaned lion cubs, alone in the bush. The local Ethiopian army detachment went on a search. They only found one, a tiny male. His sibling undoubtedly had died, most likely killed by hyenas.

“The army took the cub back to their barracks and did an amazing job of hand-rearing him. But that was five months ago. ‘Kebri’ is now the size of a Rottweiler and has the teeth to match. The army could no longer cope and said if he is not moved in the next few days, they would be forced to shoot him.”

Well, you can guess what happened next. We had to find a way to save Kebri. This would be one of our biggest challenges yet. A lion rescue is normally planned well in advance. Which gives us time to raise funds and get everything organised. But this one had to be done in just a handful of days, in a remote, unfamiliar and unpredictable part of Ethiopia, well off the beaten track. There was nothing easy about this rescue! And the Foreign Office advises against all travel to the area…


A 10m cage was the sum total of their universe

But we were the cub’s only chance of survival. We couldn’t let him down. Stephen’s right-hand man Bereket Girma built a special crate to transport the young lion. Our consultant vet Dr Rea Tschopp cancelled all other work, while the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority assigned one of their vets to accompany us.

Kebri Dehar is 647 miles (1007km) from our rescue centre. Far too far to drive. And far too difficult. So we arranged a special deal to charter a small plane to get us in and out. This would minimise risk, even though the area only has a dirt landing strip.

So, taking our courage in our hands we went and got the lion cub. Kebri’s rescue was complicated, fraught and harrowing. We had to remove seats from the little plane to fit the crate in. The flight was horrendous with constant turbulence. Kebri was terrified. Stephen and his team had an exhausting and almost impossibly demanding day.

But we’ve got him. Kebri is bewildered and needs lots of nursing, but he is home safe! We’ve brought him to our rescue centre, near Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. I say home. But we’ve got nowhere to put the cub.

We’ve raised no money to feed him. Or to care for him. Or to build him a home. So, now you know why I am writing. Why I’ve come to you cap-in-hand.

This appeal is back to front. I should have asked you to help us raise the money BEFORE we rescued the cub. But there was no time. There was almost literally a gun against his head. So now, just a few days later, I’m writing to ask you to help us.

We acted on impulse. Our instinct is to try help when an animal is in trouble. To dive in and do something is the Born Free way. You know us well enough to understand!

This report explains more about our plans for Kebri. Please, will you help make them a reality? Please, give what you can to give the cub with nowhere to go a home.

And it’s not just this lion cub. As our rescue centre in Ethiopia becomes more established it’s receiving more and more requests for help. Only last month FOUR orphan cheetah cubs arrived at the centre. They were rescued in Somaliland and we need to care for them as well… Again the report explains more.


  • £5: could buy Kebri a vitamin boost
  • £40: could pay for one week’s food for Kebri
  • £200: could cover vet costs during Kebri’s rescue
  • £3,000: could pay for the plane hire
  • £25,000: could build an enclosure for Kebri

With my sincere thanks

Will Travers
Chief Executive
Born Free Foundation

PS. We followed our hearts, but now it’s your turn!

Donate securely online here or if you prefer, download and send us this form.

You can also text KEBR12 & amount to 70070 eg ‘KEBR12 £10’ (maximum donation by text £10)


DNA confirms Ethiopian lions are genetically distinct group

NA Post | October 12th, 2012

By Steve Connor | The Independent

October 11, 2012

A pride of captive lions descended from the private menagerie of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is genetically distinct from all other lions of Africa, a study has found.

The Ethiopian lion has a distinctive dark mane and is slightly smaller and more compact than other African lions. Now an analysis of its DNA has revealed the Ethiopian lion is also a distinct breed.

It is thought that there may be less than a few hundred Ethiopian lions living in the wild and scientists are urging that their unique genetic makeup should be preserved by a captive-breeding programme.

DNA tests on 15 of the 20 Ethiopian lions kept in Addis Ababa Zoo have revealed that they form a separate genetic group from the lions of east Africa and southern Africa, said Michael Hofreiter of the University of York.

The male lions are the last lions in the world to possess the distinctive dark brown mane. They are the direct descendants of a group of seven males and two females taken from the wild in 1948 for Haile Sellassie’s own zoo, Dr Hofreiter said.

A comparison with other populations of wild lions living in the Serengeti of Tanzania in east Africa and the lions of the Kalahari desert of south-west Africa found that the Addis Ababa lions are quite separate genetically, he said.

“We therefore believe the Addis Ababa lions should be treated as a distinct conservation management unit and are urging immediate conservation actions, including a captive breeding programme, to preserve this unique lion population,” Dr Hofreiter said.

As a species, lions are under threat and their numbers have dwindled over the decades, with the biggest populations centred on east Africa and southern Africa, with a tiny population of Asiatic lions existing in the Gir Forest of India.

Two lion populations that shared the dark brown mane of the Ethiopian lion – the North African Barbary lions and the South African Cape lions – have already gone extinct in the wild.

Susann Bruche of Imperial College London, the lead author of the study published in European Journal of Wildlife Research, said that it is important to preserve the genetic diversity of the Ethiopian lions to help the species as a whole.

“A great amount of genetic diversity in lions has most likely already been lost, largely due to human influences. Every effort should be made to preserve as much of the lion’s genetic heritage as possible,” Dr Bruche said.

“We hope field surveys will identify wild relatives of the unique Addis Ababa Zoo lions in the future, but conserving the captive population is a crucial first step,” she said.


Ethiopian Lion Population Proven To Be Unique By DNA

October 13, 2012
Caption: Adult male from Addis Ababa Zoo in Ethiopia. Credit: Addis Ababa Zoo

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

DNA has proven that the Addis Ababa lion in Ethiopia is genetically unique, prompting researchers to urge the animal be put on an endangered species list.

It has been obvious that some lions in Ethiopia have a large, dark mane, extending from the head, neck and chest to the belly, but it wasn’t known if these lions were a genetically distinct population.

Researchers found that captive lions at the Addis Ababa Zoo in Ethiopia are actually genetically distinct from all lion populations both in Africa and Asia.

The team compared DNA samples from 15 Addis Ababa Zoo lions to lion breeds in the wild, including eight males and seven females.

“To our knowledge, the males at Addis Ababa Zoo are the last existing lions to possess this distinctive mane. Both microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data suggest the zoo lions are genetically distinct from all existing lion populations for which comparative data exist,” principal investigator Professor Michi Hofreiter, of the Department of Biology at the University of York, said in a press release.

He said they believe the lions should be treated as a distinct conservation management unit, and they are asking for immediate conservation actions like a captive breeding program.

Lions are principal terrestrial predators in Africa and are a key species of the savannah ecosystem. However, their numbers are in decline and two significant populations have already become extinct in the wild.

Ethiopia is one region with a declining lion population, which includes just a few hundred wild lions and about 20 Addis Ababa Zoo lions. The zoo lions belonged to the collection of the late emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie. Selassie established the zoo in 1948, and the seven founder lions are claimed to have been captured in south-western Ethiopia.

The team is recommending establishing a captive breeding program as the first step towards conserving this unique lion population.

“A great amount of genetic diversity in lions has most likely already been lost, largely due to human influences,” Susann Bruche, with Imperial College London and lead author of the paper published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, said in a press release. “Every effort should be made to preserve as much of the lion’s genetic heritage as possible.”

She said they hope field surveys will identify wild relatives of the Addis Ababa Zoo lions in the future, but conserving captive populations is a crucial first step. “Our results show that these zoo lions harbor sufficient genetic diversity to warrant a captive breeding program.”

Previous suggestions said no lions comparable to the Addis Ababa Zoo lions existed in the wild, mostly because they were hunted for their mane. However, Ethiopian authorities say lions with similar appearance to those at the zoo still exist in the east and north-east of the country.

The researchers say these regions should be prioritized for field surveys.

“A key question is which wild population did the zoo lions originate from and whether this wild population still exists; this would obviously make it a priority for conservation,”

“What is clear is that these lions did not originate in the zoo, but come from somewhere in the wild – but not from any of the populations for which comparative data is available,” Hofreiter said in the release.

Source: Lee Rannals for – Your Universe Online



Ethiopian zookeeper killed in lion attack

Sapa-AFP | 16 Eylül, 2013 15:56
A lion roams in a cage at the Addis Ababa Zoo on September 16, 2013.

A lion at the Addis Ababa zoo attacked and killed a zookeeper Monday after he forgot to close the door to the inner cage where the lion sleeps, officials said.

The lion, named Kenenisa after a famous Ethiopian runner, killed Abera Silsay, 51, as he was cleaning the cage.

“He entered cage number 10 where Kenenisa lives and he forgot to close the door (to the lion’s sleeping chamber)… Finally, the lion came and he mauled him,” the zoo’s director general Musie Kiflom told AFP.

The lion bit Abera’s neck as guards tried to scare Kenenisa off by shooting live rounds into the air and pounding on the cage’s roof.

It is the second time a zookeeper has been killed by a lion at the centre in the past 17 years.

Musie said the zoo will step up its training for keepers after the attack.

“We have to update them on how to protect the animals, how to work with the animals, how to keep them, how to clean them,” he said speaking near the cage where the attack took place.

Kenenisa the lion was unharmed and remains in the zoo, which was closed Monday after the incident.

The Addis Ababa zoo is home to 15 endangered Abyssinian Lions, found in Ethiopia and famous for their black manes.

The lions are kept in enclosed cages, but the zoo is set to move to a larger, grassier enclosure in the Ethiopian capital in the next 13 months.

The Addis Ababa zoo was opened in 1948 by former emperor Haile Selassie, who established the centre to house his pet cub lions Molla and Lullu.




Super Hero Felines – Saving Lives One Meow (or roar) at a Time

This protective nature is not confined to domestic cats. In 2005, in Ethiopia, Police say three lions rescued a 12-year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage. The lions chased off her abductors and guarded her until police and relatives tracked the child down in a remote corner of Ethiopia. The men had held the girl for several days, beating her repeatedly. Authorities suspect that the lions heard her cries and mistook them for the wails of an injured cub. They came to her rescue, surrounded and protected her for half a day until police and relatives found them. “They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” Wondimu, a policeman from Bita Genet, said.

Don’t overlook the strong connection we share with animals, be they domesticated or wild. Being the dominate species and often the only threat to other animals on the planet, we should be cognizant of our power. Animals, especially domesticated cats and dogs, depend on us to be responsible and compassionate to their needs. Within their world there is no malice or ego, they live and help instinctively. Learning to respect that is a huge step in our own evolution process.


Safe future for four rescued lions in Ethiopia!

Following the amazing response of Born Free Foundation supporters to our appeal about four magnificent, male lions in need in Ethiopia, a team from Born Free, alongside colleagues from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), successfully relocated the lions to Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia’s first wildlife rescue, conservation and education centre.

In two separate operations, the specialist rescue team moved two adult male lions from the Presidential Palace in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and a further two males from a military base in Harar in Eastern Ethiopia.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder Trustee of the Born Free Foundation, travelled to Ethiopia and, speaking following a meeting with His Excellency, President Girma Wolde Giorgis in Addis Ababa, said, “It is wonderful to see these majestic lions relocated to Ensessakotteh where they will be able to live out their lives in spacious natural ranges.  Our sincere thanks must go to His Excellency, President Girma whose support has enabled us to be here to witness these magnificent lions take their first steps on grass.”

On Tuesday 1st November, lions Andrea and Janu, were moved to their new home.  Originally rescued in 2006 and cared for at the Italian Embassy by Deputy Head of Mission, Marco Tornetta and his wife Chantal, these lions were given temporary refuge at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa while Ensessakotteh was being constructed.  Their move went smoothly under the care and attention of Veterinary Consultants, John Knight and Rea Tschopp, and other representatives from Born Free.

Italian lions at Ensessakotteh © George Logan/Felicity Crawshaw

Italian lions at Ensessakotteh © George Logan/Felicity Crawshaw

Italian lions at Ensessakotteh © George Logan/Felicity Crawshaw

The team regrouped in Addis Ababa before making the long journey to Harar where Major and General lived near an Army Parade ground.  Here, with the full support and assistance of the Ministry of National Defence, South-Eastern Command, the male lions were darted and made ready for their 16 hour journey to Ensessakotteh.  Originally found abandoned as cubs in the wild by a group of soldiers, Major and General had been kept at the army base for 13 years.

Major and General before rescue © George Logan / Felicity Crawshaw

Major and General being rescued © George Logan / Felicity Crawshaw

Arriving at Ensessakotteh, Born Free Ethiopia’s Project Director, Stephen Brend said, “Two huge black-maned adult lions, the army could no longer manage them.  They requested EWCA’s help in rehoming them and EWCA subsequently asked Born Free to assist.  It took over three months to build a spacious and secure home for them and I am delighted we were able to complete the work on time to give them a wonderful early Christmas present.”

Major and General at Ensessakotteh © George Logan / Felicity Crawshaw

Yeneneh Teka, Director of Wildlife Development and Protection Directorate at EWCA, expressed his heartfelt appreciation for all the team members who participated in the successful relocation of these four lions, “I would particularly like to thank Born Free Foundation for their concerned commitment to helping Ethiopia in its endeavours to fight illegal trafficking of live wild animals including lion and cheetah cubs. I would further like to offer my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of National Defense, South-Eastern Command, for co-operating in this relocation operation right from the beginning in May 2011.”

Summing up the challenging four days, Senior Vet Consultant John Knight said “Both moves have gone incredibly well, with everyone in the team playing their part, resulting in a smooth transfer of both sets of animals.  A clinical examination shows they are all very healthy and in good physical condition, despite their unfortunate starts in life.  They should do well in their new home.”

Major and General and Andrea and Janu have joined two other rescued lions, Dolo and Safia, and six rescued cheetah at Ensessakotteh.  With public support from people all over the world, Born Free has committed to caring for these animals for the rest of their lives.

Born Free Foundation is so pleased to have been able to provide these two sets of brothers with the care and space they need.  However, funds are still urgently needed to help care for and feed these magnificent lions for the rest of their lives.  If you would like to contribute to Ensessakotteh and the animals Born Free cares for, you can make a donation here >

Or show you care this Christmas by buying a practical present, one of Born Free’s“Gifts in Kind” or adopt Dolo, the first rescued lion to be brought to Ensessakotteh.


Four lions moved to rescue centre in Ethiopia

world/africa_2011/born_free_lionsThe lions in their new enclosure. (c)George Logan /Felicity Crawshaw

Dramatic animal move secures safe future for four rescued lions

November 2011. A team from international wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, in association with colleagues from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), have successfully relocated four rescued lions to Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia’s first wildlife rescue, conservation and education centre.

In two separate operations, the specialist rescue team moved two adult male lions from the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa, and a further two males from a military base in Harar.

Virginia McKenna
Virginia McKenna OBE, star of the classic 1966 film Born Free, and Founder Trustee of the Born Free Foundation, speaking following a meeting with His Excellency, President Girma Wolde Giorgis in Addis Ababa, said: “It is wonderful to see these majestic lions relocated to Ensessakotteh, where they will be able to live out their lives in spacious natural ranges. Our sincere thanks must go to His Excellency, President Girma whose support has enabled us to be here to witness these magnificent lions take their first steps on grass.”

On Tuesday 1st November, lions Andrea and Janu, were moved to their new home. Originally rescued in 2006 and cared for at the Italian Embassy by Deputy Head of Mission, Marco Tornetta and his wife Chantal, these lions were given temporary refuge at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa while Ensessakotteh was being constructed. Their move went smoothly under the care and attention of Veterinary Consultants, John Knight and Rea Tschopp, and other representatives from Born Free.

The team then regrouped in Addis Ababa before making the long journey to Harar, where the male lions, Major and General, were darted and made ready for their 16 hour journey to Ensessakotteh. Originally found abandoned as cubs in the wild by a group of soldiers, Major and General had been kept at an army base for 13 years.

The two lions in their crates. © BFF

About Ensessakotteh 
Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia’s only Wildlife
Rescue, Conservation and Education Centre
has been developed by Born Free
Foundation in partnership with the Ethiopian
Wildlife Conservation Authority. The Centre
aims to provide a home for confiscated,
orphaned and injured wild animals. Animals
that cannot be returned to the wild will be
offered lifetime care. The Centre will
operate a non-breeding policy and will be
open to the public for escorted
educational tours.

Black-maned lions
Arriving at Ensessakotteh, Born Free Ethiopia’s Project Director, Stephen Brend said, “They are two huge black-maned adult lions, and the army could no longer manage them. They requested EWCA’s help in rehoming them and EWCA subsequently asked Born Free to assist. It took over three months to build a spacious and secure home for them and I am delighted we were able to complete the work on time.”

Yeneneh Teka, Director of Wildlife Development and Protection Directorate at EWCA, expressed his heartfelt appreciation for all the team members who participated in the successful relocation of these four lions, “I would particularly like to thank Born Free Foundation for their concerned commitment to helping Ethiopia in its endeavours to fight illegal trafficking of live wild animals including lion and cheetah cubs. I would further like to offer my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of National Defense, South-Eastern Command, for co-operating in this relocation operation right from the beginning in May 2011.”

Summing up the challenging four days, Senior Vet Consultant John Knight said “Both moves have gone incredibly well with everyone in the team playing their part resulting in a smooth transfer of both sets of animals. A clinical examination shows they are all very healthy and in good physical condition, despite their unfortunate starts in life. They should do well in their new home.”

Lions and cheetahs
These four lions have now joined two other rescued lions and six rescued cheetah at Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia’s first purpose-built wild animal Rescue, Conservation and Education Centre. With public support from people all over the world, Born Free has committed to caring for these animals for the rest of their lives.

Born Free
Born Free Foundation is now able to provide these four lions with a new life in their natural habitat, but they still need your support! Funds are urgently required to help care, protect and feed these magnificent lions for the rest of their lives. If you would like to donate and support the life-time care of these lions in Ethiopia, please visit or call Born Free on 08008030377.

You can also support our rescued animals in Ethiopia this Christmas by buying friends and family a practical present, either one of Born Free’s ‘Gifts in Kind’ or by adopting Dolo the lion, the first rescued lion to be brought to Ensessakotteh – The perfect Christmas gift for animal lovers. For more information please visit or call Born Free on 08008030377.



updated 12/12/2006 
Ethiopia is a perilous place to be an Abyssinian lion — so perilous that an Italian aid group brought two orphaned cubs to the Italian Embassy, where the wife of a diplomat has been caring for them inside a fenced garden.

The Lion Zoo in the impoverished nation’s capital has been killing the endangered animals, poisoning six cubs this year because of lack of funding and space, zoo officials said.

This even though the Abyssinian lion, famed for its black mane, is Ethiopia’s national symbol, adorning statues and the local currency. Ethiopians have long been fascinated with the rare creatures.

When the Italian aid group found two orphaned cubs near the Somali border, it took them to the Italian Embassy 500 miles away instead of the zoo. Chantal Benaben, the wife of the Italian deputy ambassador, has been caring for them there.

“They were on the verge of death when I got them, and now they have all of their vaccinations and they are healthy,” she said.

Embassy warned
But the cubs’ fate was still uncertain. Officials from the government-run Ethiopian Wildlife Association, concerned the embassy’s thin chain-link fence would not be strong enough to hold the growing cubs, warned Benaben they would be killed if a permanent home was not found.

Enter the cubs’ next savior, President Girma Wolde-Giorgis. He learned about the lions and found them a new home in the country’s eastern, fertile Awash Valley, 380 miles from Addis Ababa.

On a recent afternoon, the cubs, nicknamed Janu and Andrea, rolled and leaped on the ground, nipping at each other like puppies. They played, oblivious to Wolde-Giorgis, who watched from the sidelines.



Guy Calaf  /  AP

The orphaned lion cubs play with Chantal Benaben, the wife of an Italian diplomat, in a large fenced garden of the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Dec 5, 2006.

“I have been able to find a home from a private individual who will be able to take the cubs in and give them a good home,” the Ethiopian leader told The Associated Press.

Abyssinian lions live only in Ethiopia. Although government wildlife officials say there are 3,000 Abyssinian lions roaming the country, conservationists say the real tally is closer to 1,000. They blame lax enforcement of laws against poachers for the animals’ dwindling numbers.

In November, Muhedin Abdulaziz, the administrator of Addis Ababa’s Lion Zoo, said the overcrowded, underfunded facility had resorted to killing some of its lions to make ends meet. He said the zoo costs $6,000 to run each month, but gets only $5,000 in entrance fees. Taxidermists pay $170 for a dead cub.

Promotional tool?
Ethiopia, home to 77 million people, has long associated the lion with their monarch, whom they refer to as the lion of Judah.

It’s a symbol that merits saving, says Benaben — an effort that could begin with Andrea and Janu.

“I’m really hoping that these cubs are properly taken care of — because if you look at how the zoo treats their lions, you just never know what can happen,” she said.

Ethiopia, she added, “could use these lions like the Chinese use the panda bear, or Pakistan has used the snow leopard — to promote their countries.”


Rare Lion Cubs Poisoned at Zoo to Save Costs

November 22, 2006

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rare Abyssinian lion cubs are being poisoned at a zoo in Ethiopia and sold to taxidermists because there isn’t enough money to care for the animals, the facility’s administrator said Wednesday.

Famous for their black manes, the lions are revered in Ethiopia, adorning statues and the national currency. Wildlife experts estimate only 1,000 of the animals, which are smaller than other lions, remain in the wild.

“These animals are the pride of our country, but our only alternative right now is to send them to the taxidermist,” said Muhedin Abdulaziz, who heads the Lion Zoo in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The zoo costs about $6,000 to run each month, but gets only $5,000 in entrance fees, he said. Taxidermists pay $170 for a dead cub, which is stuffed and resold, Abdulaziz said. Hunters also kill wild lions for their skins, which can fetch $1,000.

The Lion Zoo has poisoned six cubs so far this year, Abdulaziz said, adding that the practice has been going on at least since he arrived two years ago. He did not say how many cubs have been killed over the years.

The zoo director said federal wildlife officials monitor the poisoning, which he described as painless. Officials of the national government did not immediately return calls for comment.

“I feel so sorry about this,” said Girma Chifra, 25, who was visiting the zoo Wednesday. “They’re a symbol of our country. I didn’t know they were killing the cubs. This is not good.”

Mesganu Arga, head of the Information and Culture Bureau in Addis Ababa, said the city was looking into the matter.

“These are rare animals and a treasure to the country,” Mesganu said. “We are promoting these lions.”

The Lion Zoo is a popular attraction, although international wildlife groups have expressed concern about its ramshackle facilities. Built in 1948 by Emperor Haile Selassie, it houses 16 adult lions and five cubs in cages surrounded by barbed wire.

Animal conservation groups expressed outrage at the killings.

James Isiche, regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Nairobi, Kenya, said the zoo should prevent the animals from breeding if it can’t care for them.

“Enforcement to protect these animals is critical,” he said.

The Born Free Foundation called for an investigation into the animals’ treatment.

“We would encourage the authorities to take action to establish, at the very least, a sanctuary for lions and to enforce whatever laws are necessary to prevent those lions from being unnecessarily killed, sold or given into trade, alive or dead,” said Will Travers, chief executive at the British-based foundation.

Associated Press writer Anthony Mitchell in Nairobi, Kenya, contributed to this report.

On the Net:

Born Free Foundation:



Ethiopian troops impose curfew on a Somali town


Also in the news: Eritrea refuses to rule out a new war with Ethiopia, Why is the International community silent?, Ethiopia one of the most dangerous place for newbornsEthiopia’s lion cubs being poisoned at a zoo in Addis Ababa

Two rare Ethiopian lion cub’s rest inside their enclosure at the Lion Zoo in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006. The zoo is poisoning rare lion cubs and selling the corpses to be stuffed because it doesn’t have enough money to care for the animals, which are the national symbol, the zoo’s administrator said Wednesday. ‘These animals are the pride of our country,’ Muhedin Abdulaziz of the Lion Zoo told The Associated Press. ‘But our only alternative right now is to send them to the taxidermist.’ Ethiopia’s lions, famous for their black manes, adorn statues and the local currency. Wildlife experts estimate that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions,, remain in the wild. (AP Photo/Les Neuhaus)



Rare zoo lion cubs poisoned
 Wednesday, 22 November 2006
By Amber Henshaw 
BBC News, Addis Ababa

Dead lion cubs
The zoo’s lion cull is blamed on budget restrictions

Rare Abyssinian lion cubs are being poisoned at a zoo in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and their bodies are then sold on to be stuffed.The zoo, founded by Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie, says it poisons a number of cubs each year because it does not have the space or money to look after them.

“We can send them to the forest and to some governmental palaces but most of the time we send them to the taxidermists,” said the Lion Zoo administrator Muhedin Abdulaziz.

He said the taxidermists paid about $175 (£90) for each cub and they were then sold for $400 (£210).

No-one at the zoo is happy about the situation and local conservationists are angry.


One Ethiopian conservationist, who did not want to be named, said he had been offered 11 cubs last year.

“They told me I could take and keep them but I don’t have land to keep them… and it was not easy to get land.”

 They kill them by poison and automatically they are taken to the taxidermist’s office 
Muhedin Abdulaziz, Lion Zoo

“Finally, I was told they gave them to the taxidermists and they were killed and poisoned.”Emperor Haile Selassie started the Lion Zoo 57 years ago.

It collected lions from across the country and was a symbol of his reign.

The Abyssinian Lion is distinguished by its small size and the male’s black mane.

Eight pairs of lions live in the zoo, which is in the Siddist Kilo area of Addis Ababa. There are currently three cubs there.

Few lions remain in Ethiopia’s game parks.

The conservationist said he would like to see sanctuaries set up around the country for the lion cubs.

“If we have a sanctuary, or maybe we can reintroduce them back into the wild, that can preserve natural resources,” he said.

It is something that Mr Muhedin would also like to see.


He said the zoo was asking its bosses to expand so it did not have to keep poisoning the cubs.

Stuffed lion
The taxidermists pay $175 for each lion cub

“For the time-being our immediate solution is to send them to the taxidermists but the final and best solution is to extend the zoo into a wider area.”Mr Muhedin said the wildlife office sent vets to kill the unwanted lions.

“They kill them by poison and automatically they are taken to the taxidermist’s office.

Tadesse Haile from the Ethiopian Wildlife Department said he did not have any information about it and that he had never heard of cubs being poisoned.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people visit the zoo each day. Meat to feed the lions costs about $4,000 (£2,100) a month.

The Lion Zoo is also home to baboons, monkeys, rabbits, Egyptian geese and goldfish. 


Addis Ababa to build new Lion Park

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ENA) – The Addis Ababa City Administration and the Defense Construction Enterprise signed agreement for the construction of Lion Park amounting to 30 million birr here on Monday.

Following the construction of the new park, formerly known as Anbessa Gibi, the Lion Park at Sidist Kilo, will move to the new site Peacock Park around Bole area.

Lion Park manager, Muhidin Abdualziz on the occasion said established in 1940, the 1.2 hectare of Lion Park was very narrow and has been hosting ten lion species.

Owing to the size of the park lions had not been giving birth and the revenue generate from the park was minimal, he said.

However, he said the new park would help increase the number of lions and hopefully increase the revenue.

He said the park has collected more than one million birr over the last nine months which is far down to the expense of the park.

Addis Ababa City Mayor Office Deputy Head Wondimagegn Tessema on his part said the new park would also help breed the lions and generate considerable income.

He said the city administration would cover the construction cost of the park.

City Administration Infrastructure advisor, Feleke Yimer on his part said the City Zoo Master Plan has been designed in collaboration with the German Zoo Architect at a cost of 475 million birr.

The Zoo Master Plan would consider the ecology and geography zones of the city.

The new park which covers 26 hectares would be constructed in four phases.

Residents who were in the site of Lion Park have been evacuated to start the construction, he said.

Defense Construction Enterprise, General Manager Woliday Haile on his part said his enterprise would finish the Lion Park as per the agreement.


LIONS of The Ethiopian Animal Kingdom


The Amharic word ANBESSA has strong and powerful meaning for Ethiopians rather than simply representing a Lion. Lion is the creature most symbolically associated with Ethiopia. Predominantly during the period of monarchy, Lion was the icon of imperial grandeur; so as a result, Lion becomes the symbol of bravery and resistance for Ethiopians.


I am very much honored to present these graceful creatures on this particular virtual journey and what makes it more exciting is taking the world to see Ethiopian Lions not from caged zoos but rather from the natural and serene wildlife conservation center that houses wild animals in need, a center which is situated in the fertile and exotic Western part of the country, right from the forested Menagesha town to be specific and only 30 km from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.


In starting with few facts about the center, Ensessakotteh (which means Animal foot print in Amharic), is a wildlife rescue, conservation, and education center established by The Born Free Foundation in collaboration with Ethiopian Wildlife conservation Authority (EWCA).


Born Free Foundation, with one of enlightening mottoes of “Keep Wildlife in the Wild” is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wildlife animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Born Free Foundation Ethiopia (BFFE) becomes a legal registered non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ethiopia on December 10, 2007.


Since the center is situated on a remarkable natural area which is partially covered in trees with an estimation of 77,489 hectares, it surly provides an opportunity of enhancement and reverence that the animals deserve by allowing them to live in spacious, verdant and ecologist arena.


Unlike the lion zoo in Addis Ababa, Ensessakotteh, aim to provide rehabilitation facilities for wild animals seized from illegal trade, found orphaned or injured and those that cannot be released are provided with care for life at the center.


Even though today’s spot light is up on the Lions, there are other wild animals worth to visit at the center and the remarkable Cheetah is one of it.


Saving the best for last!… Ensessakotteh is not only heaven on earth for the animals but also to visitors of locals or foreigners alike who wants to relish in the fauna and flora of the center.


With no doubt, this is the best place in Ethiopia where a visitor can get up close and personal with the Lions and other wildlife via  learning about each animals and their individual story.


The very thing visitors can take with them from this exciting and enlightening experience, of course in addition to beautiful memories, is the valuable lesson of appreciating Lions, wildlife and nature in general and how each of us can contribute in protecting Mother Nature!



King of the jungle: lions discovered in rainforests

Female lion peers through the thick foliage of a montane rainforest in Ethiopia. Photo by: Bruno D'Amicis/NABU.
Female lion peers through the thick foliage of a montane rainforest in Ethiopia. Photo by: Bruno D’Amicis/NABU. 

Calling the African lion (Panthera leo) the ‘king of the jungle’ is usually a misnomer, as the species is almost always found in savannah or dry forests, but recent photos by the Germany-based Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) document lions in Ethiopian rainforests. Taken in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve, the photos show a female lion hiding out in thick montane jungle. 

“We are delighted with this news and look forward to studying these exceptional animals in their unusual habitat,” said NABU’s Vice-President Thomas Tennhardt in a press release. “To manage potential conflict with local communities, NABU will set up a dedicated conservation fund.” NABU has been working in the region since 2006. 

Long known to locals, the lions are actually thought not to be permanent residents, but possibly passing through Kafa Biosphere Reserve in the dry season. 

Kafa Biosphere Reserve covers 760,000 hectares of montane rainforest and preserves the last place on Earth where wild coffee (Coffea arabica) still grows naturally. The reserve is home to at least 106 woody plants, 100 birds, and 48 mammals. 

Although mighty, lions are gravely imperiled: habitat loss, prey depletion, hunting, poisonings, and conflict with humans have decimated Africa’s lions. In the last twenty years alone, the lion population is believed to have declined by 30 percent, prompting the species to be listed as Vulnerable on the IUNC Red List. 

Lions in the ethiopian jungle

In Southern Ethiopia, the unknown region of Kafa is considered the birthplace of coffee.

Lions in the ethiopian jungle

My little “Heart of darkness”: The mountains and cloud forests of the area are teeming with wildlife, including rare mountain lions. Here the chronicle of an expedition to discover the jungle lions.


In the jungle...Who knows why but I have never dreamt of encountering a lion. Bears and wolves, oh yes, many times, and even tigers, pumas, jaguars and leopards; but no, a lion, just no. Is the indigestion of documentaries about savannah that I had as a child or perhaps the hundreds of stunning images taken almost daily in the most famous areas of Africa, but the lions have never stimulated my curiosity. And hence my vision and my photographic projects  naturally developed in other climates and around other subjects. I swear, I never had plans to photograph a lion. Ever. Or at least until January of the past year…

After having previously worked there in December 2008, in the early 2012 I went back to Ethiopia, and more precisely in the remote region of Kafa, on behalf of the German NGO NABU to document landscapes and biodiversity of newly formed UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. In addition to photographing an incredibly rich wildlife and the cultural sites of the region, I had been sent there with a precise “top secret” mission: to look for possible signs of lions in the lush mountain cloud forests, where rumors about sightings and attacks on livestock reported by the local population raised hope to find a small but possible core of individuals living in an environment and an elevation somewhat unusual.


Jungle lionAs the name might suggest, Kafa, the legendary kingdom that endured until 1879 when it was overthrown by the Emperor Menelik II, is universally regarded as the birthplace of coffee. For centuries, protected by steep and misty mountains and wide chocolate-colored rivers, coffee plants of the wild variety, Coffea arabica, grew in virgin forests of the region, providing valuable benefits to local people, long before the Western world would discover the black beverage. But the current rate of population growth combined with an exponential increase of poverty has led to a rapid deforestation. Where once, Ethiopian forests used to cover more than 30% of the country, now they do not arrive at 3%. Much of what is left of these is in Kafa and represents the threatened biome of the afromontane evergreen forests, which beside the latest wild coffee plants hides many more treasures.





Lions in Harenna Forest. The lion (Panthera leo) is considered Vulnerable. Photo by: John Mason. 


Lions in Kaffa rainforest

Footprint of a young lioness at the campground in the Harenna forest. Photo courtesy of: Klaus Eulenberger.

Footprint of a young lioness at the campground in the Harenna forest. Photo courtesy of: Klaus Eulenberger.



abysinnian lion



Tunisian history:

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German propaganda made much of the presence of Tigers in Tunisia, even to the extent of posing a tank and its crew with the inevitable camel.

A 1st Company, s.Pz.Abt.501 Tiger meets its first camel. The 1st Company Tigers are easily identifiable by the way the headlights were affixed to the front of the bow plate, rather than up on the hull top corners. They were moved down there to avoid being broken off by low gun traverse.


Roman Mosaics. Bardo Museum. Tunisia. Lion

Roman Mosaic of Lion, 3rd century-5th century A.D., from an unknown Roman artist, Hammam-Lif Synagogue, Tunis, Tunisia.

Brooklyn Museum

The Lion – Fragment of Ancient Roman Mosaic in El Jem Archeological Museum in Tunisia

 The young Dionysus rides a lion in a procession with his entourage, including Silenus (his companion and tutor) on a camel – mosaic in El Djem museum

The triumph of Dionysus, with a maenadplaying a tympanum, on a Roman mosaic from Tunisia (3rd century AD)

The lion says: Game Over Mubarak

Atlas lion

Tiger relief of Mahdiyya (Tunisia)

1910’s Old Antique Sultan the Lion at New York Zoo 

Barbary Lion

Barbary lion in a 1898 picture. 

The national parks in Tunisia:

The national parks in Tunisia is the best place to see the variety of animals, birds and plants that live in this area. There are eight national parks in Tunisia, each one offering visitors an opportunity to see all these animals and plants in their natural habitats.

Bou Hedma National Park
This national park is set in central Tunisia and is where you can see a selection of animals from gazelles to sheep and cattle to jackal. There are also porcupines, hyena and ostriches which live in the park.

Boukornine National Park

This national park is home to twenty five species of animal and bird life including the mongoose, boar, jackal, barn owls and booted eagles. The park is a great place to take a walk, soak up the natural beauty and see what animals you can spot as you explore the area.

Chaambi National Park
Chaambi National Park is located in southern Tunisia and protects Jebel Chaambi which is home to a selection of sheep, gazelle, porcupine, hare and hyena.

El Feidja National Park
Set in north west Tunisia, the El Feidja National Park is home to a wide selection of bird species.

Ichkeul National Park

Map showing the location of Ichkeul National Park world heritage site in Tunisia
The Ichkeul National Park is located in northern Tunisia and comprises of Ichkeul Lake and wetlands which is home to a selection of migrating birds. This is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and if you love exploring and spotting birds, this is a great place to stop when visiting Tunisia.

Jebil National Park

Jebil National Park is the largest national park in Tunisia, set in the Sahara Desert the park spans 150,000 hectares and is home to desert shrubs, gazelle, fox, jackal, sheep and desert reptiles.

Sidi Toui National Park
This national park sits on the Sahara Desert border and is home to over twenty animal species including wild cats, fox, gazelles and desert lizards.

Zembra National Park
Zembra is a rocky island which is now a national park due to the rare plants that grow there, the selection of invertebrates and the bird life that have made this area their home.

Wildlife in Djerba

Djerba Crocodile Park.


Feija National Park

The spectacular oak woodlands of Feija National Park in northwestern Tunisia.  These are some of the last remaining tracks of the once vaste oak forests of northern Africa.



A giant old Cork Oak (Quercus suber) in the forests of Feija.  These trees were ancient as were the cultivated olive forests nearby.


The view of the lowlands from Feija National Park.  There were once Barbary Lions roaming these areas!


The famous Roman arch…


Feija is home to a spectacular oak woodland.  Several species of oak and juniper and even some pine populate the mountains of the region.


Barbary Deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus)

Barbary Deer seen in the breeding zone of Feija National Park


Several large stags were seen in the breeding zone of Feija this afternoon.


Barbary Deer…Soon to be its own species?


Sadly virtually all of the open grassy meadows of Feija are filled with Tunisian Purple Thistle which is quickly displacing the native grasses so necessary to the region’s fauna.


Sadly the thistle is outcompeting most of the native flora species in Feija.  Species like this Saxifraga species are finding it increasingly difficult to exist…



During our explorations of the western sector, we trekked for a few kms further west and actually entered Algeria for a bit.  Cokie was excited to add country #43 to his list!  I was a bit surprised that we were actually this far west.  Aside from a few bird species, the only mammal sign was the diggings of the local subspecies of wild boar.  Strangely, even with the amazing food supply from the oaks, there are no squirrel specie sin Tunisia!  I really need to do some research to find out why this is.  There are squirrels all over the rest of Africa, and why they skipped this great habitat just doesn’t make evolutionary sense to this old biologist.


After our nice trek to Algeria, we opted to call our stay at Feija short by a night.  Our decision was in no way a statement to what we thought of the place (we loved it!,  but I knew that we were going to need all of the time and luck in the world to attempt a sighting of the Barbary Sheep in the regions that had never been visited before by mammal watchers, so we decided to make it most of the way to our next destination which was closer to sheep country.  Luckily we did or we would have missed the spectacular Sbeitla ruins that I am currently watching from my chair on the patio of our lodge!


The Subaytilah Ruins were are next stop after Feija.  Spectacular!


I felt like we were in Rome.  Actually we enjoyed the Roman ruins in Tunisia much more than we did the ones in Italy.  We literally owned these – no other tourists!


Sahara Atlas Mountains

We spent several days exploring the various ends of these spectacular high desert mountains searching for several species of mammals.


Now two days later and we are deep in to the “savannah” habitat of Bouhedma National Park in central Tunisia.  We’ve spent the last couple days scouring the Sahara Atlas Mountains in search of the terminally elusive Barbary Sheep.  Our first base camp was in the amazing Berber Village of Sened, where we stayed in a Berber Cave way up on a hillside studded with ancient Berber ruins and caves.  Using their home and our own private cave as a launching spot, we spent a couple days trekking and driving the insanely 4X4 roads of the mountains searching each exposed cliff in hopes of the sheep.

Our local Berber guide had seen three as recently as December but no sign since then.  Initially we were thinking of trekking aimlessly in the mountains but the terrain and futility of it all came clear.  And with the temps as high as they were, common sense ruled the day….We had sweeping views of nearly the entire range in our various locations, so we opted for more sensible treks and some roadside spotting.  But our luck was zero – no sheep.  I would not be surprised at all to know that they’d all been hunted to extinction.  Although they are officially protected, it is clear that nothing in Tunisia is protected at all with the current political situation. (More later)


Scanning the Atlas Mountains for Barbary Sheep.  No luck on the sheep but spending time in these spectacular and remote mountains was worth every ounce of effort getting there.


Our time with the Berber family was precious.  We shared space and meals together and their children adopted us as new friends.  It was a great experience to get to know a bit of local Berber life. Theirs is a culture that has traditionally lived in caves which offer a respite from the desert sun and high temperatures.  They’ve lived in this region for thousands of years and are found all the way from Morocco through to Lybia.


Our Berber hosts in Senec Village.  Great people!


Senec Village is modern to an extent but there are still those who live in the caves.

Take a look at our Youtube video of the Berber Caves

On our final day in the area, we decided to cross the entire mountain range on what could accurately be called a goat path that we opted to use as a 4X4 track!  Although we actually did make it the 20 or so kilometers through the gorges and mountains of the range, it was a challenge. The rangers at the next destination called us liars for saying we drove the track – “Unbelievable!  That path is for sheep herders and goats!”  It took three sets of eyes and muscles to make the road passable and to navigate our 4X4 Mazda through the narrow and incredibly rocky road.  We were all very relieved that we made it!  Of course now that it is finished safely, it is just another adventure had by the Smith clan.  I would not repeat this however.


We spent the better part of one of our days exploring the Atlas Mountains basically 4×4-ing our way through a goat path…but at least we made it!  Not sure Tarek’s truck will ever be the same though…


Common Goundi (Ctenodactylus goundi)

Although we dipped on our main target, Barbary Sheep, we did see many Common Gundi in and around the Berber Village and Atlas Mountains.  Very interesting rodent!

Mystery Gundi Species (Perhaps Val’s)

When exploring the higher elevations of the Atlas Range, we came across this very strange Gundi.  Clearly different than the Common Gundi, and a speciman that not even the locals had ever seen, we are tentatively calling it Val’s Gundi.  Please feel free to debate this ID.

Very unique fur and overall appearance.


Mystery Gundi!


Hadj National Wildlife Refuge

Dama Gazelle were the main target at Hadj National Nature Reserve


Upon exiting the Sahara Mountains and on to the vast plains to the south, our objective was to visit Hadj (pronounced “Hadej”) National Nature Reserve.  Hadj is home to a reintroduced herd of Addax as well as some of the Scimitar Horned Oryx.  But the main draw are the THREE remaining Dama Gazelles that can still be found there.   

It is at Hadj that we got a firsthand introduction to the idiocy of Tunisian bureaucracy.  Our guide, Tarek, is an extremely well connected and knowledgeable person and is a well known nature-show television personality in Tunisia.  It would be very difficult indeed to even contemplate a trip such as this here without someone like Tarek at the helm to smooth the way for the seemingly endless amount of red tape to get the permission to enter the parks and reserves. 

For the most part, our adventure was basically seamless but at Hadj, even though we had the proper permits, signed and stamped by the officials in Tunis, we were being denied entry to the park.  There were various reasons being tossed about, such as that Tunis never faxed the permit down to the head of the Hadj…. to the fact that there were some hunters in the reserve attempting to reduce the Golden Jackal population in the park.  We’re not sure exactly which story was true but we have a feeling that we were denied entry to the park because there were some pleasure hunters in poaching wildlife with impunity. 

Eventually we were giving permission to enter the park, only after the hunters finished their hunt.  So we waited in the heat for almost 2.5 hours before the hunters finally came out with their prize – two golden jackals and one nice-sized wild boar.  Clearly this was a pleasure hunt – NOT a conservation hunt, in all of our opinions.


Killing time outside of Hadj National Nature Reserve… We were not allowed entry while the poaching was happening.  I guess the reserve’s director thought it would be too dangerous for us while the poachers were inside killing animals…


Some unfortunate Algerian Jackals nailed during the “hunt”….


I hear that wild boar is very expensive bush meat in the markets of Gafsa, Tunisia.  It’s therefore a good thing that all you need to do is poach some in broad daylight at the local nature reserve…


I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all. 


Corruption in Tunisia is at epidemic levels.  Post revolution Tunisia is in far worse shape than before the revolution.  Nepotism and official corruption is literally destroying the national parks of the nation.   Our goal at Hadj, was to see Dama Gazelles, which we did, but the story for this species is tragic, and is 100% due to human corruption, neglect and incompetence.  Hadj was home once to nearly 70 individuals.  Bouhedma National Park to the east was also home to a once healthy herd of the species but now the herd has been completely exterminated and the Hadj herd is down to three lonely males!



Dama Gazelle (Gazella dama)

The three remaining Dama Gazelle in Tunsia.  Suffering from inept and corrupt management, and constant persecution by jackals, the herd has been reduced to these last three males.  The species is sadly completely doomed to extinction in Tunisia. 


Bouhedma National Park used to have a sizable herd only a few years prior, but the jackals and corruption in the form of paid hunts have wiped them out.


A more spectacular gazelle species would be difficult to find.  Seeing these were Som’s highpoint of the trip.

Acacia (A. radiana) scrub is the main community in Hadj NR.


Talking to the local rangers and national park employees, we learned how deep the corruption is here.  All of the reserves in Tunisia had international backing at their beginnings.  Money from such entities as the World Bank and other NGO’s was spent to attempt to re-establish reserves and species’ populations in northern Africa.  Millions of dollars were spent with this intent but now the situation in Tunisia could hardly be worse.  Virtually all of the money given for these projects has been skimmed by corrupt politicians and national parks are basically left to fend for themselves.  Rangers have to use their own funds to patrol the parks, fix their equipment and simply attempt to do their jobs, for which they receive meager pay.

Rangers informed us of rich Tunisians being granted permission to enter the parks to hunt the rarest of all species, such as Addax and Dama Gazelles.  Supplies are denied the national parks and rangers are expected to stand idly by, all while rich politicians in Tunis get fatter and richer!  When the NGO’s come to town to inspect their investments, all sorts of equipment appears out of nowhere – things bought with NGO funds that the rangers had never seen before, all to impress the international investors, who are being made to be fools, there is no two ways about it.

And while all of this is happening, nearly all of north Africa’s rarest species are becoming rapidly extinct.  There may be less than 100 Oryx remaining, a few dozen Addax, around 100 or so Dorcas Gazelles and only three Dama.  Jackals are taking care of slaughtering all of the smaller ungulates and the habitat is being sold off to the highest bidder.  I hate to say that things could not be worse in Tunisia, but it would be worse I suppose.  The mentality of the average Tunisian is that nature and wildlife is to be exploited to suit the whim of people, and  I predict in very short order there will be nothing but jackals and small rodents left in Tunisia’s national parks unless things change very rapidly and dramatically.


During our feast, we got to hear the rangers talk about all of the issues facing Tunisia’s nature reserves – how the central government is literally raping them since the revolution and how NONE of the World Bank funds or supplies are making it to the parks.  Rangers are paying for supplies out of their own pockets and things bought for the parks are being stolen by the Brotherhood cronies up north and in Gafsa. Illegal hunts of some of North Africa’s rarest animals are commonplace.  I was very discouraged hearing all of the woes facing Tunisia’s wildlife.


Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas) 

We did see a few more Dorcas Gazelles at Hadj.  Very shy indeed they were…


After all of the illegal hunting we had just witnessed in the reserve, we were not surprised to see all of the animals exhibiting such fear of humans.


Bouhedma National Park


Scimitar-horned Oryx are Bouhedma’s claim to wildlife fame…


Bouhedma National Park was our third main stop on the trip.  Similar to Hadj in that it is primarily Acacia woodland or what the locals call “savannah”.  While Hadj is known for the last stand for the Dama Gazelle, Bouhedma is the last stand for the Scimitar-horned Oryx.  Home to around 20-30 of the oryxes, the park is also home to a few dozen Dorcas Gazelle and loads of Golden Jackals.  We were able to spot all of the highlights in the first hour or so on our first game drives, and all subsequent drives were mainly to improve our photography.  We had a moderately successful night drive with another African Wild Cat, loads of Jackals and some other sort of canid that may have been a Rueppell’s Fox.  Both Rueppell’s and Red Fox are known to reside in the park.


Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah)

Definitely one of the more spectacular Oryx species.


Less than 40 still remain in Bouhedma sadly.  Their future is far from secure.


Scimitar-horned Oryx


Bouhedma is this species’ last stronghold in Tunisia.  It used to be a much larger reserve with migration corridors leading to Hadj National Nature Reserve to the west, but all of this has been eliminated since the revolution and the lands have been given or sold to friends of the government.


Bouhedma also protects one of Tunisia’s last patches of Acacia (Acacia radiana) woodland. There is precious little of this community left in northern Africa sadly.


Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas) 

Bouhedma is home to a seemingly healthy number of Dorcas Gazelles.  These are either young examples or they are strangely similar to the Rhim (Slender-horned) Gazelles of the Sahara further south.  Any thoughts?

Dorcas Gazelle

The gazelles of Bouhedma are absolutely terrified of people and would bolt as soon as anyone would appear.  Something tells me they are regularly hunted there.


Dorcas Gazelle

Dama Gazelle

Near the east end of Bouhedma there were several Oases.



Marsh Frogs (Rana rubibunda) were common in and around the oases of Bouhedma.


Some mystery frogs spotted in one of the remote springs of the Atlas Mountains.  Please feel free to help in their correct identification.


Trekking the eastern edge of the Atlas Mountains of Bouhedma searching for the elusive Barbary Sheep…


Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia)

Perhaps my #1 target for the entire trip, Barbary Sheep, eluded us.  We spent a bit of time though with the captive herd seen near the visitor’s center at Bouhedma.


I was very encouraged to see ample Barbary Sheep sign near the oasis on the west end of the Atlas Mountains in Bouhedma.  We did spend a fair amount of time scanning the nearby slopes but it really is like looking for a Barbary Sheep in a haystack…But they are definitely there!


Algerian (Golden) Jackal (Canis aureus algirensis)

Bouhedma is loaded with Algerian Golden Jackals.  During our brief stay there, we spotted nearly a dozen I suspect.  They are definitely one of the reasons there are no more Dama Gazelles…


Barbary Wild Boar (Sus scrofa algira

Barbary Pigs were spotted very early one morning heading to the springs.


The Barbary Pigs didn’t stick around long….


Common Goundi (Ctenodactylus goundi)

The Common Gundi was once again spotted in some of the outcroppings near the springs in an area Tarek knew about.


Such a strange rodent…


Common Gundi in early morning light…


Cape Hare (Lepus capensis

We only spotted a couple Cape Hare, and they didn’t stick around long…


The Atlas Mountains of Tunisia are simply spectacular. I hope to return here soon and spend more time searching for more treasures!


Domestic Ass


Algerian Golden Jackal


Jebil National Park

The famed Addax of Jebil


Once we realized our search for sheep was going to be fruitless, we opted to get on the road for the long drive to Jebil (Jbil) National Park, deep inside Tunisia’s section of the great Sahara Desert.  

Jebil was amazing, when we could actually see it through the sandstorm….


The Sahara of Jebil


Luckily we were able to get several clear hours over our three days in Jebil…


Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)

An amazing animal


Addax were very easy to find in Jebil – they hang out near the museum and visitor’s center…but can also be found far deeper in the Sahara.


One of the young male Addax seen deeper in the Sahara.


Looking for a little romance in the Sahara…



Seems like an abnormally large population of misshapen horns in the Jebil Addax….Interesting…


Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas)

Dorcas Gazelle were also spotted in the Sahara.  We stopped at every gazelle to try for pictures of the Rhim Gazelle, but had to be happy with our night sighting the first evening in Jebil.


Rhim Gazelle

Dromedaries (Camelus dromedarius)

Although they were clearly domestic, the free-ranging Dromedary was a spectacular site so far out in to the Sahara.


As far as they are concerned, they are wild.  Left in the desert to fend for themselves for years, eventually they are rounded up for sale by their “rightful” owners.  I could never quite figure out how on earth anyone could determine which camel belonged to whom…



Camel love!


I got the distinct impression we were looking at mom and child…



Strong winds were a constant for our days at Jebil.  By late afternoon we were usually in a full blown sandstorm.  Mornings tended to quiet a bit but we were denied any quality nightdrives in perhaps Northern Africa’s best nocturnal habitats!


This used to be the road to the core area of Jebil.  After a night of horrendous winds, it was swallowed by the Sahara.


The complete lack of any roads now made traversing the Sahara a slow go…


Luckily Tarek’s rig was able to handle the terrain well…


Most likely Rueppell’s fox sign along the dunes and rock outcroppings of Jebil.


These tiny tracks were not doubt our main target – the Fennec Fox.  The sandstorms made it impossible to spot them live at night…but there was definitely lots of sign in the mornings…


A strange track in the outcroppings near the visitor’s center was most likely from a Lybian Polecat.


Lesser Egyptian Jerboa

Lesser Egyptian Gerbil


Sadly the only Fennic Fox we saw on this trip was at the Douz Market.  Such a spectacular animal.


Finally a good shot of a Rhim Gazelle!



The famous Douz Market on a Sunday morning…


El Haouaria Bat Cave


Although the Al Haouaria Bat Caves are closed to the public, Tarek has the contacts to get you in!  The cave is home to at least three (but as many as 5-6) species of bats.


Mehley’s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi

Hundreds of Mehely’s Horseshoe Bats were seen in El Haouaria Bat Cave.


Mehely’s Horseshoe Bats


Mehely’s and Mediterranean Horseshoe Bats together in a mixed huddle.


I believe the left individual to be a Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (??) and the right one to be Mehely’s.  Please feel free to correct!


Mehely’s Horseshoe Bat…


Maghrebian Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis punicus)

Maghrebian Mouse-eared Bats were another common species…


Greater Horseshoe Bats?  Hell I really don’t know…


Mystery Bat…Feel free…



Tunisia was a great trip.  Tarek made it so!  His expertise and energy made traveling this country a true pleasure.  His hospitality and professional attitude would be impossible to beat.  And his expertise in the flora and fauna of Tunisia can surely not be surpassed.  I enjoyed very much the hours of time and conversation we spent together on this voyage.  I highly recommend him for those considering a similar expedition to Tunisia.  While we were of course disappointed in missing some of our main targets, the species we did see, combined with the absolute adventure of these two weeks in Tunisia, made this a truly unforgettable experience!  And we do plan on coming back!




Tunisia Mammal List

F = Feija, H = Hadj, B = Bouhedma, J = Jebil, SA – Sahara Atlas Mountains, Haouaria Bat Cave – HBC


  1. Barbary Deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus )             F                              3-5
  2. African Wild Cat (Felis sylves tris)                      F, B                         2
  3. Barbary Wild Boar (Sus scrofa algira)                H, B                        4
  4. Addax   (Addax nasomaculatus)                               H, J                         40-60
  5. Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah)                H, B                        15-20
  6. Algerian (Golden) Jackal (Canis aureus algirensis)   H, B                        11
  7. Ruppell’s Fox (Vulpes ruepellii)                                B                             1
  8. Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas)                        H, B, J                    50-75
  9. Dama Gazelle (Gazella dama)                              H                             3
  10. Rhim Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros)                        J                              3
  11. Val’s (?) Goundi (Ctenodactylus vali)               SA                           1
  12. Common Goundi (Ctenodactylus goundi)       SA, B                 20++
  13. Cape Hare (Lepus capensis)                        H, B, J                    3
  14. Dromedaries (Camelus dromedarius)                  J                              14
  15. Lesser Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus)       J                              1
  16. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus)               J                              1
  17. Mehley’s Horseshoe Bat  (Rhinolophus mehelyi)  HBC             200++
  18. Maghrebian Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis punicus)       HBC                  100++
  19. Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus euryale)   HBC   10-20+
  20. Greater Horseshoe Bat (?) (Rhinolophus hipposideros)       HBC    10+



Road Kill, Sign, Possibilities

  1. Barbary Sheep – sign seen at the base of the waterfalls in the Bouhedma Spring area.
  2.  Gird – Sign near holes where we unsuccessfully set traps!
  3. Rueppell’s or Red Fox – mystery canid seen on our night drive at Bouhedma as well as clear sign of one of these or both in Jebil.  Also most likely one of the canids seen on our Bouhedma night drive was a Rueppell’s (85% sure).
  4. Most likely tracks of a Libyan Striped Weasel (Polecat) near a large rock outcropping in Jebil.
  5. Algerian Hedgehog – roadkill north of Gafsa
  6. Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) – diggings in and around the Berber Cave region of the Altas Mtns.



Birds of Tunisia

Barbary Partridge, a north African endemic, were very common in the Atlas Mountains.


Wrynecks were fairly common in Feija.


I was excited to see my first Stone Curlew.  This one was spotted in Jebil.


Cream-colored Coursers were arguable one of the more spectacular desert species seen on this trip.  This one was spotted in Bouhedma.


Cream-colored Courser in Jebil


Cream-colored Courser chick in Jebil


Our only Collared Pratincole spotted near Korba on the northeastern coast of Tunisia.


Brown-necked Ravens were the corvid-of-the-day in Jebil.


Rufous-bush Robins were common in Bouhedma and other scrubland habitats.


Rufous Bush Robin


Red-backed Shrike spotted in the scrub of Bouhedma.


Although we saw no Spanish Sparrows in Spain a few weeks later, we saw loads of them in Tunisia!


Female Spanish Sparrow in the visitor’s center of Bouhedma…


A mixed flock of Desert & Spanish Sparrows with a Desert Finch or two taking refuge from the intense Sahara heat in Jebil…


Black-necked Stilt in the wetlands near Douz…


While off-roading a bit near the wetlands at Douz, I noticed some small critters in a saltbush….


Ended up being some Black-necked Stilt fledglings….




Northern Tunisia was filled with White Storks.


White Storks in a slightly more “natural” setting.  Mostly we saw them on powerlines and mosques…


Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker spotted in Feija!  Nice bird…


Little Tern in Korba


I believe this to be a Sardinian Warbler.  This one was being nursed back to health by the rangers at Bouhedma.


Black Wheatear in Bouhedma.  Northern Africa is simply Wheatear central!


Desert Wheatear in Bouhedma


Mourning Wheatear in Jebil



Booted Eagles were perhaps the most common raptor seen during our trip.


Dark morph of the Booted Eagle seen near Feija


Korba Wetlands near Cape Bon were great for species like Little Egrets and Greater Flamingos.  Sadly, the notion of wetland in Tunisia is synonymous with garbage dump.  All of the wetlands we came across were filled with trash….


We were lucky to spot hundreds of Greater Flamingos in the wetlands at Korba.


Greater Flamingos taking note of my presence in the Korba wetlands.


Greater Flamingos taking flight in Korba.


The Tunsian subspecies of the Eurasian Jay were common in Feija National Park.


Greenfinch taking a drink in a stream in Feija…


Mediterranean Gull in Korba


Slender-billed Gulls were very common in Korba.


Calandra (R) and Shore (L) Larks taking a break from the Sahara heat in Jebil.


Crested Larks were spotted pretty much every 100 meters or so!


Hoopoe Lark spotted in Jebil


Shore Larks were very common in Jebil.


I believe this to be a Thekla Lark, which were also fairly common throughout.


We spotted the reintroduced flock of ostriches at Hadj NR.  Although the Red-necked subspecies is the native variety, for some reason they opted on reintroducing the Blue-necked Ostrich above.


Cokie spotted and photographed this Little Owl in Bouhedma!  He was very proud of his contribution to the day’s species list, and we were all pretty impressed with is spotting skills! This little booger is pretty camouflaged…


Another Little Owl taking a snooze in his cave in the lowlands east of Feija.


Kentish Plovers were the most common shorebirds for the trip.


European Bee-eater in the Atlas Mountains


A male House Bunting seen in Senec Village


House Bunting in Senec Village, Atlas Mountains


Chaffinch in Feija which is home to many forest bird species.


Marbled Ducks taking flight in a wetland near Douz.


Pied Avocets in Tunis




Bird List Tunisia

  1. Blue-necked Ostrich
  2. Little Egret
  3. Little Grebe
  4. White Stork
  5. Greater Flamingo
  6. Common Shelduck
  7. Marbled Duck
  8. Egyptian Vulture
  9. Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)*
  10. Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)*
  11. Black Kite
  12. Montague’s Harrier
  13. Marsh Harrier
  14. Buzzard
  15. Golden Eagle
  16. Kestrel
  17. Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara)*
  18. Quail (Coturnix coturnix)*
  19. Coot
  20. Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)*
  21. Black-winged Stilt
  22. Avocet
  23. Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)*
  24. Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor)*
  25. Little Ringed Plover
  26. Kentish Plover
  27. Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus)*
  28. Common Sandpiper
  29. Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)*
  30. Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)*
  31. Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)*
  32. Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis)*
  33. Turtle Dove
  34. Rock Dove
  35. Little Owl (Athen noctua)
  36. Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
  37. Swift
  38. European Bee-eater
  39. Hoopoe
  40. Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)*
  41. Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker (Picus vaillantii)*
  42. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  43. Skylark
  44. Crested Lark
  45. Thekla Lark (maybe)
  46. Temminck’s Horned Lark (Eremophila bilopha)*
  47. Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra)*
  48. Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)*
  49. Barn Swallow
  50. House Martin
  51. Pied Wagtail
  52. Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri)*
  53. Rufous Bush Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)*
  54. Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)*
  55. Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)*
  56. Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura)*
  57. Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens)*
  58. Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida)*
  59. Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)*
  60. Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)*
  61. Blackbird
  62. Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)*
  63. Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)*
  64. Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)*
  65. Starling
  66. Eurasian Jay
  67. Raven
  68. Brown-necked  (Corvus ruficollis)*
  69. House Sparrow
  70. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)*
  71. Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)*
  72. Desert Sparrow (Passer simplex)*
  73. Chaffinch
  74. Serin (Serinus serinus)*
  75. Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)*
  76. House Bunting (Emberiza striolata)*
  77. Desert Finch (Rhodospiza obsoleta)*


More Stuff

A spectacular Trichia species seen on one of the Umbelliferae of Fejia.


Monochamus galloprovincialis species seen in the oak forests of Feija.


Oxycetonia (?) species spotted in Algeria!


Watch where you sit in Feija!


Som is really getting in to macro work.  Here is here little Gryllid in Feija.


The minarets of the Tunisian mosques are all very unique and beautiful.


Tunisian Doors!  Everywhere you look in the towns and villages in Tunisia are these spectacular doors.  This one was seen in Al Qayrawan.


Tunisian doors of Al Qayrawan…


This was the first trip in my experience that we were completely skunked for small mammals.  We spotted several running across the desert at night but not were convinced to come in to our traps…. The only thing I could manage to trap were these damn Tenebrionid beetles, over and over and over again….


The Moorish Wall Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) in Bouhedma.


Tunisian Tortoise (Furchulachelys naebulensis)

The Lion - Fragment of Ancient Roman Mosaic in El Jem Archeological Museum in Tunisia

Wildlife of Brazil


The wildlife of Brazil comprises all naturally occurring animalsfungi and plants in this South American country. Home to 60% of the Amazon Rainforest, which accounts for approximately one-tenth of all species in the world,[1] Brazil is considered to have the greatest biodiversity of any country on the planet. It has the most known species of plants(55,000), freshwater fish (3000) and mammals (over 689).[2] It also ranks third on the list of countries with the most number of bird species (1832) and second with the most reptile species (744).[2] The number of fungal species is unknown, but is huge.[3] Approximately two-thirds of all species worldwide are found in tropical areas, often coinciding with developing countries such as Brazil. Brazil is second only to Indonesia as the country with the most endemicspecies.[4]



In the animal kingdom, there is general consensus that Brazil has the highest number of both terrestrial vertebrates andinvertebrates of any country in the world.[5] This high diversity of fauna can be explained in part by the sheer size of Brazil and the great variation in ecosystems such as Amazon RainforestAtlantic Forest and Cerrado. The numbers published about Brazil’s fauna diversity vary from source to source, as taxonomists sometimes disagree about species classifications, and information can be incomplete or out-of-date. Also, new species continue to be discovered and some species go extinct in the wild. Brazil has the highest diversity of primates (77 species) and freshwater fish (over 3000 species) of any country in the world.[5] It also claims the highest number of mammals with 524 species,[5] the second highest number of amphibians with 517 species and butterflies with 3,150 species,[5] the third highest number of birds with 1,622 species,[5] and fifth number of reptiles with 468 species.[5] There is a high number of endangered species,[6] many of which live in threatened habitats such as the Atlantic Forest or the Amazon Rainforest.

Scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil.[7] According to a 2005 estimate by Thomas M. Lewinsohn and Paulo I. Prado, Brazil is home to around 9.5% of all the species and 13.1% of biota found in the world; these figures are likely to be underestimates according to the authors.[7]

Enough is known about Brazilian fungi to say with confidence that the number of native species must be very high and very diverse: in work almost entirely limited to the state of Pernambuco, during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, more than 3300 species were observed by a single group of mycologists[3] Given that current best estimates suggest only about 7% of the world’s true diversity of fungal species has so far been discovered, with most of the known species having been described from temperate regions,[8] the number of fungal species occurring in Brazil is likely to be far higher.

Because it encompasses many species-rich ecosystems for animals, fungi and plants, Brazil houses many thousands of species, with many (if not most) of them still undiscovered. Due to the relatively explosive economic and demographic rise of the country in the last century, Brazil’s ability to protect its environmental habitats has increasingly come under threat. Extensive logging in the nation’s forests, particularly the Amazon, both official and unofficial, destroys areas the size of a small country each year, and potentially a diverse variety of plants and animals.[9] However, as various species possess special characteristics, or are built in an interesting way, some of their capabilities are being copied for use in technology (see bionics), and the profit potential may result in a retardation of deforestation.






Brazil’s immense area is subdivided into different ecoregions in several kinds of biomes. Because of the wide variety of habitats in Brazil, from the jungles of theAmazon Rainforest and the Atlantic Forest (which includes Atlantic Coast restingas), to the tropical savanna of the Cerrado, to the xeric shrubland of theCaatinga, to the world’s largest wetland area, the Pantanal, there exists a wide variety of wildlife as well.

Italic text==Animals== , and the jaguarundi. Other notable animals include the giant anteater, several varieties of sloths and armadilloscoatigiant river otter,tapirpeccariesmarsh deerPampas deer, and capybara (the world’s largest existing rodent).[2] There are around 75 primate species, including the howler monkey, the capuchin monkey, the squirrel monkey, the marmoset, and the tamarin.[2]

Brazil is home to the anaconda, frequently described, controversially, as the largest snake on the planet. This water boa has been measured up to 30 feet (9.1 m) long, but historical reports note that native peoples and early European explorers claim anacondas from 50 to 100 feet (30 m) long.[10][11]


There are 1107[12] species of non-marine molluscs living in the wild in Brazil.

The second largest spider in the world, the Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), can be found in some regions of Brazil.[13]


It is calculated that Brazil has more insects than any country in the world. It is estimated as having over 70,000 species of insects,[14] with some estimates ranging up to 15 million,[5] with more being discovered almost daily. One 1996 report estimated between 50,000 and 60,000 species of insects and spiders in a single hectare of rainforest.[15] About 520 thysanoptera species belonging to six families in 139 genera are found in Brazil.[16]


Toco toucan
toucan in Guyana
Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
Often called the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal region of southwestern Brazil (and extending into Bolivia and Paraguay) is one of the best places in South America to view wildlife. Eighty percent of the massive Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, which helps foster breathtaking biodiversity. Yet the relative openness of the country makes it much easier to see animals than the dense rain forest of the Amazon basin.

Brazil ranks third on the list of countries, behind Colombia and Peru, with the most number of distinct bird species, having 1622 identified species,[2] including over 70 species of parrots alone. It has 191 endemicbirds.[5] The variety of types of birds is vast as well, and include birds ranging from brightly colored parrots,toucans, and trogons to flamingosducksvultureshawkseaglesowlsswans, and hummingbirds. There are also species of penguins that have been found in Brazil.[17]

The largest bird found in Brazil is the rhea, a flightless ratite bird, similar to the emu.

Aquatic and amphibian

Amazon frog

Many varieties of poison dart frogssuch as this Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog can be found in the jungles of Brazil.

Brazil has over 3,000 identified species of freshwater fish and over 500 species of amphibians.[5] As elsewhere in South America, the majority of the freshwater fish species are characiforms (tetras and allies) and siluriforms (catfish), but there are also many species from other groups such as the cyprinodontiforms and cichlids. While the majority of Brazil’s fish species are native to the Amazon, the ParanáParaguay and the São Francisco river basins, the country also has an unusually high number of troglobitic fish, with 25 species (15% of the total in the world) known so far.[18] The most well-known fish in Brazil is the piranha.[19]

Other aquatic and amphibian animals found in Brazil include the pink dolphin (the world’s largest river dolphin), the caimans (such as the black caiman), and the pirarucu (the world’s largest river fish). Also familiar are the brightly colored poison dart frogs.


The diversity of Brazil’s fungi – even the small amount known so far – is astonishing. Using only conventional microscopy, and examining living leaves collected from various plants, the mycologist Batista and his colleagues, working in Pernambuco in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, regularly recorded more than one fungal species, and sometimes up to ten on a single leaf.[3] Although information about fungi worldwide remains very fragmented, a preliminary estimate, based only on the work of Batista, shows that the number of potentially endemic fungal species in Brazil already exceeds 2000.also fungi is very often spot in Brazil.[20]


Brazil has most known species of plants (55,000), among all the countries in the world.[2] About 30% of species of plants are endemic to Brazil.[5] The Atlantic Forest region is home to tropical and subtropical moist foreststropical dry foreststropical savannas, and mangrove forests. The Pantanal region is a wetland, and home to a known 3,500 species of plants. The Cerrado is biologically the most diverse savanna in the world.

The Pau-brasil tree (also known as Brazilwood) was a common plant found along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. But excessive logging of the prized timber and red dye from the bark pushed the Pau-brasil towards extinction. However, since the inception of synthetic dyes, the Pau-Brazil has been harvested less. The Pau-brasil tree is sometimes mentioned as the origin of the country’s name.[21][22]

All over Brazil, in all biomes, there’s a lot of species of orchids, including cattleyas and laelias.

Along the border with Venezuela lies Monte Roraima, home to many carnivorous plants. The plants evolved to digest insects due to the oligotrophic (low level of nutrients) soil of the tepui.[23]

List of plants by ecoregion:



Agoutis (Dasyprocta sp.), a tailless rodent, are a common sight around Campo de Santana (Santana Park).


Threats to wildlife

Main article: Conservation in Brazil

“At bottom right and bottom center, deforestation and cultivation are evident by the regular, rectangular shapes that delineate plots.”[24]

More than one-fifth of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil has been completely destroyed, and more than 70 mammals are endangered.[2] The threat of extinction comes from several sources, including deforestation and poaching. Extinction is even more problematic in the Atlantic Forest, where nearly 93% of the forest has been cleared.[25] Of the 202 endangered animals in Brazil, 171 are in the Atlantic Forest.[26] Currently, 15.8 million acres of tropical ecosystem have been completely eliminated to farm sugarcane for ethanol production. And additional 4.5 million acres is planned to be planted during the next four years. 70-85% of Brazil’s transportation energy is derived from ethanol, or various mixtures of ethanol and petroleum-based fuels. Only about 15-20% comes from imported petroleum. This massive national biofuel program has been devastating to tropical wildlife diversity, and to the global climate/environment.[27] Article 1 With it acquisition of BioEnergia, BP (British Petroleum) is planning to further expand Brazil’s ethanol program. BP – BioEnergia

National emblems

National bird Rufous-bellied Thrush (Sabiá)[28]
National flower Ipê-amarelo – Tecoma chrysostricha[29]
National tree Pau-Brasil – Caesalpinia echinata[21]

Other Lists & Photo Galleries of:
Mammals    Birds    Butterflies    Amphibians, Reptiles  

Directory of Photos in this Website




      AMERICAN OPOSSUMS – Family Didelphidae

  1. White-eared Opossum (*) (ph)  ______ AF, SE, UG  (from Colombia to southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, in forest and forest edge) 
    Didelphis albiventris
    BR: Gamba de Orelha Branca


    A White-eared Opossum photographed during a FONT tour
    (photo by Bob Enever in October 2010)

  2. Big-eared Opossum  (*)  ______  SE  (in southeastern Brazil, northeast Argentina in Missiones, and in Paraguay, in forests)
    Didelphis aurita  
    (was at one time considered a population of Didelphis marsupialis)

  3. Guianan White-eared Opossum  ______  (in far-northern Brazil)
    Didelphis imperfecta

  4. Brown-eared Woolly Opossum  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil and northeast Argentina in Misiones, in forest)
    Caluromys lanatus

  5. Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum  ______  (from Venezuela to eastern Brazil, in rainforest and plantations)
    Caluromys philander

  6. Black-shouldered Opossum  ______  (in western Brazil and eastern Peru, in rainforest in the Amazon basin) 
    Caluromysiops irrupta

  7. Bushy-tailed Opossum  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, and in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, in lowland rainforest in the Amazon basin)
    Glironia venusta

  8. Water Opossum  ______  (from Mexico to southeast Brazil and northeast Argentina in misiones, locally in hill forest streams and rivers)
    Chironectes minimus

  9. Gray Four-eyed Opossum  ______  (from Mexico to southeast Brazil and northeast Argentina, in lowland forest and gardens)
    Philander opossum

  10. McIlhenny’s Four-eyed Opossum  ______  (in western Amazonian brazil and northeast Peru, in rainforest)
    Philander mcilhennyi

  11. Southeastern (or Bridled) Four-eyed Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, in forest)
    Philander frenata
    BR: Cuica-de-quatro-olhos
  12. Anderson’s Four-eyed Opossum  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, and Venezuela, eastern Ecuador, and eastern Peru, in lowland rainforest)
    Philander andersoni

  13. Brown Four-eyed Opossum  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northeastern Argentina in misiones, in forest and forest edge)
    Metachirus nudicaudatus 
     (the single member of its genus)

  14. Northern Three-striped Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Brazil, in Atlantic Forest from Para to Santa Catarina, and in northeast Argentina in Misiones)  
    Monodelphis americana

  15. Northern Red-sided Opossum  ______  (from Colombia to central Brazil and northern Argentina, in forest and forest edge) 
    Monodelphis brevicaudata

  16. Yellow-sided Opossum  ______  (in central & southeastern Brazil, Uruguay, and northeast Argentina, in grassland and marshes) 
    Monodelphis dimidiata

  17. Long-nosed Short-tailed Opossum  ______  (in southeast Brazil from Espiritu Santo to Santa Catarina, and in northeast Argentina in Misiones, in lowland Atlantic Forest)  
    Monodelphis scalops

  18. Southern Red-sided Opossum  ______  (in southeast Brazil, and in southern Paraguay and northeast Argentina, in Atlantic Forest)
    Monodelphis sorex

  19. Southern Threee-striped Opossum  ______  (in eastern Brazil, and in Peru) 
    Monodelphis theresa

  20. Gray Short-tailed Opossum  ______  (in southern & eastern Brazil, and Bolivia and Paraguay, in dry savannas, scrub, caatinga, and gardens)
    Monodelphis domestica
    BR: Cuica-de-rabo-curto
  21. Emilia’s Short-tailed Opossum  ______  (in central Brazil, north to the river Amazonas, and in eastern Peru and northern Bolivia, in lowland rainforest of the Amazon basin)
    Monodelphis emiliae

  22. Ihering’s Three-striped Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil)
    Monodelphis iheringi

  23. Pygmy Short-tailed Opossum  (t2)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, and Bolivia, in forest and regrowth areas – there are very few records)
    Monodelphis kunsi

  24. Marajo Short-tailed Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in Para, on Marajo and Caldeirao Islands)
    Monodelphis maraxina

  25. Chestnut-striped Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Brazil, from Goias to Sao Paulo, in forest)
    Monodelphis rubida

  26. Red Three-striped Opossum  (t3) (BRe)  ______
    Monodelphis umbristriata

  27. One-striped Opossum  (t1)  ______  (in the Itarare region of Sao Paulo)
    Monodelphis unistriata

    Monodelphis unistriata
     is possibly extinct. It is only known from a specimen collected prior to 1842.

  28. Lutrine Opossum  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, by streams and lagoons)
    Lutreolina crassicaudata  
    (the single member of its genus)

  29. Dwarf Fat-tailed Mouse Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in interior east-central Brazil, in cerrado and caatinga habitats) 
    Thylamys velutinus

  30. Karimi’s Fat-tailed Mouse Opossum  (t3) (BRe)  ______  (in central & northeastern Brazil, in cerrado and caatinga)
    Thylamys karimii

  31. Long-tailed Fat-tailed Mouse Opossum  ______  (in southern Brazil and Paraguay)
    Thylamys macrurus

  32. Rufous Mouse Opossum  ______  (from eastern Colombia & Suriname to southern Brazil, very locally in forest)
    Marmosa lepida

  33. Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum  (ph)  ______  (has been called the Murine Mouse Opossum  (from Colombia to southeast Brazil, in forest, roadside brush, and gardens) 
    Marmosa murina 

    A Linneaus’s Mouse-Opossum photographed during a FONT tour
    This little animal has been in the nest of an Hornero.

  34. Dorothy’s Slender Mouse-Opossum  ______  (from southern Amazonian Brazil to central Bolivia, in dense thickets in forest)
    Marmosa dorothea

  35. Gray Slender Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, in Atlantic Forest from Bahia to Parana) 
    Marmosops (has been Marmosa) incanus
    BR: Cuica, or Marmosa

  36. Neblina Slender Opossum  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, and in Venezuela and eastern Ecuador, in both montane and lowland forest)
    Marmosops (has been Marmosa) neblina

  37. White-bellied Slender Opossum  ______  (in the Amazon basin of western Brazil, eastern Ecuador, eastern peru, and Bolivia, in swamps and riparian habitats in forest)
    Marmosops (has been Marmosa) noctivaga

  38. Delicate Slender Opossum ______  (from Colombia to central Brazil, in primary terra firme forest of the Amazon forest) 
    Marmosops (has been Marmosa) parvidens

  39. Brazilian Slender Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, from southern Minas Gerais to Sao Paulo, in montane Atlantic Forest)
    Marmosops (has been Marmosa) paulensis

  40. Pinheiro’s Slender Opossum  ______  (species described in 1981; occurs in far-northeastern Brazil, the Guianas, and Venezuela)
    Marmosops pinheiroi

  41. Agile Gracile Opossum  ______  (in southern & eastern Brazil, and in eastern Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, in forest) 
    Gracilinanus agilis
    BR: Catita, or Guaiquica
  42. Agricola’s Gracile Opossum  (BRe)  ______  (only a few known individuals in Ceara)
    Cryptonanus agricolai

  43. Brazilian Gracile Opossum  ______  (in southeast Brazil, from Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul, and in northeast Argentina in Misiones, in Atlantic Forest and regrowth areas) 
    Gracilinanus microtarsus

  44. Emilia’s Gracile Opossum  ______  (in northeast Brazil, and in Colombia, Suriname, and French Guiana, in lowland forest – there are very few records)
    Gracilinanus emiliae

  45. Woolly Mouse Opossum  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil and northeastern Argentina in Misiones, in forest and gardens) 
    Micoureus demerarae

  46. Bare-tailed Woolly Mouse-Opossum  ______  (from Colombia to central Amazonian Brazil, in forest and gardens)
    Micoureus regina

  47. White-bellied Woolly Mouse Opossum  ______  (from southern Brazil and eastern Bolivia to northwest Argentina, in mid-elevation forest) 
    Micoureus constantiae
    ARMADILLOS – Family Dasypodiidae
  48. Southern Long-nosed Armadillo  ______  (in southern Brazil, and in southern Paraguay, northern Argentina, and Uruguay, in grasslands)
    Dasypus hybridus

  49. Great Long-nosed Armadillo  ______  (in southern Amazonian Brazil, in from eastern Colombia to Suriname and south to Peru, in forest)
    Dasypus kappieri

  50. Nine-banded (or Common Long-nosed) Armadillo (*) (ph)  ______ MS, MT  (from the southern USA south to Uruguay and northern Argentina, in forests, savannas, llanos, and caatinga)     
    Dasypus novemcinctus
    BR: Tatu-galinha


    Nine-banded Armadillo

  51. Seven-banded Armadillo  ______  (in southeastern Amazonian & eastern Brazil, and in Bolivia, Paraguay, and northern Argentina, in grassland and forest)
    Dasypus septemcinctus

  52. Six-banded (or YellowArmadillo (*) (ph)  ______  MS, MT  (in northeast & north-central Brazil south to Bolivia, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, also eastern Suriname; in rainforest and savannas)
    Euphractus sexcinctus  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Tatu-peba


    Six-banded Armadillo

  53. Southern Three-banded Armadillo  ______  (from south-central Brazil to central Argentina, also in southeastern Bolivia; in dry areas)
    Tolypeutes matacus

  54. Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil, in Bahia, Ceara, and pernambuco, in cerraqdo and caatinga) 
    Tolypeutes tricinctus

  55. Greater Naked-tailed Armadillo  ______  (in eastern Brazil, and in southeastern Paraguay, northeastern Argentina, and Uruguay, in open areas)
    Cabassous tatouay

  56. Southern Naked-tailed Armadillo  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil, in forest and savannas)
    Cabassous unicinctus

  57. Giant Armadillo  (t2) (ph)  ______  (from Venezuela south to northern Argentina, in forests and savannas)  
    Priodontes maximus 
     (the single member of its genus)


    Giant Armadillo
    AMERICAN ANTEATERS – Family Myrmecophagidae (includes Cyclopedidae)
  58. Giant Anteater (t3) (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MN, MS, MT  (from southern Costa Rica, where rare if it still exists, south to Paraguay and northern Argentina, formerly in Uruguay and north to Guatemala, in grasslands, savannas, and forest)   
    Myrmecophaga tridactyla  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Tamandua Bandeira


    The above Giant Anteater was photographed at night during our Brazil Tour
    in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006.
    We saw a nice number of these animals both day & night.
    In the photo, the head of the anteater is to the right, with its long nose
    toward the ground as the animal feeds. Note the small ear.
    (Above photo by Andy Smith)
    Below is another photograph of a Giant Anteater, walking in open countryside
    of Brazilian grassland.

  59. Southern Tamandua  (or Collared Anteater)  (ti) (*) ______  MT  (from Venezuela and French Guiana south to northern Argentina and Uruguay, in forest, savannas, and grasslands)
    Tamandua tetradactyla
    BR: Tamandua-de-colete 
    or Mambira or Tamandua Mirim 

  60. Silky Anteater  ______  (from Mexico south to central Brazil, in rainforest and regrowth areas) 
    Cyclopes didactylus

    TWO-TOED SLOTHS – Family Megalonychidae
  61. Linnaeus’s (or Southern) Two-toed Sloth  ______  (from Colombia south to Amazonian Brazil and Peru, in forest)
    Choloepus didactylus

  62. Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth  (ph)  ______  (from Honduras south to western Amazonian Brazil, and to Peru and eastern Bolivia, in forest and regrowth areas)
    Chlorepus hoffmanni 
    THREE-TOED SLOTHS – Family Bradypodidae
  63. Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth (*) ______  AM  (in Amazonian Brazil south to the River Negro, and along both banks of the lower River Amazonas, also from eastern Venezuela to French Guiana, in forest) 
    Bradypus tridactylus
    BR: Preguica de bentinho
  64. Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth  ______  (from Honduras to southern Brazil, in lowland forest and regrowth areas)
    Bradypus variegatus

  65. Maned Three-toed Sloth (t2) (BRe) (*) (ph)  ______ SE  (from Bahia to Sao Paulo, in remnant patches of Atlantic Forest) 
    Bradypus torquatus
    BR:  Preguica de coleira

    A rare Maned Three-toed Sloth.
    Bradypus torquatus,
    clinging on the trunk of a Cecropia Tree

    (photographed by Marie Gardner during the FONT March ’08 Brazil Tour) 

    RABBITS – Family Leporidae

  66. Forest Rabbit (*)  ______ MN, MS, MT  (also called Tapeti, and Brazilian Rabbit)
    (formerly Tapetibrasiliensis
    BR: Coelho
  67. European Hare (i) (*) ______ RS, UG
    Lepus europaeus

    SQUIRRELS – Family Sciuridae
  68. Guianan Squirrel (*) (ph)  ______  IG, MN, SE  (also called Brazilian Squirrel)
     (formerly Guerlinguetusaestuans ingrami  (subspecies in se Brazil)
    BR: Esquilo, or Caxinguele


    A Guianan, or Brazilian, Squirrel photographed during the October 2009 FONT tour in Brazil
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  69. Yellow-throated Squirrel  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil)
    (formerly Guerlinguetusgilvigularis

  70. Bolivian Squirrel  ______  (in southwestern Brazil)
    (formerly Guerlinguetusignitus 

  71. Northern Amazonian Red Squirrel  ______  (in northwestern Brazil)
    (formerly Urosciurusigniventris

  72. Southern Amazonian Red Squirrel (*) ______  AF, AM
    (formerly Urosciurusspadiceus
    BR: Esquilo
  73. Neotropical Pygmy Squirrel  ______
    Sciurillus pusillus
  74. Amazon Dwarf Squirrel  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil)
    Microsciurus flaviventer 

  75. Neotropical Pygmy Squirrel  (*)  ______  am
    Sciurillus pusillus
    NEW WORLD RATS & MICE & allies – Family Cricetidae 
  76. Brazilian Arboreal Mouse (t2) (BRe) ______  (another name has been Rufescent Rhagomys (very few records from the states of Minas Gerais & Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil) 
    Rhagomys rufescens  
    (the single member of its genus) 

  77. Web-footed Marsh Rat  ______  (in southeast Brazil, Uruguay, and east-central Argentina, in lowland marshes)
    Holochilus brasiliensis

  78. Wagner’s Marsh Rat  (or Common Marsh Rat) (*)  ______  (from Venezuela south to Bolivia and central Brazil, in rice and sugar cane fields, and wetland habitats)
    Holochilus sciureus

  79. Brasilia Mouse (BRe)  ______  (in the Brasilia region) (another name has been Intermediate Lesser Grass Mouse)
    Microakodontomys transitorius

  80. Guianan (or North Amazonian) Arboreal Rice Rat  ______  (from southeast Venezuela, French Guiana, south to the Amazon River in central Amazonian Brazil, in forests)
    Oecomys auyantepui

  81. Bicolored Arboreal Rice Rat  ______  (from Panama to south-central Brazil, in lowland forests and savannas)
    Oceomys bicolor

  82. Cleber’s Arboreal Rice Rat (t2) (BRe)  ______  (in the Brasilia region, only known from the type locality)
    Oecomys cleberi

  83. Unicolored Arboreal Rice Rat  ______  (in northwest Brazil, eastern Colombia, southern Venezuela, and northern Bolivia, in lowland forests and clearings)
    Oecomys concolor

  84. Mamore Arboreal Rice Rat  ______  (in southwest Brazil, northern Paraguay, and eastern Bolivia) 
    Oecomys mamorae

  85. Brazilian Arboreal Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in forests south of the Amazon River in central Amazonian Brazil)
    Oecomys paricola

  86. King Arboreal Rice Rat  ______  (in northern Brazil, eastern Venezuela, and the Guianas)
    Oecomys rex

  87. Robert’s Arboreal Rice Rat  ______ (in the Amazon basin from the Guianas and southern Venezuela to eastern Peru and northern Bolivia)
    Oecomys roberti

  88. Trinidad Arboreal Rice Rat  ______
    Oecomys trinitatis

  89. Rio Jurua Spiny Mouse  ______  (in the Amazon basin in western Brazil and eastern Ecuador)
    Scolomys juruaense

  90. Ruschi’s Rat  (t2) (BRe)  ______  (in Minas Gerais and Espiritu Santo, in forests; very few records)
    Abrawayaomys ruschii

  91. Delomys collinus  ______ 
  92. Striped Atlantic Forest Rat  ______  (in southeast Brazil and extreme northeast Argentina, in forest)
    Delomys dorsalis

  93. Pallid Atlantic Forest Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, in Atlantic Coastal Forest)  
    Delomys sublineatus

  94. Juliomys anoblepas  (now extinct)  ______ 
  95. Juliomys ossitenuis  ______ 
  96. Short-haired Julio Mouse  ______  (in southeast Brazil and northeast Argentina in Misiones, in dense forest) 
    Juliomys pictipes

  97. Long-haired Julio Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in Minas Gerais, in the Serra de Mantiqueira at Brejo de Lapa)
    Juliomys rimofrons

  98. Emmon’s Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil, in Para, in the area of the Xingu River)
    Euryoryzomys (formerly Oryzomys) emmonsae

  99. Buffy-sided Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in Minas Gerais, in the area of the Jordas River) (was called the Monster Rice Rat)
    Euryoryzomys (formerly Oryzomys) lamia

  100. MacConnell’s Rice Rat  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil, and from Colombia to Suriname and Peru, in lowland rainforest)
    Euryoryzomys (formerly Oryzomys) macconnelli

  101. Elegant Rice Rat  ______  (in southwest Brazil, and from eastern Ecuador to northwest Argentina, in lowland forest and regrowth areas) 
    Euryoryzomys (formerly Oryzomys) nitidus

  102. Russet Rice Rat  ______  (in southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina)
    Euryoryzomys (formerly Oryzomys) russatus

    What was Oryzomys kelloggi, the Kellogg’s Rice Rat, is now part of Euryoryzomys russatusOryzomys kelloggi was said to occur in Minas Gerais in the region of the Fazenda Sao Geraldo.

  103. Brazilian Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______
    Hylaeamys (formerly Oryzomys) laticeps  
    (change of genus for this & other species in this group in 2005)

    What was Oryzomys seuanezi, the Seuanez’s Rice Rat, is now part of Hylaeamys laticeps 

  104. Large-headed Rice Rat  ______  (in eastern Brazil, also from eastern Venezuela to French Guiana, and south to Paraguay, in lowland forest)
    Hylaeamys (formerly Oryzomys) megacephalus

  105. Sowbug Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil, in Pernambuco, in the Sao Torenzo region)
    Hylaeamys (formerly Oryzomys) oniscus

  106. Western Amazonian (or Allen’s) Rice Rat  ______  (in western Amazonia, in western Brazil, southeast Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, and northern Bolivia)
    Hylaeamys (formerly Oryzomys) perenensis

  107. Cerradomys langguthi  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2008; was part of Cerradomys subflavus 
  108. Maracaju Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in Bolivia, Paraguay, and nearby Brazil and Peru)
    (formerly Oryzomys) maracajuensis

  109. Marinho’s Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2003; only in cerrado habitat in the state of Goias, in Jaborandi, at the Fazenda Sertao de Formoso (formerly Jucurutu)  
    (formerly Oryzomys) marinhus

  110. Lindbergh’s Rice Rat  ______  (recently described in 2002; occurs in south-central Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay)
    (formerly Oryzomys) scotti

  111. Terraced Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in dry forests of eastern Brazil; in the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Goias)
    (formerly Oryzomys) subflavus

  112. Cerradomys vivoi  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2008; was part of Cerradomys subflavus) (occurs in eastern Brazil, in Bahia, Goias, and Sergipe)

  113. Paraguayan Rice Rat  ______  (in southern Brazil, northeast Argentina, and Paraguay, in forest and cerrado)
    (formerly Oryzomysangouya  (the change of genus was in 2006) 
  114. Chacoan Pygmy Rice Rat  ______  (in west-central Brazil, Bolivia, western Paraguay, and northern Argentina, in grasslands, thorn scrub, and forest in the Gran Chaco region)
    Oligoryzomys chacoensis

  115. Brazilian Pygmy Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______   (in central & southeast Brazil)
    Oligoryzomys eliurus

  116. Yellow Pygmy Rice Rat  ______  (in southeast Brazil, Uruguay, and northeast Argentina, in marshes and riparian habitats)
    Oligoryzomys flavescens

  117. Fulvous Pygmy Rice Rat  ______  (from Mexico to northern Brazil, in forest clearings and regrowth areas)
    Oligoryzomys fulvescens

  118. Small-eared Pygmy Rat Rat  ______  (from central Brazil south to Paraguay & northern Argentina, in forest edge & regrowth areas)
    Oligoryzomys microtis

  119. Oligoryzomys moojeni  ______ 
  120. Black-footed Pygmy Rice Rat  ______  (in southeast Brazil, eastern Paraguay, northern Argentina, and Uruguay, in forests, regrowth areas, and farmland) 
    Oligoryzomys nigripes

  121. Oligoryzomys ripestris  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2005; known at 2 localities: at Chapada Diamantinha in the state of Bahia, and Chapada dos Veadeiros in the state of Goias)

  122. Straw-colored Pygmy Rice Rat  (BRe)  ______  (at Terezina de Goias, in Goias)
    Oligoryzomys stramineus

  123. Dubost’s Bristly Mouse  ______  (in northern Amapa in northeast Brazil, and southeast Suriname & French Guiana)
    Neacomys dubosti

  124. Guiana Bristly Mouse  ______  (in northern Amazonian Brazil, and southern Venezuela to Suriname)
    Neacomys guianae

  125. Jurua Bristly Mouse  (or Small Bristly Mouse)  (BRe)  ______  (in Amazonian Brazil, in primary rainforest)
    Neacomys minutus

  126. Manu Bristly Mouse  (or Musser’s Bristly Mouse)  ______  (in Amazonian Brazil, in primary rainforest)
    Neacomys musseri

  127. Negro Bristly Mouse  (or Paracou Bristly Mouse)   ______  (in northeast Amazonian Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, in primary rainforest)
    Neacomys paracou

  128. Northern (or Common) Bristly Mouse  ______  (in central Brazil, and from eastern Colombia to eastern Bolivia, in lowlands in the Amazon basin)
    Neacomys spinosus

  129. Narrow-footed Bristly Mouse  ______  (in northern Brazil, Colombia, northeast Venezuela, and eastern Ecuador, in dense rainforest)
    Neacomys tenuipes

  130. Short-tailed Cane Rat  (or Common Cane Mouse)  ______  (from Costa Rica to northern Amazonian Brazil, in lowland marshes, grassland, and farmland)
    Zygodontomys brevidauda

  131. Brazilian False Rice Rat  ______  (in southern & eastern Brazil, northeast Argentina, Paraguay, and southeast Bolivia, in lowland alluvial grasslands)  
    Pseudoryzomys simplex

  132. Lund’s Amphibious Rat  (or Greater Marsh Rat)  ______  (in Rio Grande do Sol, and Uruguay, in dense reedbeds and wet grasslands) 
    Lundomys molitor

  133. Greater Wilfred’s Mouse  ______  (in southeast Brazil south to central Uruguay, in dense forest)  
    Wilfredomys oenax

  134. Rio de Janeiro Arboreal Rat  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (in the Rio de Janeiro region, known only from the holotype specimen collected in the 19th Century)  
    Phaenomys ferrugineus

  135. Gardner’s Climbing Mouse  ______
    Rhipidomys gardneri

  136. White-footed Climbing Mouse  ______  (in northern Brazil, southern Venezuela and French Guiana south to Peru, in lowland rainforest) 
    Rhipidomys leucodactylus

  137. MacConnell’s Climbing Mouse  ______  (in northern Brazil and southeast Venezuela and western Guyana, in submontane forest)
    Rhipidomys macconnelli

  138. Long-tailed Climbing Mouse  _____  (in central and eastern Brazil)
    Rhipidomys mastacalis

  139. Splendid Climbing Mouse  ______  (in north-central Brazil and southern Venezuela and French Guiana) 
    Rhipidomys nitela

  140. Cerrado Red-nosed Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2005; known only from 1 locality in Bahia)
    Wiedomys cerradensis

  141. Red-nosed Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern and southeastern Brazil from Ceara to Rio Grande do Sul, in dry deciduous forest and scrub in cerrado and caatinga)
    Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos

  142. Azara’s Grass Mouse (*) ______  SE  (in southern Brazil, Uruguay, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Bolivia, in thorn scrub, grassland, and marshes) 
    Akodon azarai
  143. Cursor Grass Mouse  ______  (in central & southern Brazil, Uruguay, northeast Argentina, and Paraguay, in forest and savannas)
    Akodon cursor
    BR: Rato-de-chao
  144. Kemp’s Grass Mouse  ______  (in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and in east-central Argentina & Uruguay, in wet grasslands and riparian habitats)
     (formerly Deltamys) kempi

  145. Lindbergh’s Grass Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in the Brasilia region)
    Akodon lindberghi

  146. Montane Grass Mouse  ______  (in Brazil from eastern Mato Grosso do Sul to the coast; in southeast Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Rio Grande do Sul, and in gallery forests in Minas Gerais and Goias; also in eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina)
    Akodon montensis

  147. Caparao Grass Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in Minas Gerais, on Mt. Caparao)
    Akodon mystax

  148. Blackish Grass Mouse  ______  (in southeast Brazil, northeast Argentina, and southeast Paraguay, in forest)
    Akodon nigrita

  149. Parana Grass Mouse  ______  (in southeast Brazil and northeast Misiones in Argentina)
    Akodon paranaensis

  150. Reig’s Grass Mouse  ______  (recently described in 1998; occurs in Uruguay and in extreme southern Brazil in Rio Grande do Sul)
    Akodon reigi

  151. Sao Paulo Grass Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, Sao Paulo state on the north bank of the rivers Juquia and Eta)
    Akodon sanctipaulensis

  152. Serra do Mar Grass Mouse  ______  (in southeast Brazil and Misiones in northeast Argentina, in forest) 
    Akodon serrensis

  153. Northern Grass Mouse  ______  (in northern Brazil, eastern Colombia, and Venezuela, in forest, regrowth areas, and clearings)
    Akodon urichi

  154. Hairy-tailed Bolo Mouse  ______  (in central & southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and Misiones in northeast Argentina, in forest edge, grasslands, and cerrado) 
    Nectomys (formerly Bolomys) lasiurus
    BR: Rato-do-mato
  155. Amazonian Nectomys  ______  (recently described in 2000; in Brazil, Colombia, the Guianas, and Venezuela, in forest, cerrado, and caatinga) 
    Nectomys rattus

  156. Atlantic Forest Nectomys  (has been called Scaly-footed Water Rat)  ______  (from Colombia south to northeast Argentina and southeast Brazil, in forest, riparian habitats, and farmland)
    Nectomys squamipes

  157. Cerrado Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in the cerrado in central Brazil) (has been called Cerrado Akodont)
    Thalpomys cerradensis

  158. Hairy-eared Cerrado Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in the cerrado of central Brazil)  (has been called Hairy-eared Akodont)
    Thalpomys lasiotis

  159. Brazilian Shrew Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central & southeast Brazil, from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro, in deep litter in montane rainforest)
    Blarinomys breviceps

  160. White-nosed Brucie  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil)
    Brucepattersonius albinasus

  161. Gray-bellied Brucie  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil)
    Brucepattersonius griserufescens

  162. Red-bellied Brucie  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil)
    Brucepattersonius igniventris

  163. Iherling’s Hocicudo  ______  (in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and in northeast Argentina)
    Brucepattersonius iheringi

  164. Soricine Brucie  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil)
    Brucepattersonius soricinus

  165. Amazonian Hocicudo  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil, in the area of the lower Tapajos River)   
    Oxymycterus amazonicus

  166. Angular Hocicudo  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Brazil, in Pernambuco)
    Oxymycterus angularis

  167. Caparao Hocicudo  (BRe) (*)  ______  (in Minas Gerais, in the Caparao region)
    Oxymycterus caparaoe

  168. Hispid Hocicudo  ______  (in eastern Brazil and Misiones in Argentina)
    Oxymycterus hispidus

  169. Long-nosed Hocicudo  ______  (in southeast Brazil & Uruguay)
    Oxymycteus nasutus

  170. Robert’s Hocicudo  (BRe)  ______  (in Minas Gerais, in the Jordao River region)
    Oxymycterus roberti

  171. Red Hocicudo  ______  (in southeast Brazil, southeast Paraguay, northeast & east-central Argentina, and Uruguay, in wet grasslands, riparian habitats, and scrub) 
    Oxymycterus rufus

  172. Candango Mouse  (BRe)  (now extinct)  ______  (in the Brasilia region) 
    Juscelinomys candango

    The name for the genus Juscelinomys was derived from that of the Brazilian president Juselino Kubitschek de Oliveira who created the city of Brasilia, where Juseclinomys candango was found in 1965. Subsequently, however, its habitat was overtaken by urban sprawl, and the species is now presumed to be extinct.Two other species in the Juscelinomys genus occur in Bolivia, in addition to the species listed here.

  173. Molelike Mouse (like Juscelinomys candango, it has also been called the Brasilia Burrowing Mouse) (t3) (BRe)  ______  (there seems to be some vagueness in the literature as to this and the preceding species)
    Juscelinomys vulpinus

  174. Juscelinomys talpinus  (BRe) ______  (known only from subfossil remains) 
  175. Large Vesper Mouse  ______  (in southern & eastern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and eastern Bolivia, in forest clearings, regrowth areas, farmland, and riparian habitats)
    Calomys callosis

  176. Calomys cerqueirai  (BRe)  ______  (known only at 2 places in Minas Gerais: Lagoa Santa & Capitao Andrade; the karyotype was first described in 1996, and the species was formally named in 2010) 
  177. Caatinga Vesper Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in northeast & central Brazil, from Piaui and Ceara southwest through Goias and Minas Gerais; it is found in both cerrado (savanna) and caatinga (thorny scrub) habitats) (another name has been Rejected Vesper Mouse)
    Calomys expulsus

  178. Small Vesper Mouse  ______  (in west-central & southeast Brazil, southeast Bolivia, Paraguay, northeast & eat-central Argentina, and Uruguay, in savannas and grasslands)
    Calomys laucha

  179. Delicate Vesper Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil)
    Calomys tener   ______
    BR: Rato-do-mato
  180. Tocantins Vesper Mouse  (BRe)  ______  (recently described in 2003; in the Brazilian states of Goias, Mato Grosso, and Tocantins, in transitional areas between Amazon forest and cerrado)   
    Calomys tocantinsi

  181. Gray Leaf-eared Mouse  ______
    Graomys griseoflavus

  182. Alston’s Cotton Rat  ______  (in northern Brazil and from Colombia to Suriname, in lowland grasslands)
    Sigmodon alstoni

  183. Waterhouse’s Swamp Rat  ______  (in southeast Brazil, Uruguay, northeast & east-central Argentina, and Paraguay, in flooded grasslands and salt marshes)
    Scapteromys tumidus

  184. Fossorial Giant Rat  ______  (in east-central Brazil and north-central Argentina, in marshes)
    Kunsia fronto

  185. Woolly Giant Rat  ______  (in west-central Brazil and northeast Bolivia, in deeps soils)
    Kunsia tomentosus

  186. Large-lipped Crimson-nosed Rat  ______
    Bibimys labiosus0
    TRUE MICE & RATS – Subfamily Murinae
  187. Western House Mouse (i) (*) ______  SE  (was conspecific with the Eastern House Mouse, native to Eurasia, Mus musculus
    Mus domesticus
    BR: Cachita

  188. Brown Rat (i) (*) ______  AM, RS  (has also been called “Norway Rat”)
    Rattus norvegicus

    NEW WORLD PORCUPINES – Family Erethizontidae

  189. Brazilian Porcupine (*) ______  MT  (species described by Linnaeus in 1758)
    Coendou prehensilis
    BR: Ourico-cacheiro, 
    or Porco-espinho

  190. Black Dwarf Porcupine  (BRe)  ______  (also called Koopman’s Porcupine)
    Coendou nycthemera

  191. Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine  (BRe)  ______  (also called Bahia Dwarf Porcupine)
    Spiggurus (formerly Coendon) insidiosus

  192. Black-tailed Hairy Dwarf Porcupine  ______
     (formerly Coendou) melanurus

  193. Van Roosmalens’ Porcupine  (BRe)  ______  (also called Roosmalen’s Dwarf Porcupine)
    Spiggurus (formerly Coendouroosmalenorum

  194. South American (or Paraguaian) Tree Porcupine  ______
    Spiggurus (formerly Coendon) spinosus

  195. Orange-spined Porcupine  (BRe)  ______
    (formerly Coendou) villosus

  196. Bristle-spined Porcupine  ______
    Chaetomys subspinosus 
     (the single member of its genus)
    AGOUTIS & PACAS – Family Agoutidae
  197. Red Acouchi  ______
    Myoprocta acouchy

  198. Green Acouchi  ______
    Myoprocta pratti  (formerly exilis)

  199. Azara’s Agouti (*) ______  IG, MS, MT
    Dasyprocta azarae
    BR: Cutia

  200. Black Agouti  ______
    Dasyprocta fuliginosa

  201. Brazilian Agouti (*) (ph)  ______  AF, AM, MN  (was called Red-rumped Agouti)
    Dasyprocta leporina
     (formerly agouti)
    BR: Cutia

  202. Black-rumped Agouti  (BRe)  ______
    Dasyprocta prymnolopha

  203. Lowland Paca (*) ______ af,mn,mt  (also called Spotted Paca)
    (formerly Agoutipaca
    BR: Paca
    PACARANA – Family Dinomyidae
  204. Pacarana  (t2)  ______  (in western Brazil in the Amazon basin)
    Dinomys branickii  
    (the single member of its genus & family)

    CAVIES & GUINEA-PIGS – Family Caviidae
  205. Spix’s Yellow-toothed Cavy (*) ______  (from eastern Bolivia to northeastern Brazil, occurring in open savanna and semiarid habitats such as cerrado and caatinga) 
    Galea spixii
  206. Brazilian Yellow-toothed Cavy  (BRe)  ______
    Galea flavidens

  207. Brazilian Guinea Pig (*) ______  MS, MT
    Cavia aperea
    BR: Prea

  208. Shiny Guinea Pig  (BRe)  ______  (in coastal east-central Brazil)
    Cavia fulgida

  209. Santa Catarina Guinea Pig  (BRe)  ______  (only on Moleques do Sul Island in Santa Catarina state in southeast Brazil)
    Cavia intermedia

  210. Greater Guinea Pig (*) ______  RS  (in southeast Brazil – and Uruguay)
    Cavia magna
  211. Acrobat Cavy  (BRe) ______  (by the River Sao Mateus in the state of Goias) (also called Climbing Cavy)
    Kerodon acrobata

  212. Rock Cavy  (BRe) (*) ______  MN
    Kerodon rupestris

    CAPYBARA – Family Hydrochoeridae

  213. Capybara (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MS, MT, RS, SE
    Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris  
    (the single member of its genus & its family) 
    BR: Capivara, or Cupido

    Capybaras were seen both day (above) & night (below) during our
    tours in Mato Grosso do Sul, not only in September 2006
    (when these photos were taken), but during every FONT tour in that area.


    Another photo (below) of an adult & young Capybaras was taken during the
    FONT tour in Mato Grosso do Sul, in August 2008.
    (photo courtesy of Trevor & Pamela Sims)  


    DEGUS & TUCO-TUCOS – Family Octodontidae (mostly in Argentina & Chile)

  214. Brazilian Tuco-tuco  (BRe) (*) ______  MN  (in southeast Brazil, in Minas Gerais)
    Ctenomys brasiliensis
  215. Flammarion’s Tuco-tuco  (BRe)  ______
    Ctenomys flammarioni

  216. Lami Tuco-tuco  (BRe)  ______  (endemic to an area in Rio Grande do Sul, in sand dunes)
    Ctenomys lami

  217. Tiny Tuco-tuco  ______
    Ctenomys minutus

  218. Natterer’s Tuco-tuco  (BRe)  ______  (in southwest Brazil, in Mato Grosso)
    Ctenomys nattereri
  219. Rondon’s Tuco-tuco  ______
    Ctenomys rondoni
  220. Collared Tuco-tuco  ______
    Ctenomys torquatus
    SPINY RATS and allies – Family Echimyidae
  221. Callistomys pictus  (BRe)  ______ 
  222. Carterodon sulcidens  (BRe)  ______ 
  223. Clyomys bishopi  (BRe)  ______ 
  224. Clyomys laticeps  (BRe)  ______ 
  225. Dactylomys boliviensis  ______

  226. Dactylomys dactylinus  ______

  227. Echimys chrysurus  ______

  228. Echimys grandis  ______

  229. Euryzygomatomys guiara  ______

  230. Euryzygomatomys spinosus  ______

  231. Isothrix histriata  ______

  232. Isothrix negrensis  (BRe)  ______ 
  233. Isothrix pagurus  (BRe)  ______ 
  234. Kannabateomys amblyonyx  ______

  235. Lonchothrix emiliae  (BRe)  ______ 
  236. Makalata macrura  ______

  237. Common Spiny Tree Rat  (*)  ______  AF
    Mesomys hispidus

  238. Mesomys occultus  (BRe)  ______ 
  239. Mesomys stimulax  (BRe)  ______ 
  240. Phyllomys blainvilii  (BRe)  ______ 
  241. Phyllomys brasiliensis  (BRe)  ______ 
  242. Phyllomys dasythrix  (BRe)  ______ 
  243. Phyllomys kerri  (BRe)  ______ 
  244. Phyllomys lamarum  (BRe)  ______ 
  245. Phyllomys lundi  (BRe)  ______ 
  246. Phyllomys mantiqueirensis  (BRe)  ______ 
  247. Phyllomys medius  (BRe)  ______ 
  248. Phyllomys nigrispinus  (BRe)  ______ 
  249. Phyllomys pattoni  (BRe)  ______ 
  250. Phyllomys thomasi  (BRe)  ______ 
  251. Phyllomys unicolor  (BRe)  ______ 
  252. Proechimys amphichoricus  ______

  253. Proechimys brevicauda  ______

  254. Proechimys cayennensis  ______

  255. Cuvier’s Spiny Rat  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil)
    Proechimys cuvieri

  256. Hedgehog Spiny Rat  (BRe) ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil)
    Proechimys echinothrix

  257. Gardner’s Spiny Rat  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil)
    Proechimys gardneri

  258. Goeldi’s Spiny Rat  (BRe)  ______  (in southwestern & central Amazonian Brazil) 
    Proechimys goeldii

  259. xCayenne Spiny Rat  ______  (in northern & central Brazil)
    Proechimys guyannensis

  260. Guyanan Spiny Rat  ______  (in northwest Brazil)
    Proechimys hoplomyoides

  261. Proechimys kulinae  ______

  262. Proechimys longicaudatus  ______

  263. Proechimys myosuros  ______

  264. Proechimys oris  ______

  265. Proechimys pattoni  ______

  266. Proechimys quadruplicatus  ______

  267. xHairy Spiny Rat  (BRe)  ______  MN  (in forests of Minas Gerais) 
    Proechimys selosuss
  268. Proechimys simonsi  ______ 
  269. Proechimys steerei  ______  
  270. Punar  (BRe)  ______
    Thrichomys apereoides
  271. Trinomys albispinus  (BRe)  ______ 
  272. Trinomys dimidiatus  (BRe)  ______ 
  273. Trinomys eliasi  (BRe)  ______ 
  274. Trinomys gratiosus  (BRe)  ______ 
  275. Trinomys iheringi  (BRe)  ______ 
  276. Trinomys mirapitanga  (BRe)  ______ 
  277. Trinomys moojeni  (BRe)  ______ 
  278. Trinomys paratus  (BRe)  ______ 
  279. Trinomys setosus  (BRe)  ______ 
  280. Trinomy yonenagae  (BRe)  ______   

    Family Myocastoridae 

  281. Coypu (*) (ph)  ______  RS, SE, UG  (also known as Nutria)
    Myocastor coypus 
     (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Ratao do Banhado


    A Coypu, or Nutria, photographed during the October 2009 FONT tour
    in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

    CATS – Family Felidae

  282. Puma  (ph)  _____
    Puma concolor
    BR: Sussuarana

  283. Jaguarundi (ti) (*) ______  MN, MS, MT
    BR: Jaguarundi, or  Gato Mourisco  (or Gato Preto for the black morph)

  284. Pampas Cat  ______
    Leopardus pajeros

  285. Pantanal Cat  (*) (ph)  ______  MS  (was part of the Pampas Cat)
    Leopardus braccata
    BR: Gato Palheiro

    The Pantanal Cat 

    (formerly part of the more-southerly Pampas Cat)
    photographed at night during the FONT tour in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006.


  286. Geoffroy’s Cat ______  (in southern Brazil)
    Leopardus geoffroyi

  287. Oncilla  (or Little Spotted Cat)  ______
    Leopardus tigrina
    BR: Gato-do-mato-pequeno

  288. Margay  ______
    Leopardus wiedii

  289. Ocelot  (t3) (*) (ph)  ______  MS, MT
    Leopardus pardalis
    BR: Gato Maracaja, or Jaguatirica


    An Ocelot photographed at night during the FONT tour in Mato Grosso do Sul
    in September 2006.
    This wonderful animal has been seen nicely during numerous FONT tours in that area.  

  290. Jaguar (*) (ph)  ______  MS
    (formerly Jaguarius) onca
    BR: Onca Pintada

    This mighty animal has been seen during 3 FONT Brazil tours
    in Mato Grosso do Sul in the last 4 years.
    DOGS & FOXES – Family Canidae

  291. Maned Wolf  (nt) (*) (ph)  ______  MN, MS  
    Chrysocyon brachyurus 
     (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Lobo-guara

    For more about the: MANED WOLF

    The second of the two Maned Wolf photographs above was taken at night
    during our tour in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006. 
    Below: A Maned Wolf, as we’ve seen it after dark outside a monastery,
    during our Brazil tours in Minas Gerais.   


  292. Argentine Gray Fox (*) (ph)   ______  RS  (this species now includes the “Pampas Fox”)
    (has previously been Dusicyon) griseus
    BR: Graxaim do Campo

  293. Crab-eating Fox (*) (ph)  ______  MS, MT
    (has previously been Dusicyon) thous  (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Cachorro-do-mato  (or Graxaim)

    Above & below: Crab-eating Foxes photographed at night during our
    Brazil tour in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006.
    The species has been seen during every FONT tour in that area.

  294. Hoary Fox (*) ______  MN, MS
     (has previously been Dusicyon) vetulus  (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Raposinha

  295. Short-eared Dog (*) ______  AF  
    (has previously been Dusicyon) microtis  (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Cachorro do Mato

    The Short-eared Dog is a rarely seen animal.
  296. Bush Dog _____
    Speothos venaticus 
     (the single member of its genus)

    EARED SEALS – Family Otariidae

  297. South American Sea Lion (*) (ph)  ______  RS
    Otaria byronia  
    (the single member of its genus)
  298. South American Fur Seal  ______
    Arctocephalus australis
  299. Southern Elephant Seal  ______
    Mirounga leonina

    OTTERS & ALLIES – Family Mustelidae

  300. Greater Grison (*)  ______  AF  (has also been called Huron)
    Galictis vittata
    BR: Furao  
    (or Furax)
  301. Lesser Grison  (*) (ph)  ______  RS
    Galictis cuja
    BR: Furao

  302. Tayra (*) ______  AF, MN, SE
    Eira batbata  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Irara  (or Papa Mel)

    The Tayra is rather like a South American Marten.

  303. Giant Otter (t2) (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MS, MT
    Pteronura brasiliensis  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Arianha

    The Giant Otters above were photographed during a FONT tour in the Pantanal of Brazil.
    Another photo and an color illustration of the species are below.

    The photo below of 2 Giant Otters was taken during
    the FONT Brazil Tour in August 2008.
    The animals was first seen resting on wooden steps along a riverbank.
    Later, they entered the water, and swam away.

    (photo courtesy of Trevor & Pamela Sims)


  304. Neotropical River Otter (*) ______  MS, MT, RS, SE
    Lutra longicaudus
    BR: Lontra 
    or Cachorro-d’agua  
  305. Tropical Weasel  ______
    Mustela africana

  306. Long-tailed Weasel  ______  (in far-northern Brazil)
    Mustela frenata

  307. Striped Hog-nosed Skunk  ______
    Conepatus semistriatus

  308. Molina’s Hog-nosed Skunk  ______  (in southern Brazil)
    Conepatus chinga
     RACCOONS – Family Procyonidae
  309. Crab-eating Raccoon  (*) (ph)  ______  MS, MT
    Procyon cancrivorous
    BR: Mao-pelada 

    A Crab-eating Raccoon photographed at night
    during the FONT Brazil tour in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006.

  310. Kinkajou  (ph)  ______
    Poto flavus

  311. Beddard’s Olingo  ______  (in far-northern Brazil)
    Bassaricyon beddardi

  312. South American Coati  (*) (ph)  ______  IG, MN, MS, MT, SE
    Nasua nasua
    BR: Quati 
    or Quatimunde


    Above: Two photos of the South American Coati
    Below: a group of them seen during the FONT Brazil tour in August 2008.
    (photo below courtesy of Trevor & Pamela Sims)

    SHEATH-TAILED BATS – Family Emballonuridae

  313. Proboscis Bat (*) ______  AF  (another name is Long-nosed Bat)  (from Mexico to southern Brazil, near water in lowland rainforest)
    Rhynchonycteris naso  
    (the single member of its genus) 


    Proboscis Bat
    (photo by Doris Potter)

  314. Shaggy Bat  ______  (from Mexico to central Brazil, in lowland forest and regrowth areas) 
    Centronycteris maximiliani  
    (the single member of its genus)

  315. Greater White-lined Bat (*) ______  AF, MT  (from Mexico to southern Brazil, in lowland forest and forest edge)
    Saccopteryx bilineata
  316. Frosted White-lined Bat  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil, and Colombia to French Guiana and south to Peru, in lowland forest)
    Saccopteryx canescens 
  317. Amazonian White-lined Bat  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil) 
    Saccopteryx gymnura 
  318. Lesser White-lined Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern brazil, in lowland forest)
    Saccopteryx leptura 
  319. Chestnut Sac-winged Bat  ______  (from Nicaragua to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland rainforest)
    Cormura brevirostris  (the single member of its genus) 
  320. White-winged Dog-like Bat  ______  (from Colombia to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest)  
    Peropteryx (formerly Peronymusleucoptera 
  321. Greater Dog-like Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest and forest edge)
    Peropteryx kappleri 
  322. Lesser Dog-like Bat  ______  (from Mexico to northern Paraguay, at caves, rock piles, and built-areas in lowlands) 
    Peropteryx macrotis
  323. White-winged Dog-like Bat  ______  (in northern Brazil, a poorly known species, with a “new species” about to be described)
    Peropteryx leucoptera
  324. Short-eared (or Smoky Sheath-tailed) Bat  ______  (from Nicaragua to eastern Amazonian Brazil near Belem)
    Cyttarops alecto  (the single member of its genus) 
  325. Isabelle’s Ghost Bat  ______  (in northwest Brazil & southern Venezuela, in lowland forest & riparian habitats)
    Diclidurus isabellus

  326. Northern Ghost Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Ecuador, and possibly eastern Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation clearings and built-areas)
    Diclidurus albus

  327. Greater Ghost Bat  ______  (from Colombia south to possibly northwestern Brazil, in lowland rainforest)
    Diclidurus ingens

  328. Lesser Ghost Bat  ______  (from southern Venezuela south to Peru and possibly central Brazil, in lowland riparian habitats and clearings in the Amazon basin)   
    Diclidurus scutatus

    FISHING BATS – Family Noctilionidae

  329. Greater Fishing Bat  (also called Bulldog Bat) (*) ______  AF, MS, MT  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in lowlands forest, and at lakes, rivers, and along coasts)
    Noctilio leporinus

    The wingspan of Noctilio leporinus is a meter, or 3 feet.


    In flight after dark, a Greater Fishing, or Bulldog Bat  (photo by Burke Korol)

  330. Lesser Fishing Bat  (also called Bulldog Bat(*) ______  AF, MS, MT  (from Mexico to northeast Argentina and southwestern Amazonian Brazil, in lowland forest clearings and along waterways) 
    Noctilio albiventris

    LEAF-CHINNED BATS – Family Mormoopidae

  331. Wagner’s Moustached Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest)  
    Pteronotus personatus

  332. Common (or Parnell’s) Moustached Bat  (ph)   ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation forest and clearings) 
    Pteronotus (formerly Phyllodia) parnellii 


    Common Moustached Bat

  333. Davy’s Naked-backed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to northeastern Brazil, locally in forest and clearings) 
    Pteronotus davyi 
  334. Big Naked-backed Bat  ______  (from Mexico south to Peru and possibly southwest Brazil, in lowland forest)
    Pteronotus gymnonotus
    AMERICAN LEAF-NOSED BATS – Family Phyllostomidae
  335. Behni’s Big-eared Bat  ______  (in central Brazil and southern Peru, in forests)
    (formerly Glyphonycteris) behnii

  336. Brosset’s Big-eared Bat  ______  (recently described in 1998; occurs in northern & western Amazonian Brazil, and in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana, Guyana)
    Micronycteris brosseti

  337. Davies’ Big-eared Bat  ______  (also called Graybeard Bat) (from Honduras to Amazonian Brazil, locally in lowland primary rainforest)
     (formerly Glyphonycteris) daviesi

  338. Tricolored Big-eared Bat (?)  ______  (from Mexico to southeast Brazil, locally in lowland forest)
    (formerly Glyphonycterissylvestris   
  339. Orange-throated Big-eared Bat (?)  ______  (from Mexico to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland forest)
    Micronycteris brachyotis

  340. Hairy Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Honduras to Amazonian Brazil, locally in forest and forest edge)
    Micronycteris hirsuta

  341. Homez’s Big-eared Bat  ______  (in northern Brazil and the Guianas) 
    Micronycteris homezi

  342. Matses’ Big-eared Bat  (BRe)  ______  (in west-central Amazonian Brazil, in the Rio Galvez drainage, in primary rainforest) 
    Micronycteris matses

  343. Little Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Colombia to Brazil, in lowland forest)
    Micronycteris megalotis

  344. Common Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Amazonian Brazil, in forest and regrowth areas)
    Micronycteris microtis

  345. White-bellied Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Honduras to southern Brazil, in lowland forest and farmland)
    Micronycteris minuta

  346. Sanborn’s Big-eared Bat  (BRe)  ______  (in northeastern Brazil, on the Chapada do Araripe plateau) 
    Micronycteris sanborni

  347. Schmidt’s Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, locally in lowland forest and forest edge)  
    Micronycteris schmidtorum

  348. Least Big-eared Bat  ______  (in northwestern Brazil and eastern Colombia)
    Micronycteris pusilla

  349. Niceforo’s Big-eared Bat  ______  (from Belize and Amazonian Brazil, locally in lowland forest)
    Micronycteris nicerfori

  350. Common Sword-nosed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, locally in lowland forest and farmland)
    Lonchorhina aurita

  351. Strange Sword-nosed Bat  ______  (in Brazil and Venezuela, French Guiana, and Suriname) 
    Lonchorhina inusitata

  352. Long-legged Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina, near streams in lowland forest)
    Macrophyllum macrophyllum

  353. Greater Round-eared Bat  ______  (in southeastern Brazil, northern Argentina, and Paraguay)
    Tonatia bidens

  354. Pygmy Round-eared Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest and regrowth areas)  
    Tonatia brasiliense

  355. Carriker’s Round-eared Bat  ______  (in southwestern Amazonian Brazil, and from southeastern Colombia to Suriname, and south to Bolivia)
    Tonatia carrikeri

  356. Stripe-headed Round-eared Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, locally in lowland forest) 
    Tonatia saurophila

  357. Schulz’s Round-eared Bat  ______  (in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and possibly in northern Brazil, in forest)  
    Tonatia schulzi

  358. White-throated Round-eared Bat  ______  (from Honduras to eastern Brazil, in lowland primary rainforest)  
    Tonatia silvicola

  359. Striped Hairy-nosed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, locally in lowland forest and clearings) 
    Mimon crenulatum

  360. Golden Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in lowland forest) 
    Mimon bennettii

  361. Pale Spear-nosed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest) 
    Phyllostomus discolor

  362. Lesser Spear-nosed Bat  ______  (from Colombia to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland rainforest)
    Phyllostomus elongatus

  363. Greater Spear-nosed Bat  ______  (from Belize to southern Brazil, in lowland forest and clearings) 
    Phyllostomus hastatus

  364. Pale-faced Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, locally in forest and clearings)
    Phylloderma stenops

  365. Fringe-lipped Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in forest and farmland)
    Trachops cirrhosus

  366. Big-eared Woolly Bat  ______  (also called Woolly False Vampire Bat) (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in forest and regrowth areas)  
    Chrotopterus auritus

  367. Spectral Bat  ______  (also called Great False Vampire Bat) (from Mexico to south-central Brazil, in forest and grasslands)
    Vampyrum spectrum

  368. Vieira’s Flower Bat  (BRe)  ______  (a newly-described species, in 2005)
    Xeronycteris vieirai

  369. Brown Long-tongued Bat  ______  (from Mexico to northwest Brazil, locally in forest and clearings)
    Glossophaga commissarisi

  370. Miller’s Long-tongued Bat  ______  (from Colombia to north-central Amazonian Brazil, in lowland dry forest and llanos)
    Glossophaga longirostris

  371. Common Long-tongued Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina, in forest and clearings)
    Glossuphaga soricina

  372. Tailed Tailless Bat  ______  (from Colombia to southeastern Brazil and northwestern Argentina, near streams in forest)
    Anoura caudifera

  373. Geoffrey’s Tailless Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in forest, fruit groves, and clearings)
    Anoura geoffroyi

  374. Lesser Whiskered Long-nosed Bat  ______  (from Colombia to Amazonian Brazil, in rainforest)
    Choeroniscus minor

  375. Chestnut Long-tongued Bat  ______  (from Panama to Amazonian Brazil, in rainforest and savannas)
    Lionycteris spurrelli

  376. Bokermann’s Nectar Bat  (BRe) (*)  ______  MN  (in Minas Gerais, at Serra do Cipo)
    Lonchophylla bokermanni

  377. Dekeyser’s Nectar Bat  (BRe)  ______  (in the area of Brasilia)
    Lonchophylla dekeyseri

  378. Goldman’s Nectar Bat  ______  (in east-central Brazil, and from Costa Rica to Ecuador, in forest and banana groves)
    Lonchophylla mordax

  379. Thomas’ Nectar Bat  ______  (from Panama to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland forest and clearings)
    Lonchophylla thomasi

  380. Silky Short-tailed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to south-central Brazil, in forest clearings, regrowth areas, and plantations)
    Carollia brevicauda

  381. Chestnut Short-tailed Bat  ______  (from Honduras to Bolivia and southwestern Brazil, in rainforest and regrowth areas)  
    Carollia castanea

  382. Seba’s Short-tailed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina, in forest clearings, regrowth areas, plantations)    
    Carollia perspicillata

  383. Fischer’s Little Fruit Bat  ______  (in Amazonian Brazil, and from Colombia to eastern Peru, in lowland rainforest)  
    Rhinophylla fischerae

  384. Dwarf Little Fruit Bat  ______  (in central Brazil, and from Colombia to French Guiana and south to Peru & Bolivia, in rainforest)
    Rhinophylla pumilio

  385. Little Yellow-shouldered Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in forests and fruit groves) 
    Sturnira lilium

  386. Tilda Yellow-shouldered Bat  ______  (from Colombia to central Brazil, in lowland rainforest) 
    Sturnira tildae

  387. Common Tent-making Bat  (ph)  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation forest and fruit groves)
    Uroderma bilobatum 

    Common Tent-making Bats

    (photo by Doris Potter)

  388. Brown Tent-making Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest and wetlands)
    Uroderma maqnirostrum

  389. Short-headed Broad-nosed Bat  ______  (in southwestern Amazonian Brazil and from Colombia to French Guiana and south to Bolivia, in lowland rainforest)
    Platyrrhinus brachycephalus

  390. Heller’s Broad-nosed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation forest and fruit groves) 
    Platyrrhinus helleri

  391. Buffy Broad-nosed Bat  ______  (in southwestern Amazonian Brazil, and from Colombia to Bolivia, in forest) 
    Platyrrhinus infuscus

  392. White-lined Broad-nosed Bat  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil, in forest)
    Platyrrhinus lineatus

  393. Recife Broad-nosed Bat  ______  (in eastern & southeastern Brazil, and in Guyana, in coastal forest) 
    Platyrrhinus recifinus

  394. Great Stripe-faced Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland primary rainforest)
    Vampyrodes caraccioli

  395. Little Yellow-eared Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation forest)
    Vampyressa pusilla

  396. Bidentate Yellow-eared Bat  ______  (from Colombia to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland rainforest)
    Vampyressa bidens

  397. MacConnell’s Bat  ______  (from Nicaragua to south-central Brazil, in lowland primary rainforest)
    Mesophylla macconnelli

  398. Brazilian Big-eyed Bat  (BRe)   ______  (in east-central & southeast Brazil, in Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro)
    Chiroderma doriae

  399. Little Big-eyed Bat  ______  (from Panama to south-central Brazil, in lowland forest and clearings) 
    Chiroderma trinitatum

  400. Hairy Big-eyed Bat  (*)  ______  (from Mexico to south-central Brazil, in lowland forests and fruit groves)
    Chiroderma villosum

  401. Fringed Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (in southeast Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina, in lowlands)  
    Artibeus fimbriatus

  402. Silver Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (from Venezuela to south-central & eastern Brazil) 
    Artibeus glaucus

  403. Jamaican Fruit-eating Bat  (ph)   ______  (in addition to the West Indies, from Mexico to southern Brazil & northern Argentina, in forests and plantations)
    Artibeus jamaicensis   

    Jamaican Fruit-eating Bats in a cave

  404. Great Fruit-eating Bat (*) ______  MT  (from Mexico to southern Brazil & northeastern Argentina, in rain forest and clearings)  
    Artibeus lituratus
  405. Dark Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil, in lowland rainforest)
    Artibeus obscurus

  406. Flat-faced Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (from Colombia to eastern Brazil)
    Artibeus planirostris

  407. Andersen’s Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (in western Brazil, and Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia) 
    Artibeus anderseni

  408. Gervais’ Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (from Venezuela to south-central Brazil, in mid-elevation forest)
    Artibeus cinereus

  409. Brown Fruit-eating Bat  ______  (from Colombia to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest)
    Artibeus concolor

  410. Ipanema Bat  (*)  ______  (from Suriname to southeastern Brazil & northern Argentina)
    Pygoderma bilablatum

  411. Little White-shouldered Bat  ______  (from Panama to south-central Brazil, locally in lowland rainforest)
    Ametrida centurio

  412. Visored Bat  ______  (from Colombia to northwestern Amazonian Brazil, and south to northern Bolivia, in forest, plantations, gardens)
    Sphaeronycteris toxophyllum

  413. Hairy-legged Vampire Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil, in lowland & mid-elevation forest and farmland)  
    Diphylla ecaudata

  414. White-winged Vampire Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in lowland forest)
    Diaemus youngi

  415. Common Vampire Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Uruguay and northern Argentina, in livestock farmland, gardens, forest)
    Desmodus rotundus
    DISK-WINGED BATS – Family Thyropteridae
  416. Peter’s Disk-winged Bat  ______  (from Nicaragua to eastern Amazonian Brazil, in lowland forest and fruit groves)  
    Thyroptera discifera

  417. Spix’s Disk-winged Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Amazonian Brazil, in lowland and mid-elevation forest and regrowth areas)
    Thyroptera tricolor
    THUMBLESS BATS – Family Furipteridae
  418. Thumbless Bat  ______  (from Costa Rica to eastern Brazil, locally in lowland forest) 
    Furipterus horrens
    FUNNEL-EARED BATS – Family Natalidae
  419. Mexican Funnel-eared Bat  ______  (in eastern Brazil, and from Mexico to Panama, and the West Indies, in lowland and mid-elevation forest)
    Natalus stramineus
    FREE-TAILED BATS – Family Molossidae
  420. Cinnamon Dog-faced Bat  ______  (from Venezuela to eastern Brazil, in lowland forest and thorn scrub)
    (formerly Molossops) abrasus

  421. Greenhall’s Dog-faced Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in forest and clearings, usually near water) 
    Molossops greenhalli

  422. Southern Dog-faced Bat  ______  (from Panama to southern Brazil, in lowland forest and savannas)
    (formerly Molossops) planirostris

  423. Rufous Dog-faced Bat  ______  (in Amazonian Brazil, and in Suriname and Peru) 
    Molossops neglectus

  424. Dwarf Dog-faced Bat  ______  (from Colombia to southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, in thorn scrub and chaco habitat)
    Molossops temminckii

  425. Mato Grosso Dog-faced Bat  ______  (in Amazonian & eastern Brazil, locally in arid rocky habitats and the caatinga habitat)
    Molossops matogrossensis

  426. Brazilian (or MexicanFree-tailed Bat  (ph)  ______  (from the southern US to southern Brazil and central Argentina, locally in dry open areas and forests) 
    Tadarida brasiliensis 

    Brazilian (or Mexican) Free-tailed Bat

  427. Peale’s Free-tailed Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southeastern Brazil) 
    Nyctinomops aurispinosus

  428. Broad-eared Bat  ______  (from Panama to southern Brazil and northern Argentina; also from mexico to Honduras, and Cuba, in dry forest and scrub) 
    Nyctinomops laticaudatus

  429. Big Free-tailed Bat  ______  (from the southern US to northwest Argentina and Uruguay, in rocky canyons)
    Nyctinomops macrotis

  430. Black Bonneted Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in forest and savannas)
    Eumops auripendulus

  431. Dwarf Bonneted Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in lowland dry deciduous forest & scrub)
    Eumops bonariensis

  432. Wagner’s Bonneted Bat  ______  (from Florida and Mexico to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina, also Cuba & Jamaica, in lowland forest, scrub, and built areas) 
    Eumops glaucinus

  433. Sanborn’s Bonneted Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Amazonian Brazil, in rainforest and forest edge)
    Eumops hansae

  434. Western Bonneted Bat  ______  (from the southern US to southern Brazil, in rocky canyons)
    Eumops perotis

  435. Brown Mastiff Bat  ______  (from Venezuela to southern Brazil, in forest)
    Promops nasutus

  436. Black Mastiff Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil, in forest, scrub, and built areas)
    Molossus ateer

  437. Barnes’ Mastiff Bat  ______   (in Brazil and French Guiana)
    Molossus barnesi

  438. Velvety (or Pallas’s) Free-tailed Bat  (ph)  ______  (from Florida and Mexico to southern Brazil and Uruguay, in forest and built areas)
    Molossus molossus  

    Velvety Free-tailed Bat 

    VESPER BATS – Family Vespertilionidae

  439. Brazilian Brown Bat  ______  (from Mexico to Uruguay and northern Argentina, in forest and forest edge)
    Eptesicus brasiliensis

  440. Diminutive Serotine  ______  (in eastern Brazil, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and southeastern Paraguay; also Venezuela, in forest)  
    Eptesicus dimninutus

  441. Tadde’s Serotine  (BRe)  ______  (a newly-described species, in 2006)
    Eptesicus taddeii

  442. Argentine Brown Bat  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in forest and forest clearings)
    Eptesicus furinalis

  443. Big Brown Bat  ______  (from Canada to northern Brazil, at forest edge)
    Eptesicus fuscus

  444. Strange Big-eared Brown Bat  ______  (in southeast Brazil and Uruguay)
    Histiotus alienus

  445. Tropical Big-eared Brown Bat  ______  (in eastern Brazil, southern Uruguay, southeastern Paraguay, and northern Argentina in Misiones)
    Histiotus velatus

  446. Central American Yellow Bat  ______  (from Mexico to eastern Brazil, in forest, clearings, and built areas)
    Rhogeessa tumida

  447. Southern Yellow Bat  ______  (from Texas to southern Brazil and central Argentina, in lowland scrub and foothill forest)
    Lasiurus ega

  448. Hoary Bat  ______  (from Canada to Guatemala and Colombia to southern Chile, central Argentina, and Uruguay, in forest)
    Lasiurus cinereus

  449. Ebony Bat  (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, in Sao Paulo, in Parque Estadual da Ihla do Cardoso; has been known from a single specimen)
    Lasiurus ebenus

  450. Big Red Bat  ______  (in southern Brazil, French Guiana, eastern Panama; there are very few records)
    Lasiurus egregius

  451. Silver-haired Myotis  ______  (from Mexico to Uruguay and northern Argentina, in lowland and mid-elevation forest)
    Myotis albescens

  452. Yellowish Myotis  (*)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, and Uruguay, north & central Argentina, and south-central Bolivia, in open areas and forest clearings)
    Myotis levis

  453. Riparian Myotis  (*)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, and in Uruguay, northeast Argentina, and Paraguay north to Honduras)
    Myotis riparius

  454. Red Myotis  ______  (in southeast Brazil, northeast Argentina, and Paraguay)
    Myostis ruber

  455. Velvety Myotis  ______  (from Colombia and Amazonian Brazil to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina, in lowland rainforest) 
    Myotis simus

  456. Black Myotis  (*)  ______  (from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, in forest and built areas)
    Myotis nigricans
    MARMOSETS & TAMARINS – Family Callitrichidae
  457. Pied Tamarin  (t1) (BRe) (*) ______  AM  (has been called Pied Bare-faced Tamarin)
    Saguinus bicolor 
    (now considered a distinct species)
    In previous taxonomy, there were 3 subspecies of what was called the Brazilian Bare-faced Tamarin.
    These were:
    Pied Bare-faced TamarinSaguinus bicolor bicolor,
    Martin’s Bare-faced TamarinSaguinus bicolor martinsi,
    Ochraceous Bare-face TamarinSaguinus bicolor ochraceous.
    The Pied Bare-faced Tamarin  (seen during the FONT 2005 Brazil Tour) is restricted to a 30 kilometer radius of Manaus.
    The other 2 species (or subspecies) probably range between the lower Rivers Uatuma and Cumina (Erepecuru); their range limits are not precisely known.
    BR: Sauim  (or Sagui de Cara Nua or Sagi de Duascores)

  458. Brown-mantled Tamarin  ______  (in north & west Brazil, and in southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, and northern Bolivia, in dense forest) (has  been called Saddle-backed Tamarin)
    Saguinus fuscicollis

  459. Emperor Tamarin  ______  (in western Brazil, and eastern Peru, in dense lowland rainforest of the Amazon basin) 
    Saguinus imperator

  460. Mottle-faced Tamarin  ______ (in northwest Brazil, and in southeast Colombia, between the Rivers Japura & Negro)
    Saguinus inustus

  461. White-lipped Tamarin  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, and in northern Bolivia, between the Rivers Solimoes and Japura and between the Rivers Purus and Madeira, in rainforest and regrowth areas)  
    Saguinus labiatus

  462. Martins’s Tamarin  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Martin’s Bare-faced Tamarin (in north-central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Uatuma and Erepecuru, north of the River Amazonas) 
    Saguinus martinsi 
     (see note above with Pied Tamarin)

  463. White-mantled Tamarin  (BRe)  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil in Acre, between then upper Rivers Jurua and Tarauaca)
    Saguinus melanoleucus

  464. Red-handed Tamarin  (*)  ______   AM  (in northern Amazonian Brazil, east of the River Negro, and from Guyana to French Guiana, in terra firme rainforest)
    Saguinus midas

  465. Moustached Tamarin  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, between the lower Rivers Huallaga and Madeira south of the River Solimoes, and in northeast Peru, in the rainforest of the Amazon basin)  
    Saguinus mystax

  466. Black Tamarin  (BRe)  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil, between the River Xingu and the coast, south of the River Amazonas, and on Marajo Island)
    Saguinus niger

  467. Black-mantled Tamarin ______  (in northwest Brazil, and in Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, in rainforest of the Amazon basin)
    Saguinus nigricollis

  468. Red-capped Tamarin  (BRe)  ______   (in western Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Tefe and Purus, south of the River Solimoes to the Rivers Pauini or Marmoria) 
    Saguinus pileatus

  469. Superagui Lion Tamarin (t1) (BRe)  ______  (has been called Black-faced Lion Tamarin) (in southeast Brazil, in Parana and Sao Paulo in the region of the Rivers Sebui and Dos Patos, Superagui Island, and Cananeia) 
    Leontopithecus caissara

  470. Golden-headed Lion Tamarin  (t2) (BRe) (ph)   ______  (in east-central Brazil, in northeast Minas Gerais and southern Bahia, very locally between the Rivers Contas & Jequitinhonha) 
    Leontopithecus chrysomeias 

    Golden-headed Lion Tamarin

  471. Black Lion Tamarin  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, only in two small remnant forest patches in Sao Paulo state) 
    Leontopithecus chrysopygus

  472. Golden Lion Tamarin  (t2) (BRe)  ______  (in southeast Brazil, in a few isolated forest patches in Rio de Janeiro state)
    Leontopithecus rosalia

    Genus CALLITHRIX:  Marmosets

  473. Rio Acari Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, from the lower River Acari to between the Rivers Aripuana & Juruena and between Rivers Acari & Sucunduri) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) acariensis

  474. Silvery Marmoset  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil in Para, between the Rivers Tapajos & Tocantins in forest; also in western Brazil and eastern Bolivia) 
    Callithrix argentata

  475. Buffy-tufted Marmoset  (t2) (BRe) (*) ______  SE  (formerly one of the subspecies of the Tufted-eared Marmoset) (in southeast Brazil, in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo)
    Callithrix aurita
    BR: Sauim  
    (or Sagui)

  476. Golden-and-white Marmoset  (BRe) ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, right bank of lower River Madeira-Aripuana north to River Amazons)
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) chrysoleuca

  477. Emilia’s Marmoset  (BRe) ______  (in southern Amazonian Brazil, locally between the upper Rivers Jamari and Xingu in Rondonia and northern Mato Grosso, in forest)
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) emiliae

  478. Buffy-headed Marmoset  (t2) (BRe) (*) (ph)  ______  MN  (formerly one of the subspecies of the Tufted-eared Marmoset) (in east-central Brazil, locally in Minas Gerais, in southern Espiritu Santo, and Rio de Janeiro)
    Callithrix flaviceps
    BR: Sauim 
     (or Sagui)


    A Buffy-headed Marmoset photographed during the FONT tour
    in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in March 2008
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  479. Black-tailed Marmoset (*)  ______   MT  (formerly a subspecies of the Silvery Marmoset) (in west & central Brazil, and in northern Bolivia and northern Paraguay, in forest)
    Callithrix melanura
    BR: Sauim 
     (or Sagui Branco)
  480. White-headed Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil, in Minas Gerais and Espiritu Santo, between the Rivers Itaunas & Jucu)
    Callithrix geoffroyi
    BR: Mico-de-cara-branca
  481. Santarem Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, in Amazonas and Para, between the Rivers Maues and Tapajos, in rainforest) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) humeralifera

  482. Dwarf Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, between the lower Rivers Madeira and Aripuana and east of the River Atininga) (was called Roosmalen’s Dwarf Marmoset)   
    Callibella (formerly Callithrix) humilis

  483. Aripuana Marmoset  (BRe) ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, near the mouth of the River Guariba, a tributary of the River Aripuana) (has been called Hershkovitz’s Marmoset)
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) intermedia

  484. White-tufted (or CommonMarmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in northeast Brazil, in Piaui, Ceara, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, and northern Bahia)
    Callithrix jacchus 

    The White-tufted Marmoset originally occurred along the northeastern coast of Brazil from the state of Piaui to that of Bahia.
    Through the release of captive individuals, it also occurs now in southeastern Brazil, where the first sighting in the wild in Rio de Janeiro was in 1929. Today it is common in the area of that city.
    The White-tufted Marmoset was described by Linnaeus in 1758.

    White-tufted Marmoset

  485. Wied’s Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil, in southern Bahia and extreme northwestern Minas Gerais, between the Rivers de Contas and Jequitinhonha)
    Callithrix kuhlii


    Wied’s Marmoset

  486. White Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, in Para, between the Rivers Jamanxim and Cupari on the right bank of the River Tapajos) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) leucippe

  487. Manicore Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, in the region of the River Manicore) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) manicorensis

  488. Marca’s Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, near the mouth of the River Castanho, a tributary of the River Roosevelt)
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) marcai

  489. Maues Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Uraria-Abacaxis and Maues-Acu, in dense primary rainforest) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) mauesi

  490. Black-headed Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, very locally east of the River Madeira-Jiparana, and probably as far as the River Dos Marmelos)  
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) nigriceps

  491. Black-tufted Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in northeast & east-central Brazil, from Maranhao to Goias and Bahia)
    Callithrix penicillata

  492. Pygmy Marmoset  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil east tot he Rivers Caqueta and Madeira, and in eastern Ecuador and northeast Peru, in seasonally flooded and riparian forest)  
    Callithrix pygmaea

  493. Satere Marmoset  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Canuma and Abacaxix, south of the River Parana-Uraria) 
    Mico (formerly Callithrix) saterei

  494. Goeldi’s Marmoset  ______  (in western Brazil, and in southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, northwestern Peru, and northwestern Bolivia, in scrubby, terre firme forest of the Amazon basin)  
    Callimico goeldii  (the single member of its genus) 
    NEW WORLD MONKEYS – Family Atelidae

    Genus SAIMIRI:  Squirrel Monkeys

  495. Common Squirrel Monkey  ______  (in northern Brazil, and from Colombia to French Guiana and south to northeast Peru, in lowland riparian forests and mangroves)   
    Saimiri sciureus
    BR: Macaco-de-cheiro or Boca Preta

  496. Black-capped Squirrel Monkey  ______  (in southwest Brazil, and in Bolivia & eastern Peru, in the Amazon Basin) 
    Saimiri boliviensis

  497. Bare-eared Squirrel Monkey  (BRe) (*)  ______  AM  (in central Amazonian Brazil, south of the River Amazonas-Solimoes, in Amazonas, Rondonia, and Para)
    Saimiri ustus
    BR: Macaco-de-cheiro or Boca Preta

  498. Black Squirrel Monkey  (BRe)  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Solimoes and Japura)
    Saimiri vanzolinii
    Genus ALOUATTA:  Howler Monkeys
  499. Black Howler Monkey (*) (ph)  ______  MN, MS, MT  (in south-central Brazil, and in eastern Bolivia south to Paraguay and northeast Argentina, in forests) 
    Alouatta caraya
    BR: Guariba or Bugio
    (male: black; female: brown)

    Above: male Black Howler Monkey
    Below: female Black Howler Monkey
    Photographed during our tour in Mato Grosso do Sul
    in September 2006. 


  500. Amazon Black Howler Monkey  (BRe)  ______  (in central & eastern Amazonian Brazil, both north and south of the River amazonas, east of the River Trombetas and Purus, in forest)
    Alouatta nigerrima

  501. Red-handed Howler Monkey  (BRe) (*) ______  AF  (in central Brazil, between the Rivers Madeira and Marajo Island, south of the River Amazonas east to Alagoas) 
    Alouatta belzebul
    BR: Guariba

  502. Maronhao Red-handed Howler Monkey  (BRe)  ______  (in northeast Brazil)  (was split from the Red-handed Howler Monkey in 2009)
    Alouatta ululata

  503. Brown Howler Monkey  (*) (ph)  ______   MN, SE  (in east-central and southeast Brazil, from Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul, and in northeast Argentina in Misiones, in Atlantic Forest)
    Alouatta guariba 
    (formerly A. fusca)
    BR: Bugio  
    Howler Monkeys are locally called “Barbados”, or “Beards”, in Minas Gerais, because of the long hair covering their large throat sacs.)    
     ABOVE:  A male Brown Howler Monkey photographed
    during the FONT tour in Minas Gerais, Brazil in October 2009
    BELOW:  2 Brown Howler Monkeys during that same tour.
    This species is endangered, found only in remnants of the
    Atlantic Forest of Southeast Brazil.
    (both photos by Marie Gardner)


  504. Guianan Red Howler Monkey  (*) ______  AM  (split from the Venezuelan Red Howler Monkey, Alouatta seniculus) (in north-central Amazonian Brazil, and from Guyana to French Guiana, in forest) 
    Alouatta macconnelli
    BR: Guariba 
  505. Venezuelan Howler Monkey  ______  (in northwestern Brazil and in Colombia and Venezuela, in forest) (species described by Linnaeus in 1766)
    Alouatta seniculus

  506. Bolivian Red Howler Monkey  ______  (in southwest Brazil, and in southern Peru & Bolivia, in forest)
    Alouatta sara
    Genus PITHECIA:  Saki Monkeys

  507. White-footed Saki  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the lower Rivers Juruaq and Purus, soth of the River Solimoes, in primary forest) (has been called Buffy Saki)
    Pithecia albicans

  508. Monk Saki ______  (in western Brazil, and southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, and northern Peru, in lowland rainforests of the upper Amazon basin between the Rivers Japura-Caqueta and Jurua)
    Pithecia monachus

  509. Rio Tapajos Saki  ______  (in central & southwestern Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Jurua and Tapajos; also in the Amazon Basin in southern Peru & northern Bolivia) (has been called Gray Monk Saki)
    Pithecia irrorata

  510. White-faced Saki  ______  (in north-central Brazil, and eastern Venezuela to French Guiana, in terra firme rainforest south to the River Amazonas) (has been called Guianan Saki)
    Pithecia pithecia
    Genus CHIROPATES:  Saki Monkeys
  511. White-nosed Saki (t3) (BRe) (*) ______  AF, AM  (has been called White-nosed Bearded Saki) (in central Brazil, between the Rivers Madeira and Xingu, south of the River Amazonas, south to Mato Grosso, in undisturbed terra firme rainforests)
    Chiropates albinasus
    BR: Cuxiu 
    or Piroclucu
  512. Black Bearded Saki  (t2) (BRe)  ______  (in northeast Brazil in Maranhao, in lowland rainforest of the Amazon basin) 
    Chiropates satanas 

    The dark-nosed bearded sakis were split in 2003 into the following species in addition to Chiropates satanas. Previously these were considered subspecies.

  513. Red-backed Bearded Saki  ______
    Chiropotes chiropotes

  514. Brown-backed Bearded Saki  ______
    Chiropotes israelita

  515. Guianan Bearded Saki  ______
    Chiropotes sagulatus

  516. Uta Hick’s Bearded Saki  (BRe)  ______
    Chiropates utahickae
    Genus CACAJAO:  Uakari Monkeys

  517. Bald Uakari  ______  (in west-central Brazil, and northern Peru, between the Rivers Ucayali and Jurua south of the River Solimoes, in primary swamp forests) (has been called Red Uakari
    Cacajao calvus

  518. Black-headed Uakari  ______  (in northwest Brazil, and in southeast Colombia and extreme southern Venezuela, between the rivers Japura-Apaporis and Negro, north of the River Solimoes, in lowland rainforest) (has been called Black Uakari)
    Cacajao melanocephalus 
  519. Araca Black Uakari  (BRe)  ______  (a newly-described species, in 2008)
    Cacajao ayresi
  520. Neblina Uakari  (t3)  ______  (a newly-described species, in 2008) (in far-northern Brazil)
    Cacajao hosomi
    Genus CEBUS:  Capuchins


  521. Tufted Capuchin  (*) ______  AF, AM, MT, MS  (in central Brazil, and from Colombia to French Guiana and south to Peru, in forests and regrowth areas) (has been called Brown Tufted Capuchin)
    (formerly Cebusapella
    BR: Macaco Prego
  522. Large-headed Capuchin  ______  (in western Brazil)
    Sapajus (formerly Cebusmacrocephalus  (has been considered a subspecies of Cebus apella)     

  523. Crested Capuchin  (BRe)  ______
     (formerly Cebusrobustus  (has been considered a subspecies of Cebus apella

  524. Black-striped Capuchin  (*) ______ IG  (in southern Brazil, and in northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia, in forests)
    Sapajus (formerly Cebuslibidinosus
    BR: Macaco Prego

    Cebus libidinosus has been called the Black-striped Tufted Capuchin. 

  525. Black Capuchin  (BRe)  (*) (ph)  ______  MN, SE  (in the Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil) 
    (formerly Cebusnigritus
    BR: Macaco Prego

    Cebus nigritus has been called the Black-tufted Capuchin.

    A Black Capuchin photographed during the FONT August 2007 tour
    in Southeast Brazil
    (photo by Dan Coleman)

  526. White-fronted Capuchin  ______  (in northwest Brazil, and in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and northern Peru, in forests)
    Cebus albifrons

  527. Kaapori Capuchin  (BRe)  ______  (in Maranhao in northeast Brazil, between the Rivers Gurupi and Pindare)
    Cebus kaapori

  528. Weeper Capuchin  ______  (in northeast Amazonian Brazil, south to the Rivers Negro and Amazonas; also from Colombia to French Guiana, in forests) 
    Cebus olivaceus

  529. Golden-bellied Capuchin  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (very locally in forest remnants in southern Bahia and northern Minas Gerais in east-central Brazil) (was called Golden-bellied Tufted Capuchin
    Cebus xanthosternos

  530. Blond Capuchin  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (species was re-discovered in 2006)
    Cebus queirozi   
    Genus ATELES:  Spider Monkeys

  531. White-fronted Spider Monkey (*) ______  AF  (has been called White-bellied Spider Monkey, was previously merged with the Black Spider Monkey) (in northwest Brazil, and eastern Colombia, southern Venezuela, eastern Ecuador, and northeast Peru, in primary forest in the Amazon basin)   
    Ateles belzebuth  

    BR: Macaco Aranha  (or Coata
  532. White-cheeked Spider Monkey  (t2) (BRe) ______  (in east-central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Tapajos and Tocan Tocantins, south of the lower River Amazonas)
    Ateles marginatus

  533. Red-faced Spider Monkey  ______  (in northeast Amazonian Brazil, and from Guyana to French Guiana, south to the lower River Amazonas and west to the Rio Negro, in undisturbed primary rainforest)
    Ateles paniscus

  534. Peruvian Spider Monkey  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, and in eastern Peru and northern Bolivia east to the River Tapajos and north to the River Solimoes) 
    Ateles chamek
    Genus BRACHYTELES:  Muriqui Monkeys
  535. Northern Muriqui  (t2) (*) (ph)  ______  MN  (split from Southern Muriqui in 1995) (was called “Woolly Spider Monkey”(in east-central Brazil, in remnants of Atlantic Forest in Bahia, eastern Minas Gerais, and Espirito Santo)
    Brachyteles hypoxanthus


    Northern Muriquis photographed during FONT tour in Minas Gerais, Brazil in May 2011
    (photo by Pat Yoder)  The Muriqui, with its Tupi Indian name, is the largest of the monkeys in the New World. The Northern and Southern Muriquis, now considered two species, are not just the biggest New World monkeys, but they are among the rarest of mammals worldwide.
    The Northern Muriqui has a total population of only about 500 individuals.
    It’s been said that the Muriqui is large. How large? Well, they measure up to about 5 feet when they hang suspended with their long arms. And these agile monkeys have a long, grasping, prehensile tail that is strong enough to support their entire body weight as they feed or socialize upside down.

    Something else can be noted about the Muriqui’s anatomy. Due to their diet, which includes leaves in addition to fruits and seeds, they have large intestinal tracts that give both the males and females a “pregnant look”. So while we’ve heard of “pot-bellied pigs”, these, in essence, are “pot-bellied monkeys”.

    During the May 2011 FONT Brazil Tour, we were fortunate to see and hear well a group of Northern Muriquis in a fine forest, in eastern Minas Gerais, that has been preserved because it has been their home.

    In that forest, since the 1980s, the Muriquis have been studied. From the University of Wisconsin, Karen Strier came and spent years doing so. In the 1990s, she wrote a book “Faces in the Forest - The Endangered Muriqui Monkeys of Brazil”, in which she described much of what she learned about the monkeys over the years. The book is well-written and informative.

    The Muriquis are peaceful creatures, almost lacking completely the belligerence that primates, especially social primates, often have.

    Muriquis are social, nearly always in groups, but it is rare for any of them to act aggressively. During more than 1,200 hours of observation during her first year with the Muriquis, Karen logged only a very few interactions that could be considered even remotely aggressive.
    The societies of nearly all social primates in the world are based on dominant relationships. But the Muriquis differ from that typical pattern.
    The most striking feature of Muriqui society is the tolerance that males display toward each other even when relating to females in the group.

    Also, unlike so many social primates in the world, Muriquis don’t groom each other. But they do offer friendly reassurances through touch.
    They may lightly pat each other on the hand or foot when they pass in a feeding or resting tree. There’s a photo in Karen’s book of two wild Muriquis in a tree giving a handshake signifying a friendly greeting. Imagine two monkeys shaking hands!
    And Muriquis embrace. They have a most impressive full-body embrace, in which two or more animals walk or swing toward one another and then flip upside down, so that they are hanging by their tails, face to face, while they wrap their arms and legs around one another. Such embraces occur in a variety of contexts.

    I mentioned that we were fortunate to see AND HEAR the Muriquis. To me, at the time, they had a soft vocalization rather like that of a horse.
    I read later in “Faces in the Forest”” that when the scientists first went to the forest where we were, they asked the local people where the Muirquis were, and the locals took them first to the stables. Listening to the horses whinnying back and forth, they were told to walk in the forest until they “heard horses”.

    There are, in all, about a hundred species of monkeys known to be in Brazil. But among them, the Muriquis are special. It has been written that, as a conservation symbol, the Muriquis are for Brazil as the Giant Panda is for China.

    Another photo of a Northern Muriqui in a remnant of Atlantic Forest in Minas Gerais, Brazil,
    during the FONT tour in May 2011
    (photo by Pat Yoder) 

  536. Southern Muriqui  (t1)  ______  (was called “Woolly Spider Monkey”(in southeast Brazil, in remnants of Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo)
    Brachyteles arachnoides

    The two former subspecies Brachyteles a arachnoides & Brachyteles arachnoides. hypoxanthus became two distinct species in 1995, based on geographical distribution and morphological differences.
  537. Gray Woolly Monkey  ______  (in southern Amazonian Brazil, and southern Peru, in highlands)
    Lagothrix cana

  538. Brown Woolly Monkey  ______  (in northwest Amazonian Brazil, and southeast Colombia, northeast Ecuador, and extreme northern Peru, east to the River Negro and south to the River Solimoes-Napo, in primary rainforest) 
    Lagothrix lagotricha

    The Brown Woolly Monkey is the largest primate in Amazonia, aside from Man.

  539. Silvery Woolly Monkey  ______  (in extreme western Amazonian Brazil, and eastern Ecuador and northern Peru, east to the River Jurua)
    Lagothrix poeppigii
    Genus CALLICEBUS:  Titi Monkeys
  540. Atlantic Titi  (t3) (BRe) (*) (ph)  ______  MN  (has been called Masked Titi) (in east-central Brazil, in Atlantic Forests of east-central Minas Gerais, southern Espiritu Santo and northeast Rio de Janeiro) 
    Callicebus personatus
    BR: Sahui Guacu 
     (or Saua or Guigo)


    A Masked (or Atlantic) Titi photographed during a FONT tour
    in Minas Gerais, Brazil in October 2009

    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  541. Black-fronted Titi  (was a subspecies of what was an expanded Masked Titi) (t3) (BRe) (*) ______  SE  (in southeast Brazil, in Atlantic Forests of southern Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and southwest Rio de Janeiro) 
    Callicebus nigrifrons
    BR: Sahui Guacu  
    (or Saua or Guigo
  542. Baptista Lake Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the lower Rives Madeira and Uira-Curupa, south of the River Amazonas)
    Callicebus baptista

  543. Barbara Brown’s Titi  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (has been called Blond Titi (in east-central Brazil, locally in remnant forests of northern Bahia, between the Rivers Sao Francisco and Paraguacu)  
    Callicebus barbarabrownae

  544. Prince Bernard’s Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Madeira-Jiparana and Aripuana-Roosevelt)
    Callicebus bernhardi

  545. Brown Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in south-central Amazonian Brazil, between the upper Rivers Madeira and Jiparana)
    Callicebus brunneus

  546. Chestnut-bellied Titi  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Booted Titi)  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the lower Rivers Purus-Ipixuna and Madeira, south of the river Solimoes)  
    Callicebus caligatus

  547. Ashy Black Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, east of the lower Rivers Aripuana and Roosevelt, south of the River Madeira) 
    Callicebus cinerascens

  548. Coimbra Filho’s Titi  (t1) (BRe)  ______  (in northeast Brazil, in Sergipe and extreme northeast Bahia; in Atlantic coastal forests between the lower River Sao Francisco and Itapicuru)
    Callicebus coimbrai

  549. Coppery Titi  ______  (in west-central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Ucayali and Purus, south of the River Solimoes; also in northern Peru)
    Callicebus cupreus

  550. White-eared Titi  ______
    Callicebus donaco[hilus 

  551. Hershkovitz’s Titi  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Dubious Titi)  (in west-central Amazonian Brazil, between the upper Rivers Purus and Madeira-Madre do Dios)
    Callicebus dubius

  552. Hoffmanns’ Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Parana do Uraria and the lower Tapajos)
    Callicebus hoffmannsi

  553. Lucifer Titi  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, and in southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, and northeast Peru, between the Rivers Japura-Caqueta and Solimoes-Napo)  
    Callicebus lucifer

  554. Black Titi  ______  (in northwest Amazonian Brazil, and in eastern Colombia and southern Venezuela, south to the Rivers Caqueta and Negro-Uaupes)
    Callicebus lugens

  555. Coastal Black-handed Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in east-central Brazil, in Atlantic coastal forests of southeast Bahia and northern Espirito Santo)
    Callicebus melanochir

  556. Red-bellied Titi  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Dusky Titi)  (in eastern-central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Tapajos and Tocantins-Araguaia, south of the lower River Amazonas) 
    Callicebus moloch 

  557. White-coated Titi  ______  (in south-central Brazil, in Mato Grosso do Sul, in the Pantanal region; also in Paraguay) 
    Callicebus pallescens

  558. Rio Purus Titi  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Red-crowned Titi) (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Jurus and Purus-Tapaua, south of the River Solimoes)
    Callicebus purinus

  559. Red-headed Titi  (BRe)  ______  (has been called Kinglet Titi)  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Javari and Jurus, south of the River Solimoes) 
    Callicebus regulus

  560. Stephen Nash’s Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in west-central Amazonian Brazil; range not well known, probably between the middle Rivers Purus and Madeira)
    Callicebus stephennashi

  561. Collared Titi  (BRe)  ______  (in central Amazonian Brazil, between the Rivers Negro-Uaupes and Solimoes-Japura-Apaporis) 
    Callicebus torquatus
    Genus AOTUS:  Night Monkeys

  562. Feline Night Monkey  ______  (in eastern Amazonian Brazil between the Rivers Tapajos–Juruena and Tocantins; also south to Bolivia, Paraguay, and northeast Argentina) 
    Aotus infulatus  (has been a subspecies of Aotus azarai, the Azara’s Night Monkey)

  563. Nancy Ma’s Night Monkey  ______  (in western Amazonian Brazil, northwest of the River Jurua, and in northeast Peru)
    Aotus nancymaae

  564. Black-headed Night Monkey  ______  (in western & central Amazonian Brazil, south of the River Solimoes and west of the River Tapajos-Juruena; also in eastern Peru) 
    Aotus nigriceps

  565. Three-striped Night Monkey  ______  (in north-central Brazil, and in eastern Colombia, southern Venezuela, and Guyana) 
    Aotus trivirgatus

  566. Spix’s Night Monkey  ______  (in northwest Amazonian Brazil, north of the River Solimoes and west of the River Negro)
    Aotus vociferans 
    RIVER DOLPHINS – Family Platanistidae
  567. Amazon (or PinkRiver Dolphin  (*) ______  AM
    Inia geroffrensis
    BR: Boutu 
    or  Boto
  568. La Plata Dolphin (or Franciscana (t3)  ______  (occurs along the South Atlantic coast from Ubatuba in Brazil to the Peninsula Valdez in Argentina, including the Rio de la Plata estuary)  
    Pontoporia blainvillei  (has been put in its own family: Pontoporiidae)

    Taxonomically, Pontoporia blainvillei is a member of the River Dolphin group. It is the only one that actually lives in the ocean and in saltwater estuaries, rather than inhabiting exclusively freshwater systems.
    Franciscana is the Argentine and Uruguayian name that has been adopted internationally, The Brazilian common name is Toninha.   

    MARINE DOLPHINS – Family Delphinidae
  569. Tucuxi  (*)  ______  AM  (or “Gray Dolphin”)
    Sotalia fluviatilis
    BR: Tucuxi

    The Tucuxi is found in South American rivers draining into the Atlantic & the Caribbean. It occurs throughout the entire Amazon River basin, and also in coastal waters north to Panama, occasionally to Costa Rica.

  570. Costero  ______
    Sotalia guianensis

  571. Common Bottlenose Dolphin  (*) (ph)  ______  RS
    Tursiops truncatus

    Common Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen during FONT Brazil tours from shore by a rock jetty extending about 2 miles out to sea, in Rio Grande do Sul. 

  572. Long-beaked Common Dolphin  ______ 
    Delphinus capensis

  573. Pygmy Killer Whale  ______
    Feresa attenuata

  574. Short-finned Pilot Whale  (ph)  ______
    Globicephala macrorhynchus

  575. Long-finned Pilot Whale  (ph)  ______ 
    Globicephala melas

  576. Risso’s Dolphin  (ph)  ______
    Grampus griseus

  577. Fraser’s Dolphin  (ph)  ______
    Lagenodelphis hosei

  578. Killer Whale (or Orca) (ph)  ______
    Orcinus orca

  579. Melon-headed Whale  ______
    Peponocephala electra

  580. False Killer Whale  ______
    Pseudorca crassidens

  581. Pantropical Spotted Dolphin  ______
    Stenella attenuata

  582. Clymene Dolphin  (ph)  ______
    Stenella clymene

  583. Striped Dolphin  ______
    Stenella coeruleoalba

  584. Spinner Dolphin  ______
    Stenella longirostris

  585. Rough-toothed Dolphin  ______
    Steno bredanensis
    PORPOISES – Family Phocoenidae
  586. Burmeister’s Porpoise  ______
    Phocoena spinipinnis

  587. Spectacled Porpoise  ______
    Phocoena dioptrica
    SPERM WHALE – Family Physeteridae
  588. Sperm Whale  (ph)  ______
    Physeter macrocephalus
    RIGHT WHALES – Family Balaenidae
  589. Southern Right Whale  ______
    Eubalaena australis
    RORQUALS – Family Balaenopteridae
  590. Antarctic Minke Whale  ______
    Balaenoptera bonaerensis

  591. Sei Whale  ______
    Balaenoptera borealis

  592. Bryde’s Whale  ______
    Balaenoptera brydei

  593. Blue Whale  (ph)  ______
    Balaenoptera musculus

  594. Fin Whale  (ph)  ______
    Balaenoptera physalus

  595. Humpback Whale  (ph)  ______
    Megaptera novaeangliae
    PECCARIES – Family Tayassuidae
  596. White-lipped Peccary  (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MT, MS, SE
    Tayassu pecari  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Queixada


    White-lipped Peccary

  597. Collared Peccary  (*) (ph)  ______  MT
    Pecari tajacu  

    BR: Catitu
  598. Giant Peccary  (BRe)  ______  (a newly-described species, in 2007)
    Pecari maximus
    DEER – Family Cervidae

  599. Marsh Deer  (t3) (*) (ph)  ______  MS, MT
    Blastocerus dichotomus  
    (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Cervo do Pantanal


    Above: A Marsh Deer (& a Giant Cowbird) photographed during our
    Brazil tour in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2006.
    Below: A Marsh Deer photographed during our tour there in March 2008.
    (photo below by Marie Gardner)

  600. Pampas Deer  (*) (ph)  ______  MN, MT
    Ozotoceros bezoarticus 
     (the single member of its genus)
    BR: Veado-campeiro 


    Pampas Deer

  601. Gray Brocket (Deer)  (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MS, MT, RS
    Mazama gouazoubira
    BR: Veado-catingueiro, or Veado-vira


    A Gray Brocket Deer photographed during the FONT Brazil tour
    in Mato Grosso do Sul in March 2008
    (photo by Marie Gardner) 

  602. Red Brocket (Deer) (*) ______  AF, MS, MT  
    Mazama americana
    BR: Veado-mateiro 
  603. Pygmy Brocket (Deer) (*) ______  IG  (also called Bororo
    Mazama nana
    BR: Veado

    The Pygmy Brocket Deer is rare in a small geographic range. 

  604. Sao Paulo Bororo  (t3) (BRe)  ______
    Mazama bororo

    In 1992, Mazama bororo was reported to a be new species. That classification was predominantly based upon karyotype differences between other Mazama species and the specimen found. The captive individual used for the analysis was from Capao Bonito, in Sao Paulo state.
    Mazama bororo has a small population, and is said to be declining due to hunting and habitat loss. The total population has been estimated as 5,500 individuals, with mature animals being a fraction of the number. It is limited to the Coastal Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Though small, the population area of Mazama bororo has more than 3,600 square kilometers of protected areas, a number of which are connected with each other, forming one of the biggest blocks of Atlantic Forest in Brazil.
  605. White-tailed Deer  (ph)  ______  (in northern Brazil)
    Odocoileus virginianus

    TAPIRS – Family Tapiridae
  606. Brazilian Tapir  (t3) (*) (ph)  ______  AF, MS, MT 
    Tapirus terrestris
    BR: Anta

    Above: a young Brazilian Tapir
    Below: an adult and a young
    The photo below was taken at a animal scientific research facility
    in Paraguay during a FONT tour (mostly in Brazil) in August 2008.
    This tapir is an endangered species in Paraguay.
    (lower photo by Pamela Sims)

    MANATEES – Family Trichechidae

  607. Amazonian Manatee  (t3) (*)  ______  AM
    Trichechus inunguis

Some Notes regarding Mammals during FONT Tours in Brazil:

During the FONT Brazil Tour in Mato Grosso do Sul during September 2006, mammals seen during one night’s “safari” included: a Jaguar, 7 Ocelots, a Pantanal Cat, a Maned Wolf, 2 Brazilian Tapirs, and a number of Giant Anteaters in addition to Marsh Deer, Brocket Deer, Yellow Armadillo, Tapiti (or Brazilian Rabbit), many Capybaras, Crab-eating Fox, Crab-eating Raccoon, and various bats (along with an assortment of nocturnal birds: owls & nightjars).

The very rare Pied Bare-faced Tamarin was seen near Manaus during our August/September 2005 tour in Amazonia.

As many as 5 Brazilian Tapirs were seen by the Rio Cristalino (in northern Mato Grosso) during our August 1995 tour.

Both adult and juvenile (larger and smaller) Giant Otters were seen during FONT tours in the Rio Cristalino in August 1996, and in the Pantanal in August 2003.
Two Giant Otters were seen closely during the FONT Brazil tour in August 2008. They were first seen resting on the steps of a wooden dock along a river’s edge. 



  1. Spectacled Caiman (*) ______  AF, MS, MT, RS 
    Caiman crocodilus yacare
    (including the Jacare Caiman subspecies in the Pantanal)

    A Spectacled Caiman photographed during our tour in Mato Gross do Sul
    in September 2006.
    Below is a Caiman in Brazil vertically in the water..  

  2. Green Iguana (*) ______ mt
    Iguana iguana

  3. Golden (or Black) Tegu (*) ______  MS, MT, RS
    Tupinambus teguixin

  4. Common Anaconda (*) ______  MS, MT
    Eunectes murinus


    An Anaconda in the water

  5. Striped Sharpnose Snake (*) ______  MT
    Xenoxybelis argenteus
  6. bright green snake (sp.) (*) ______  AF
    (swimming across Rio Cristalino)
  7. Cobra d’Agua  (*) ______  MS
    Hydrodynastes gryas

  8. Cobra Cipo  (*)  ______  MS
    Philodryas nattereri

  9. Marine Toad (*) ______  MT, SE  (also called Giant Toad or Cane Toad)
    Bufo marinus

  10. other toads (including Ultramarine) (*) ______ 
  11. South American Caecilian (also called Ringed Blue Caecilian) (*) ______  MN
    (“leg-less lizard”)
    Siphonops annulatus

  12. Helicopter Damselfly (*) ______  AF
    Mecitogaster ornata

  13. Brazilian Morpho Butterfly (*) ______  AF
    Morpho deidamia

  14. Sulphur Butterfly (*) ______  AF
    Phoebis sp.

  15. Amphione Dismorpha Butterfly (*) ______  AF
    Dismorphia amphione

  16. Green Long-winged Butterfly (*) ______  AF
    Philaethria dido

  17. numerous & assorted butterflies (*) ______  AF, IG
  18. Leaf-cutter Ants (*) ______  AF, RS, UG
    Atta sp.

  19. Burchell’s Army Ant (*) ______  AF
    Eciton burchelli

  20. “Fire-ants” (their disturbance attracting many birds) (*) ______  MT 
  21. other ants en masse (with Fire-eyes and Tufted Antshrikes about) (*) ______  SE 
  22. Neotropical Colonial Spider (*) ______  BR
    Anelosimus eximus ”
    (seen late in the afternoon)
  23. a beautiful sunset over Iguacu Falls (*) ______ IG

See also


  1. Jump up^ “Amazon – World’s largest tropical rain forest and river basin”World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Palmerlee, Danny (2007). South America on a Shoestring.Lonely Planet Publications. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-74104-443-0.OCLC 76936293.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Da Silva, M. and D.W. Minter. 1995. Fungi from Brazil recorded by Batista and Co-workers. Mycological Papers 169. CABI, Wallingford, UK. 585 pp.
  4. Jump up^ Chapman, A.D (September 2005). “Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World: A Report for the Department of the Environment and Heritage”Australian Biological Resources Study (Australian Biodiversity Information Services). Archived from the original on 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Marco Lambertini (2000). “A Naturalist’s Guide to the Tropics”. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  6. Jump up^ Ministério do Meio Ambiente. “Lista Nacional das Espécies da Fauna Brasileira Ameaçadas de Extinção” (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2007-06-20.
  7. Jump up to:a b Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Paulo Inácio Prado (June 2005). “How Many Species Are There in Brazil?”. Conservation Biology 19 (3): 619–624.doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00680.x.
  8. Jump up^ Kirk, P.M., P.F. Cannon, D.W. Minter and J. Stalpers. 2008. Dictionary of the Fungi. Edn 10. CABI, Wallingford, UK.
  9. Jump up^ USDA Forest Service website, Forest Service International Programs: Brazil, retrieved February 2007.
  10. Jump up^ “Which is the Biggest Snake?”. Extreme Science. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  11. Jump up^ “Eunectes murinus”Catalogue of Life: 2006 Annual Checklist. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  12. Jump up^ Luiz Ricardo L. Simone. 2006. Land and Freshwater Molluscs of Brazil. Museu de Zoologia Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. 390 pp.ISBN 85-906670-0-6. (book review)
  13. Jump up^ “Goliath Bird Eating Spider”Blue Planet Biomes. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  14. Jump up^ “Brazil in Brief: Natural Resources”. Embassy of Brazil – Ottawa. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  15. Jump up^ Holmes, Bob; Gabrielle Walker (1996-09-21). “How did paradise begin?”.New Scientist. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  16. Jump up^ Renata Chiarini Monteiro. “The Thysanoptera fauna of Brazil”. CSIRO Entomology. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  17. Jump up^ Magellanic Penguin, Organisation for the Conservation of Penguins.
  18. Jump up^ Rantin B., and M.E. Bichuette (2013). Phototactic behaviour of subterranean Copionodontinae Pinna, 1992 catfishes (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae) from Chapada Diamantina, central Bahia, northeastern Brazil. International Journal of Speleology 41(1): 57-63
  19. Jump up^ Levitas, Gloria. “The Amazon’s Kettle of Fish”New York Times, September 11, 1988.
  20. Jump up^ “Fungi of Brazil – potential endemics”. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  21. Jump up to:a b “Pau brasil profile”. Global Trees Campaign. Archived from the original on 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  22. Jump up^ Kirkbride, Joseph H., Jr. (1995-06-11). “Brazil, National flower?”Plantbio Mailing List. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  23. Jump up^ “Tepuis”Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  24. Jump up^ “Visible Earth: The Amazon, Brazil”NASA. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  25. Jump up^ “Places We Work: The Atlantic Forest of Brazil”The Nature Conservancy. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  26. Jump up^ Capobianco, João Paulo. “Biodiversity in the Atlantic Forest”Brazil on CD-ROM and Internet. Ministry of External Relations. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  27. Jump up^ Aljazeera / Brazil’s Ethanol for SugarCane program
  28. Jump up^ “National Bird of Brazil: Sabià – Laranjeiro”. Brazil Travel. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  29. Jump up^ “National Symbols”. Brazilian Embassy in Washington. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-26.


Viscacha ve Çöl


Somon Mucizesi

Engin okyanus ve hava akımları yıl boyunca dramatik değişikliklere sebep olur. Ve bu mevsimsel değişiklikler, bazı özel yerlerde gezegenin en görkemli vahşi doğa merasimlerinden bazılarını oluşturur. Kuzey Amerika’nın batı kıyılarına her yılın bahar aylarında gezegenin en büyük yolcularından biri gelir. Pasifik Okyanusu’ndaki yarım milyardan fazla somon balığı, yolculuklarına başlar ve yumurtlamak için doğduğu nehirlere geri döner. Kıtanın içlerine olan yolculukları esnasında milyonlarca hayvana yiyecek sağlamanın dışında dünyanın en zengin habitatlarından birine hayat verirler.

Okyanusun derinliklerinden doğdukları yüksek yerlere doğru yolculuğa başlayan somon bakıları.

Batı Kanada eyaleti olan İngiliz Kolombiya eyaleti ve Alaska kıyı şeridi olağanüstü dağlarla çevrilidir. Somon balıklarının donmuş dorukların altındaki nehirlere gelmelerine daha aylar varken bile tüm kışı burada uyuyarak geçiren boz ayılar somonları dört gözle bekliyor. Ocak ayında dişiler sıcak mağaralarında doğum yaptılar ve şimdi aile canlanmaya başladı. Yavruların yaşayıp yaşamayacağı tek bir olaya bağlı, somon balıklarının sürü halinde gelmesine. Sonraki ay boyunca ayılar geri dönen somonlarla olan randevularına yoğunlaşacaklar. İlk yılın sonunda hayatta kalmak zor. Yavru boz ayıların yarısı bunu başaramıyor. Alaska ve İngiliz Kolombiya’sı eyaletinde binlerce ayı ailesi kış uykularından kalkarak, gün yüzüne çıkıyor. Burada yiyecek hiçbir şey yok ancak koşullar kış uykusu için uygun, İçinde mağara oluşturulabilecek yoğun kar mevcut. Anne ayılar, yemek bulabilmek için yavrularını karın erimeye başladığı aşağıdaki kıyılara götürmeli. Ancak aşağı inmek küçük yavrular için sorun olabilir. Bu dağlar tehlikelidir.

Yüksek tepelerde ki mağaralarında kış uykusundan uyanan aç ayılar nehirlere doğru inerler.

Şu anda somonlar, uzakta. Denizde geçen yıldan sonra yarım milyar Pasifik somonu evlerine tatlı sulara geri dönüyor. Bir zamanlar doğdukları nehirlere yumurtalarını bırakmak için. Somonların açık denizlerden evlerine dönmeyi nasıl başardıkları halen gizemini koruyor.

Yakınlarda keşfedildiği üzere, somon balıklarının beyninde pusula gibi çalışan küçük demir parçacıkları mevcut. Dünyanın manyetik alanı, bu parçacıkları yönlendirerek balıkların tam olarak nereye gitmeleri gerektiğini gösteriyor. Birçok somon için nihai hedef burası İngiliz Kolombiyası’ndaki Kuzey Amerika kıyıları. Birçok akarsu ve çay üzerinden doğdukları yere geri dönüyorlar. Burada, göl ve su yollarının oluşturduğu ağda dünyada geriye kalan en büyük ılıman yağmur orman alanı yer alır. Güney İngiliz Kolombiya’sından Alaska’ya kadar uzanır. Gezegenimizin en bereketli yaşam alanlarından biridir. Ilıman yağmur ormanı emsali olan tropikal ormanlardan daha fazla canlıya hayat verir.

Dünyanın en temiz sularının ve ormanlarının bulunduğu Kuzey Amerika kıyıları.

Somon balıkları, binlerce yıl boyunca tek bir neden yüzünden buraya döndüler: Tatlı su. Bu sular, dünyanın en temiz sularındandır. İyi ki bu ormanlar var. Ormanların el değmemiş yerlerinde milyonlarca ağaç köküne tutunan toprak suyu filtreleyerek akarsuları temiz ve saf halde tutar. Mayıs ayında, bozayılar somonların gelmesini beklerken yiyecek bulmak için kıyılara inerler. Burası baharın yüzünü gösterdiği ilk yer. Annelerinin sütü dışında beslenemeyen yavrular epeyce büyüdü. Ancak annelerinin en son yemek yemesinin üzerinden ay geçti. Başka yiyeceklere ihtiyaçları var ve yiyecek arayışı hayatlarını tehlikeye atabilir. Bazı erkek ayılar yavruları öldürmeye çalışacak. Üreme mevsimi geldi çattı ve büyük erkek ayılar dişi arıyor. Burada sadece ot ve sazlık olsa bile en azından yiyecek bir şeyler var. Bu yeşillikler, aslında onları aylarca idare edebilir ancak daha besleyici yiyeceklere ihtiyaçları var. Tabii eğer gelecek kış da hayatta kalmalarını sağlayacak kadar yağlanmak istiyorlarsa. Ayılar kıyı boyunca çok daha zengin yiyecekler bulur. Bunlar gömülüdür; ancak ayıların çok keskin koku alma duyuları vardır ve ıslak toprağın altında bile olsa onları bulurlar. Midyeler.

Ayılar ve kurtlar nehirlere inerler. Yeteri kadar balık bulunmadığında ise aç kurtlar ayıları yemeye çalışırlar.

Yemek aramak için sadece ayılar kıyıya inmez. Büyük ormanda, fazlaca gri kurt vardır. Av peşindeyken yavrularını gel-gitin olduğu alanlara bırakırlar. Bir kurt, yavrunun en büyük ağabeyi. Ebeveynler avlanırken kardeşlerine bakıyor. Yavrulara verecek yiyecek yok bu yüzden ne bulursa yiyorlar, kayalara yapışık midyeleri bile. Onlar da ayılar gibi somonların gelmesini bekliyor. Temmuz ayı geldiğinde ayılar gerçekten çok acıkmış olur. Somonlardan hala ses yok. Ve açık sularda aylık yolculuktan sonra somonlar kıyıya geliyor. Kıyıya yaklaştıkça tatlı suyun kokusunu alırlar. Denizlere dökülen binlerce ırmak mevcut ve somonlar, onları doğdukları yere götürecek belli bir ırmağı bulmak zorundadır. Gerçekten de sıra dışı bir koku alma hisleri vardır. Evlerine ait tek bir tatlı su damlasını milyon litrelik deniz suyundan ayırabilirler. Evlerinin suyunu sezdikçe, su altı koridoru görevi gören dar yollara yönelirler. Ancak diğer canlılar da bu koridorlardan haberdar. Katil balinalar. Bol miktarda somon balığı yerler. Aynı şekilde Steller, deniz aslanları da. Özellikle somonla beslenen köpekbalıkları da burada. Ancak bir avcı vardır ki yaklaşırken somonların ruhu bile duymaz. Dazlak kafalı kartal. Kıyılarda yer alan avcıları geçtikten sonra doğdukları ırmağa varmalarını engelleyecek çok az şey vardır. Artık temmuz sonu ve somonlar denizden uzaktaki diyarlarında hazır durumdalar.

Balık avcısı kartal.

Büyük nehir ağızlarında Pasifik Okyanusu’nun somon balığı türü birbirine karışır. Pembe, Chum, Coho, Kırmızı ve Şinuk. Irmak içine göç zorludur. Yumurtaları sadece tatlı suda hayatta kalacak. Ancak temmuz sonunda su seviyesi çoğunlukla, ilk somonların küçük ırmaklara girebilmesi için çok alçaktır. Bu durum onları denemekten alıkoymaz. Ancak onları eve çeken suyun bizzat kendisi sonunda onların ölümüne neden olacak. Böbrekleri ve diğer organları ani tuz eksikliğine alışmaya çalışırken yemeyi ve hatta su içmeyi keserler. Dolayısıyla nehir yukarı yüzmek ve yumurtlamak için sadece vücutlarında saklı bulunan enerji vardır. Bununla beraber, ufak akıntılardaki somonların öncelikle halledilmesi gereken bir problemleri var. Alçak su seviyesi onları, akıntıya karşı olan yolculuklarına daha başlamadan durdurdu. Ancak kıyıları her yıl büyük fırtınalarla silip süpürülür. Kuzey Pasifik’te gökyüzünde devasa bir hortum oluşuyor. Kıyı şeridi ve dağlara doğru hareket halinde. Bulutlar bu muazzam bariyerin üzerine yükseliyor taşımakta olduğu suyu bırakıyor. Büyük orman her yıl 3 metre yağmur suyu alır. Ayıların derileri kalındır ve yoğun yağış onları pek etkilemişe benzemiyor.

Binlerce somon balığı ölümleri pahasına nehirleri tırmanmaya başlıyor.

Dik Rocky dağları yağmur suyunu ırmaklara akıtıyor ve su seviyesi hızla yükseliyor. Somon balıklarının beklediği de buydu. İlk gelen yolcular akıntıya karşı ilerliyor. İlerlemeye başlar başlamaz başka bir sorunla karşılaşırlar. Vücutları sağlam kaslarla donanmıştır ve bu iş için mükemmel bir biçime sahiptir. Bir somon için şelaleleri aşmak bir insanın 4 katlı bir bina üzerinden atlaması gibidir. Ancak birçok şelalede, karşılaştıkları tek şey su değildir. Ayılar, mevsimin ilk gerçek öğününü burada yiyebileceklerini biliyorlar. Fakat hiç de kolay değil. Sıçrayan bir somonu yakalamak marifet gerektirir. Ve genç ayı bu yeteneğe henüz sahip değil. Somonlar bu iş için yaratılmış. İçgüdüsel olarak nehir yukarı, yumurtlama sahalarına doğru yöneliyorlar. Ebeveynleri bunu başardı ve ölüm dışında hiçbir şey aynı yolculuğu tekrarlamalarına engel olamaz. Özellikle dünyaya geldikleri çakıl yığınlarına ulaşmaya çalışıyorlar. Şanslı olanlar içeriye doğru yalnızca birkaç mil gitmek zorunda kalabilir. Ancak diğerleri gerçekten yıldırıcı bir yolculukla yüzleşmek durumundalar. Akıntıya karşı yüzülen, bilinen en uzak mesafe 2000 mildir.

Ayılar hızla hareket eden balıkları avlamaya çalışırlar. Başarılı olamayanlar ise

nehir diplerindeki ölü balıkları birkaç ayak hareketi ile yüzeye çıkararak yiyebilirler.

Yaz yağmurları kısa sürebilir ve yağmur durduğunda su seviyesi kıyı boyunca birçok ırmakta hızla düşer. İlk gelen somonlar bir kez daha sığ sularda mahsur kaldı. Daha da kötüsü artık ayıların bulunduğu topraktalar. Anne ayı ağustos başında balık bulabilmek için ırmaklarda devriye geziyor. Genelde bunun gibi sıska ve çok aç olurlar. Anne ve yavruları, mağaradan çıktıklarından beri bitki dışında hiçbir şey yemediler. Gerçek bir yemeğe ciddi derecede muhtaçlar. Her yaş ve tecrübeden ayı somon bulmak için nehirlere geliyor. Fakat sezonun ilk balığını yakalamak zor. Bu genç ayı halen öğrenme aşamasında. İlk adım: Bir somonu gözüne kestirmek. Yukarıdan bakmak genelde işe yarar. İlk günlerde balık sayısı az ve aralarındaki mesafe çoktur. Ortaya çıktıklarında da çok hızlı hareket ederler. Somonların da saklanacak birçok yeri vardır. Irmaklar sadece kısa çakıl alanlarda sığdır ve bu kısımları hızlıca geçip daha derin havuzlara kaçabilirler. Anne ve yavruları acil ihtiyaçları olan yiyeceğe kavuşmadan önce koşulların değişmesi için biraz daha beklemek zorunda kalacaklar. Ancak somonlar için bu derin su sığınakları birer hapishaneye dönüşmüş durumda. Yağmurun tekrar yağıp harekete geçmeye başlamaları haftalar alabilir.

Vücutları değişmeye başlıyor. Üreme hormonları yumurta ve sperm üretimini teşvik ettikçe derileri renk değiştirir. Bazıları kambur sırt ve çengelli burun oluşturur. Bütün bu değişiklikler fazlasıyla pahalıya mal olur. Balıklar bu havuzlarda daha uzun kaldıkça yumurtlama sahalarına yolculuklarını tamamlama şansı azalır. Sığ sularda çok az şey bulan anne ayı ve yavruları şanslarını somon balığı kaynayan daha derin havuzlarda deniyor. Somonlar çok kolay fark ediliyor. Bol miktarda balığın olduğu bu yerde genç ayı şüphesiz bir şeyler yakalayacaktır. Somonu bulmak sorunun sadece bir parçası.

Şelaleyi geçmek için bekleyen somonlar.

Şelalede somon bekleyen ayılar.

Bir somonun şelaleyi zıplayarak geçmesi bir insanın 4 katlı binanın üzerine zıplaması gibidir.

Somonlar şelale geçerken, yiyecek bekleyen ayılar ise bazen bakakalır bazen yakalarlar.

Ayılar somon yakalamak için onları dere yatağına kıstırmak zorunda. Derin suda hiç de kolay değil. Yaşlı ayılar bu şekilde avlanmanın neredeyse imkansız olduğunu biliyor. Buradaki somonlar ayılara karşı nispeten güvende olsalar da tehlike halen geçmiş değil. Yaz sonu güneşi suyu ısıtıyor, bu nedenle su seviyesi düşüyor ve sudaki oksijen miktarı azalıyor. Daha da kötüleşen bu koşullarda geçirilen zaman etkisini göstermeye başlıyor. Tecrübeli ayılar, gençlere ne yapılacağını gösteriyor. Bu havuzlarda canlı balık yakalamak zor olabilir ancak ölü balıklar da var. Tabii ayılar onlara erişebilirse. Sorun şu ki, ayıların çoğu kulaklarının ıslanmasından hoşlanmaz. Ancak yaşlı ayılar birkaç numara biliyor. Sadece birkaç gösterişli ayak hareketi yeterli.

Göz göre göre balık kaçırmak.

Bu yıl, su seviyeleri bilhassa düşük ve eylül ayıyla beraber somonların başı gerçekten belada. Oksijen yönünden zayıf bu mahsur sularda büyük bir parazit ve enfeksiyon riski mevcut. Bazı yıllar koşullar o kadar kötüleşir ki somonların çoğu yumurtlama sahalarına varmadan önce ölür. İhtiyaçları olan şey biraz daha yağmur. Hem de hemen. Neyse ki bu yıl, güz yağmuru tam zamanında imdada yetişiyor. Somonlar bir kez daha yola koyulabilir. Ancak bu kadar yağmur farklı sorunları da beraberinde getirir. Balıklar çok güçlü akıntılara karşı koymak durumundalar. Somonlar bu hızlı ve çalkantılı suları kendi lehine çevirmeyi bilir. Kuyruklarını seyrekçe çarparak ve suyun enerjisini kullanarak kendilerini ileriye doğru atmayı başarırlar. Aynen yelkencilikte yapılan rüzgarı bir kontradan alıp diğerine değiştirme gibi. Ancak bu, yumurtlama sahalarına giderken ileride başka problemlerle karşılaşmayacakları anlamına gelmiyor. Birçok somon için yolun sonu göründü. Bu ayılar gerçekten de aç. 10 aydır somon yemediler ve büyük erkek ayılar en iyi avlanma yeri için mücadele ediyor. Akıntıya karşı yolculukları uzadıkça daha da güçsüzleşiyorlar. Ve bu şelaleler onları şu ana kadarki en büyük sorunlarıyla yüzleştiriyor. Şelaleler çok uzun olmasa da ayılar yüksek noktalara konumlanıyor. Somonlar ayıların nerede olduğunu görmek için keşif amaçlı kısa sıçramalar yapıyor. Fakat istediklerini her zaman elde edemezler. Bu anne ayı aylarca bu anı bekliyordu. Anne ve yavruları arasında bile bu ilk somonlar için rekabet oldukça serttir. Şelalelerin dibine giderek daha çok somon geliyor. Er ya da geç, tehlikeli bile olsa denemek zorundalar. Ancak sayıları onların lehine. Çünkü yakalanan her bir somon, yüzlercesinin ayıların yanından geçmesini sağlıyor.

Dişi somonlar nehir yataklarına yumurta bırakırken, erkekler yumurta üzerini dölleme işlemi yapar.

Eylül ayının başında somonlar yumurtlama sahalarına, 4 yıl önce doğdukları çakıl araziye varmak üzere. Somon balıkları kara içine doğru çok yol aldı ve tüm Kuzey Amerika kıtasının beşte birinde Kaliforniya’dan Kuzey Kutbu denizine kadar olan alanda bulunabilir. Fakat yolculuk çok pahalıya mal oldu. Yumurtadan çıkan her 1000 balıktan sadece dördü geri dönmeyi başarabildi. Bunu yapabilen somonlar için bile tehlike hala geçmiş değil. Sonunda hedeflerine ulaştılar ancak o kadar yorgun ve yıpranmış haldeler ki çok kolay av haline geliyorlar. Avantaj artık tamamen ayılara geçmiş durumda. O kadar çok balık var ki ayılar artık seçme lüksüne sahip. En uygun yumurtlama alanlarında ırmağın her karışında binlerce somon var. Ayılar 2 ay boyunca midelerini tıka basa dolduracak. Anne ve yavruları, kış için ihtiyaçları olacak ağırlığa artık ulaşabilir. Somon o kadar bol ki yavru ayı bile şansını deniyor. Somonlar ayıların insafına kalmış olsa bile burayı terk etmeyecekler. Doğaları gereği, bir zamanlar doğdukları yerde yumurta bırakmaya yöneliyorlar. Ayılara rağmen yumurta bırakmak için hayatta kalan çok sayıda somon var. Kırmızı somonun göz alıcı rengi üremek için hazır olduklarına işaret ediyor. Erkekler dişilerin arkasında uygun bir pozisyon için birbiriyle savaşıyor. Dişiler yuva olarak sığ bir çukur kazıyor. Erkekler dişilere yaslanarak yumurta bırakmalarını teşvik ediyor. Hazır olduğunda yuva üzerine çöreklenir. Yumurtalarını bırakmaya başlar ve erkek suyun içine bir sperm bulutu salar. Şanslı olanlar yumurtlamak için geri gelmeyi başardı. Bir sonraki nesli tohumlayan yeterince balık var.

Somon yumurtaları birçok canlıya besin sağlar.

Yumurtlama mevsimi tam bir bolluk zamanıdır. Kendi nesillerinin devamını sağlarken diğer canlılara da yiyecek sağlarlar. Bonapart martıları mevsimin en lezzetli yiyeceklerini topluyor, somon yumurtaları. Ayılar için, somonların yumurtlama mevsimi yılın doruk noktasıdır. Ancak somonlar için bu tüm hayatlarının zirve noktasıdır. Buraya ulaşabilenler kalan günlerini başladıkları yerde bitirecek. Uzun yolculuğun yıpratıcı etkileri belirmeye başlıyor. Vücutları haftalar boyunca sürekli bozuldu ve son bir üreme etkinliğinden sonra sonunda tükendiler. Ancak somonların, ölümlerinde bile orman hayvanlarına yararı dokunmaya devam eder. Anne ayı ve yavruları cesetlerden beslenmeye devam eder, kasımda mağaralarının bulunduğu dağa geri dönmeye hazır olana dek. Pasifik somonlarının üremeden sonra neden ölmek zorunda kaldıkları tam olarak anlaşılamamıştır. Atlas Okyanusu somonları bunu yapmaz. Sağ oldukça yumurtlamak için geri gelirler. Ancak Pasifik somonlarının parçalanan bedenleri büyüyen yumurtalarına yiyecek sağlayan nehirleri besler. Somon balıkları için her şey bundan ibarettir. Çektikleri onca sıkıntı, bebek somonların bu güzel turuncu renkteki kürelerden çıktığında; bu inanılmaz yolculuğu tekrarlamasını garanti altına aldı.

Yaratıcının doğa kanunlarında hiçbir şey israf olmaz. Büyük bir mücadele sonrası vazifelerini tamamlayan somonlar öldüklerinde diğer canlılara yem olurlar veya orman zeminlerinde çürüyerek denizden aldıkları zengin minarelleri bitkilerin büyümesi için bırakırlar.

Ancak somonlardan arta kalanlar ırmak ve akıntıların da ötesine uzanır. Devasa bir yaşam ağının tam ortasındadırlar. Büyük ormanda fazlaca canlı türü vardır; somona bağımlı bitki, böcek, kuş ve memeliler. Pasifik somonlarının denizde ve ırmaklarda geçen hayatları arasında gezegenin herhangi bir türünden daha fazla hayat vermesi olasıdır. Ve somon artıkları bir şeye daha fayda sağlar. Balıklar okyanus ve orman arasındaki yegane bağlantıdır. Tatlı suda doğar, denizlerde yaşarlar ve vücutlarını inşa eden elementleri toplarlar. Ayı ve kurtları besledikten sonra son kalıntılar ormana sunulur. Okyanus sularında toplanan nitrojen, karbon ve fosfor ayrışan bedenlerden serbest kalarak Sitka ladini, kırmızı sedir ve batı köknarı gibi ağaçların muazzam boyutlara ulaşmasını sağlayan besinleri sağlar. Somonların yumurta bıraktığı bu kıyı ormanlarında mevcut olan azotun yüzde sekseninin denizden gelen balıkların çürüyen bedenlerinden geldiği biliniyor. Ağaçlar okyanustan yüzlerce mil uzakta yetişebilir ancak yine de bu zenginlikten yararlanır. Büyük ormanın ırmakları kan işlevi gören somonları bir hayvanın damarları gibi her tarafa taşır. Ve hiçbir hayvanın hayatı, somona boz ayıdan daha fazla bağlı olamaz. İyi ki somon bolluğu var. Bu yavrular ilk ve en zor yıllarında hayatta kalmayı başardı. Ayılar kuş uykusuna rahat yatacak tabii Pasifik somonları destansı göçlerini, doğanın muazzam olaylarından birini, devam ettirebildikleri sürece. (BBC)

Azərbaycan’ın Faunası

Heyvanat aləminin Azərbaycanda yayılmasına relyef şəraiti VƏ ona uyğun olan bitki örtüyünün dəyişməsi, su hövzələrinin yerləşməsi təsir edir. Burada mindən çox ali heyvan növü yaşayır. Onların 618 növünü onurğalı heyvanlar, o cümlədən 97 növünü məməlilər təşkil edir. Ölkədə qeydə alınan heyvanların 58 növü sürünənlərdən (5 növ zəhərli ilan), 11 növü suda-quruda yaşayanlardan, 357 növü quşlardan, qalanı onurğasız heyvanlardan ibarətdir. Həşəratların 12 min növü yayılmışdır.

Kür-Araz ovalığında və 500-600 m hündürüyə qədər sahələrdə (yarımsəhra və quru çöllərdə) quraqlıq heyvanlarından dovşan, tülkü, çaqqal, canavar, cəld kərtənkələ, qırmızıquyruq qum siçanı, Kiçik Asiya qum siçanı, ərəb dovşanı, quru tısbağası, gürzə, koramal, çöl siçanı və s.-ə rast gəlmək olar. Qamışlıqlarda və sahil zonalarında çöl donuzu, qamışlıq pişiyi, çaqqal, su siçovulu, su ilanı, bataqlıq qunduzu, quşlardan vağ, soltan toyuğu, turac, qızılqaz, kəklik, ördək, qaşqaldaq yaşayır.
Respublikanın arazisindən axan çaylarda çəki, çapaq, ilan balığı, sıf, xəşəm, naxa və bobla kimi balıq növləri vardır.

Tuğay meşələrində heyvanat aləmi çöl donuzu, dovşan, tülkü, çaqqal, porsuq, kirpi, ilan, kərtənkələdən ibarətdir. Bu ərazilərdə bayquş, ağacdələn, qu-qu quşu, qaratoyuq və s. quşlar məskən salır. Ölkənin digər düzənlik meşələrində və dağətəyi kolluqlarda həmçinin ayı, çüyür, vaşaq, sincab, maral, vəhşi pişik, yenot, sağsağan, sarıköynək, ağacdələn yaşayır.
Meşələr heyvanlar aləmi ilə ən zəngin ərazilərdir. Burada maral, qonur ayı, dağ keçisi, qarapaça, bəbir, dələ, vaşaq, meşə pişiyi, köpkər, porsuq, sincab, oxlu kirpi, çöl donuzu vardır. Meşələrdə ağacdələn, kəklik, turac, qaraleylək, qartal, bülbül, Qafqaz tetrası, Zaqafqaziya qırqovulu kimi quşlara və s. heyvanlara rast gəlinir.

Yüksək dağ çəmənlikləri va qayalıqlar dovşan, tülkü, dağ keçisi, bəbir, qar siçanı, qarapaça, canavar, çaqqal, Xəzər uları, Qafqaz uları, kərkəs üçün yaşayış yeridir. Bu ərazilərdə quşlardan toğlugötürən, göyərçin, kəklik, bildirçin, alacəhrə, sürünənlərdən gürzə, kələz, quru qurbağasına rast gəlinir. Xəzər dənizinin sahil rayonlarında, adalarda və şirin sulu göllərdə çoxlu miqdarda köçəri və daimi yaşayan quşlara rast gəlinir.

Respublikanın heyvan ehtiyatlarına ovlanan balıqlar, xəz dərisi və əti istifadə edilən heyvanlar daxildir. Ovçuluq təsərrüfatlarında yaşayan, sənaye va tibb məqsədləri üçün (müalicə zəliləri) bəslənən heyvan növlərini də heyvan ehtiyatlarına aid etmək olar. Təsərrüfat əhəmiyyətinə görə Xəzər dənizi, Kür çayı, Araz çayı, su anbarları və vətəgələrdə ovlanan balıq ehtiyatları xüsusilə fərqlənir.

Su hövzələrində məskən salan quşlar, çöl donuzu, dağlarda yaşayan dağ keçisi, maral, çüyür, kəklik ovlanır. Abşeronda dərman almaq üçün (ilan zəhəri) gürzələr saxlanılır.
Respublikada 20 ovçuluq təsərrüfatı vardır. Heyvanlar ovlanan ərazilər 5,2 mln ha sahə tutur. Ovçuluq təsərrüfatının 18-i ictimai təşkilat, 2-si dövlət təsərrüfatlarıdır.



Milli Parklar – Xüsusi ekoloji, tarixi, estetik və digər əhəmiyyət daşıyan təbiət komplekslərinin yerləşdiyi və təbiəti mühafizə, maarifçilik, elmi, mədəni və digər məqsədlər üçün istifadə olunan təbiəti mühafizə və elmi tədqiqat idarələri statusuna malik olan ərazilərdir.
Qeyd edək ki, Ekologiya və Təbii Sərvətlər Nazirliyi yaradıldıqdan əvvəl Azərbaycan Respublikasında Milli parklar mövcud deyildi. 2003-cü ildən başlayaraq Ekologiya və Təbii Sərvətlər Nazirliyi tərəfindən Akademik Həsən Əliyev adına Ordubad, Şirvan, Ağ göl, 2004-cü ildə Hirkan, Altıağac, 2005-ci ildə  Abşeron, 2006-cı ildə Şahdağ, 2008-ci ildə isə Göygöl Milli Parkları yaradılmışdır. 2008-ci ildə Hirkan Milli Parkının ərazisi genişləndirilərək 40358 hektara çatdırılmışdır. 2009-cü il 25 noyabr tarixində Azərbaycan Respublikası Prezidentinin Sərəncami ilə Ordubad Milli Park ərazisi Şahbuz Dövlət Təbiət Qoruğu, Şahbuz, Culfa, Ordubad rayonlarının torpagları hesabına genişləndirilərək sahəsi 42797,4 ha çatdırılmışdır. Eyni sərəncamla Milli Parkın adı dəyişdirilərək Akademik Həsən Əliyev adına Zəngəzur Milli Parkı adlandırılmışdır. Azərbaycan Respublikasının Nazirlər Kabinetinin 2010-cu il 8 iyul tarixli Sərəncamı ilə Şahdağ Milli Parkının ərazisi 14613,1 hektar genişləndirilərək, 130508,1 hektara çatdırılmışdır.

Azərbaycan Respublikasının Prezidentinin 2012-ci il 5 noyabır tarixli sərəncamı ilə Yalama Meşə Mühafizəsi və Bərpası Müəssisəsinin meşə fondu torpaqların hesabına 11772,45 hektar ərazidə Samur-Yalama Milli parkı yaradılmışdır.
Hazırda  milli parklar ölkə ərazisinin 3,7 %-ni təşkil edir.

Bununla yanaşı, yeni milli parkların, dövlət təbiət qoruqlarının yaradılması istiqamətində müvafiq işlər davam etdirilərək, Qızılağac dövlət təbiət qoruğunun ərazisinin genişləndirilərək dənizkənarı milli parkının yaradılması nəzərdə tutulmuşdur.


The whole Caucasus fauna species can be found in Shahdag area. The following fauna species are very significant for the National Park area and are protected as fauna values of the territory. These endangered and theatened fauna species have been included to the ‘Red Book” of Azerbaijan and to the Red List of IUCN.

Capra cylindricornis (East Caucasian or Dagestan tur): These species are spread in sub-alpine and high forest zones of the region, as well as in Quba, Qusar, Oguz, Qabala, Shahdag and Babadag regions. They are mostly found in Ismayilli part of Shahdag National Park and around its borders. Dagestan tur has been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan.

The unique genus of deer species (Cervus) red deer (C.elaphus L.) exists in the National Park area as well. Its dwelling place is not intact but in local form. Red deer is considered rare and innumerous species. It has been included to the Red List of IUCN and has been suggested for inclusion to the second edition of the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan.

 Goat-antelope species (Rupicapra) chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra L.) is considered the unique species to be spread in Great Caucasus. This species which was widespread and numerous in most mountainous areas of Azerbaijan in ancient times remains just in the southern and eastern slopes of Great Caucasus mountains to this day. It is considered innumerable and rare species. Therefore chamois has been included to the first and second edition of the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan and to the Red List of IUCN.

 One of ursidae species brown bear (Ursus) is widespread in the Natioanal Park territory. (U.arctos L.). In addition to this subspecies, white breast bear which is uncharacteristic to Azerbaijan fauna exists in the area and is mostly found in Ismayilli game reserve. These animals are prevalent in low and high mountainous forests, as well as in tugai forest zones. Brown bear is fed on animal and plant foods.

The other species of medium-sized wildcats is lynx (F.lunx L.). This species is mostly encountered in mountainous-forest tracts of Quba-Davachi, Ismayilli, Oguz, Qabala and Davachi regions (north-eastern slopes of Great Caucasus). It is considered innumerous and rare species.

 Lutra lutra: European otter which belongs to Lutra family is one of the rare species. This genus lives not only in rivers of high mountainous meadows, but also in rivers of most landscapes. It is mostly encountered in water basins of forest zones. European otter is able to climb 300 m height. It has been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan and to the International Red List.

 Lyrurus mlocosiewiczi (Caucasian Black Grouse): is observed in alpine, sub-alpine and forest zones of Oguz, Ismayilli, Quba and Qusar regions.  It has been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan and to the International Red List.
Tetraogallus caucasicus (Caucasian Snowcock): exists in alpine, sub-alpine and forest segments of Oguz, Ismayilli, Quba and Qusar regions.
Ciconia nigra (black stork): is encountered in foothills and mountainous-forest zones, in sparse areas of valley forests in İsmayilli, Qabala, Agsu, Quba and Qusar regions. It has been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan.
Aquila heliaca (Eastern Imperial Eagle): is encountered in forests of foothill zone of İsmayilli, Shamakhi, Agsu, Qabala and Quba regions. It has been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan and to the International Red List.

271 vertebral, 7 amphibian, 18 reptile, 195 bird and 51 mammal species exist in Shahdag National Park. 108 fauna species have been included to the “Red Book” of Azerbaijan.

INSECTS: Rhesus serricollis, Cerambyx cerdo ssp. Acuminatus, Rosalia alpineina, Morimus verecundus, Necydalis major, Mallosia eumallosia herminae, Calosoma sycophanta,Carabus procerus caucasicus, Ancylocheria salomonii, Oryctes nasicornis, laphylumennis,Parnassius nordmanni, Colias aurorina, Bombus dagestanicus, Bombus mlokosevitschi

FISH: Salmo trutta fario Berg, Leuciscus cephalus orientalis Nordman, Chondrostoma oxyrhynchum Kessler, Alburnoides bipunqtatus eichwaldi Filip, Barbus ciscaucasicus Kessler, Gobio ciscaucasicus Berg, Nemachilus merga Krynicki, Alburnus charusini Herzen

Triturus karelini

REPTILES: Testudo graeca, Elaphe hohenackeri, Elaphe dione, Elaphe sauromates,Coronella austriaca, Eirenis modestus, Vipera renardi, Macrovipera lebetina

BIRDS: Botaurus stellaris, Egretta alba, Egretta garzetta, Ardea ciinerea, Ardea purpurea,Ciconia ciconia, Ciconia nigra, Pernis apivoris, Milvus migrans, Accipiter gentilis, Buteo rufinus, Aquila clanga, Aquila pomorina, Aquila chrysaetus, Aquila heliaca,Neophron percnapterus, Gypaetus barbatus, Aegupius monachusGyps fulvus, Circaetus gallicus,Circus cyaneus, Circus pygargus,Falco cherruq, Falco peregrinus, Falco subbuteo, Falco naumanni, Falco tinnunculus, Falco columbarius, Lyrurus mlocosiewiczi, Tetraogallus caucasicus, Perdix perdix, Phasianus colchicus, Grus grus, Crex crex, Gallinula chloropus,Otis tarda, Tetrax tetrax, Rallus aquaticus, Gallinago media, Bubo bubo, Apus melba,Coracias garullus, Picus canus, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos minor, Melacnocorypha calandra, Eromophila alpestris, Lullula arborea, Lanius senator, Lanius excubitor, Corvus corax, Sylvia nisoria, Ficedula semitorquata, Saxicola torquata, Oenanthe oenanthe, Turdus torquatus

MAMMALS: Sorex raddei, Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus blasii, Myotis bechsteinii,Ursus arctos, Vormela peregusna, Meles meles, Lutra lutra, Felis silvestris, Felis chaus, Felis lynx, Cervus elaphus, Rupicapra rupicapra, Capra cylindricornis

The Great and Lesser Wild Cats of Egypt

The ancient Egyptians were respectful towards the animals that shared their world and associated many of them with deities or positive human characteristics. However, no animal was held in such esteem as the cat. Cats were closely connected to a number of gods and goddesses, and there is evidence that they were considered to be demi-gods in their own right. As an inscription in the Valley of the Kings states;

“You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat.”

As a primarily agrarian society, the ancient Egyptians had a distinct problem with mice, rats and snakes all of whom threatened the grain stores. It is thought that the ancient Egyptians learned that wild cats preyed on these scavengers and so began to leave out food (such as fish heads) to tempt the cats to visit them regularly. This suited the cats perfectly as being close to human settlements not only provided them with a ready supply of food (the vermin and the food left by humans) but also helped them to avoid larger predators. As this symbiotic relationship developed cats were welcomed indoors and eventually consented to move in with their human friends and rear their kittens in the safety of the home.

Their diet changed somewhat as they were provided with food by grateful humans, and breeding programs heightened certain characteristics in the formerly wild animals. The ancient Egyptians even hunted with their cats, a seemingly amazing feat of co-operation with an animal renowned for its stubborn individualism. Most importantly, they loved and respected their cats for being playful and affectionate companions but also highly intelligent skilful predators.

Cats were also important in the interpretation of dreams. Apparently seeing a cat in your dream confirmed that you would have a good harvest.

The Egyptians did not distinguish between a wild cat and a domesticated cat; all cats were known as “miu” (or “miut”) often translated as “he or she who mews”. The origin of this name is not clear but it seems likely that it is an onomatopoetic reference to the sound a cat makes (mew). However, some commentators have suggested that it also related to the word miw (to see). It seems that it was rare for a cat to be given its own specific name (rather than being called “miu” or “miut”). However, there are exceptions such as the cat named “Nedjem” (“sweetie”) and another named “Tai Miuwette” (“the little mewer”) who was the companion of crown prince Thutmose (eldest son of Amenhotep lll and brother of Akhenaten). Little girls were often named “Miut” (literally meaning “female cat”) displaying the Egyptians fondness for both cats and children.


There were two main breeds of cat native to Ancient Egypt. The jungle cat (Felis chaus) and the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). The latter had a calmer temperament and so was more commonly domesticated than its wilder relative. The two species eventually merged creating a new breed which was closely related to the modern Egyptian Mau. As the cat was domesticated, further changes in temperament and appearance became apparent. Cats became more colourful (as the need to be almost permanently camouflaged lessened), their bodies became smaller and less muscled (due to changes in diet and activity), their brains became smaller (as a result of the reduction in necessary survival instincts) and they developed an increased tolerance for humans.

It seems that the cat is in fact indigenous to Egypt. There is evidence that the majority of the world´s cats can trace their ancestry to an Egyptian cat. It is sometimes suggested that cats were introduced into Egypt from Persia around 2000 B.C.E or from Nubia during the New Kingdom but this is unlikely due to significant evidence that cats lived in Egypt before these dates. In fact, archaeologists found a man interred with his cat in a burial mound in Mostagedda near Asyut dated to around 6,000 years ago. The cat may not have been domesticated, but was clearly important to the deceased. It is generally suggested that cats were domesticated in Egypt around 2000 B.C.E. Dogs had already been domesticated for over a thousand years by this time.

an Egyptian hunting birds with his cat

From the New Kingdom cats often appear in tomb paintings along with their human families. People were often depicted on hunting trips with their cats (who would retrieve birds and fish for their human companion). However, one of the most common (and in my view the sweetest) representations depicts the cat sitting under or beside the chair of the mistress of the house offering her protection and friendship. Cats had always been popular and were associated with some very powerful goddesses.

However, when the town of Bubastis (Per-Bast) was established as the royal residence by Shoshenq I (Dynasty Twenty-two) the goddess Bast was promoted to a position of great power, as were the cats with whom she was so closely associated.

Herodotus visited Bubastis in 450 B.C.E. and noted that although the temple of Bast was “not as large as those of other cities, and probably not as costly, no temple in all of Egypt gave more pleasure to the eye”. He also confirmed that the annual festival of Bast held in the city was the one of the most popular in all of Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came from all over Egypt to celebrate by drinking, dancing and singing and to pray to the goddess for her favour over the coming months. The festival was so famous that it made it onto a hit list of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 30:17, sixth century B.C.E.) who warned that “The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth (Bubastis) shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity”. Bubastis was destroyed by the Persians in 350 B.C.E. and the cult of Bast was officially banned by imperial decree in 390 AD and the fortunes of the cat waned with the demise of the goddess. The cat was no longer divine or an incarnation of a god.

Deities associated with Cats

The most famous cat deity was Bast but there are also a number of other ancient Egyptian gods who were associated with cats. Neith occasionally took the form of a cat and the cat was one of Mut´s sacred symbols.

Both the Book of Gates and the Book of Caverns refer to a cat god named Miuty (or Mati or Meeyuty). This god protects the Eleventh Division of the Duat in the Book of Gates (the division just before dawn) and watches over the enemies of Ra in the Book of Caverns. It is also possible that this deity is one and the same as “Mauti” who is depicted in the Tomb of Seti II and may also refer to Mau or Mau-Aa (the great cat) as a form of Ra

The Great Cat defeating Apep on the Papyrus of Hunefer

In the Seventeenth Chapter of the Book of the Dead,Ra takes on the form of a cat named simply “Mau” (cat) in order to kill the serpent Apep. The text reads;

“I am the cat (Mau), who fought hard by the Persea tree in Annu on the night when the foes of Neb-er-tcher (a form of Osiris) were destroyed”, The male cat is Ra himself and he is called “Mau” because of the words of the god Sa, who said about him, “who is like (mau) unto him?” and thus his name became “Mau” (cat). “

Cats were also associated with the “Eye of Ra” and linked to the goddess Isis because they were perceived to be great mothers.


Status of Cats

a cat in front of an offering table; adapted from the design on a sarcophagus

Many animals were seen as the representatives of gods (for example, crocodiles, hawks and cows) but the animals themselves were not considered to be divine. However, there is some evidence that every cat was considered to be a demi-god (although some Egyptologists do not agree). According to one theory, the cat as a semi-divine being could not be owned by a mere human. Only the pharaoh had a high enough status to own a cat. Thus all cats were under the guardianship of the pharaoh and harming a cat was treason.

As a result, there were extremely heavy penalties for harming cats throughout Egyptian history. At the height of Bast´s popularity killing a cat, even accidentally, was punishable by death. Diodorus Siculus wrote “Whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. The people gather and kill him. An unfortunate Roman, who accidentally killed a cat, could not be saved, either by King Ptolemy of Egypt or by the fear which Rome inspired.” However, some feline mummies recovered from Bubastis display severe trauma to the head or neck, indicating that they had been intentionally killed. This of course contrasts with the law regarding the killing of cats. However, it is thought that this action was considered acceptable in Bubastis to prevent an explosion of the feline population and that all the cats were offered to Bast (and would therefore live eternally in kitty-heaven). Anyone else deliberately harming a cat was in deep trouble.

It was apparently illegal to export cats to neighbouring countries. This led to a thriving trade in smuggled cats! Court records confirm that armies were occasionally dispatched to rescue the kidnapped felines and bring them home to Egypt.

Herodotus claimed that on discovery of a house fire, the men from the house would line up outside the building to protect the cats from danger. He suggested that the cats would “leap into the fire” unless protected by the men, which seems rather unlikely unless their kittens were still inside the home. This story may well be made up or exaggerated, but again highlights the high status of the cat in Egyptian society.

Herodotus also recorded that the Persians used the Egyptian´s love of cats against them. Apparently, the Persians captured a large number of cats and let them loose on the battlefield outside Pelusium. When the Egyptians saw the terrified cats running around the battlefield, they surrendered rather than risk harm to their beloved friends.


Mummification and Burial

When a cat died, their human family would go into a deep mourning and shave their eyebrows. The cat would then be mummified and buried along with provisions such as milk, mice and rats. Cats were often taken to Bubastis to be buried, but tombs have also been discovered in Giza, Abydos, Denderah and Beni Hasan. For example, a tomb in Beni Hassan was discovered in 1888 which contained an estimated 80,000 feline burials.

The deceased cat was wrapped in fine linen and taken to be embalmed. Diodorus recorded that the deceased cat was “treated with cedar oil and such spices as have the quality of imparting a pleasant odour and of preserving the body for a long time.”

Appetite explains domesticated cats

Wild cats entered villages as rodents threatened grain supply in ancient China, scientists suggest.

The sarcophagus for Prince Thutmose’s cat is shown at an exhibit in Seattle. Thutmose lived during the 18th dynasty of Egypt which ruled from around 1500 BC to 1300 BC. The earliest evidence of domestic cats is found in Egyptian artwork from about 4,000 years ago. But a wild cat was buried with a human on Cyprus 9,500 years ago, indicating some kind of close relationship existed then. / Elaine Thompson/AP

Egyptian Sculpture at the Louvre





Ancient Chinese cat bones shake up domestication theory

Fossil discovery an ‘important step’ in understanding feline transformation from pest-control to pet
The cat-goddess Bastet found amongst ruins in Alexandria, Egypt

The cat-goddess Bastet found among ruins in Alexandria, Egypt: prior to this study, feline research focused solely on the Middle East. Photograph: AP

A cat-and-mouse game played out in a Chinese village 5,300 years ago is helping scientists understand how wild felines became the tame pets we know today.

Scientists believe it was the cat’s appetite that led to domestication. Grain stored by ancient farmers was a magnet for rodents, which in turn attracted wild cats. Over time, the cats adapted to village life and became tame around their human hosts.

This is, at least, the leading theory, derived from archaeological evidence in the Middle East, rather than China. But bones recently discovered in a Chinese village add weight to the idea that felines took on pest-control duties in ancient times, says researcher Fiona Marshall of Washington University in St. Louis.

Marshall co-authored a report on fossil research, published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, focused on an agricultural village in northern China, sheds light on the poorly understood history of felines. The earliest extant representations of domesticated cats originated in Eygpt over 1,000 years later.

Researchers found evidence that rodents threatened the village grain supply by burrowing into storage vessels that were designed to keep them out.

The ancient feline bones revealed chemical signatures indicating the animals had eaten rodents that in turn fed on millet, a grain crop known to be harvested by the villagers.

It is possible the cats were not wild, but rather were domesticated elsewhere and brought in for pest-control purposes, Marshall said. Either way, the ancient bones help fill a gap in the hypothesis of feline domestication, she said.

Greger Larson of Durham University, UK called the new research “an important step forward” in an area that has previously attracted less study than the domestication of dogs, pigs and sheep.


Chances are, anyone visiting Egypt for simply a vacation will never see much wildlife beyond birds, maybe bats and a few lizards and other small reptiles, unless visiting the Cairo Zoo or perhaps one of the hotels that sometimes maintain small collections of animals, such as the Movenpick Jolie Ville (certainly not a petting zoo) in Luxor. Wildlife exists, nonetheless, and the more adventurous can take nature treks that may reveal more of Egypt’s animal inhabitants.



Of all the animals in Egypt, cats (felids) have a special history. Certainly other animals were important to the ancient Egyptians, such as the Ram, bulls and cattle, canine, hippopotamus, various birds and crocodiles. One can certainly argue that some of these animals were more important to the Egyptians of a distant past than cats. However, cats are enduring and seem to remain both a love and a curse of modern Egypt. Feral domestic cats roam the streets of Cairo today, making a habitat of our manmade jungle.


But there are also true wildcats in Egypt. Of the 35 species of wildcats, Egypt is home to as many as six, and a seventh, the Lion Panthera leo, probably became extinct in the late pharaonic period. Some of the six are extremely rare, and may no longer exist in Egypt, but certainly some of those that do still stalk the Egyptian landscape are some of the most interesting, including the small Felis Silvestris, or Wild Cat, which looks very similar to and sometimes interbreeds with domestic cats, and may be the forerunner of the domestic cat. Others small cats include the Felis Chaus (Swamp Cat) and the Felis margarita (Sand Cat). Larger cats include the Acinonyx jubatus (Cheetah), Panthera pardus (Leopard) and the Felis caracal (Caracal).


Range of the Cats of Egypt


Most of Egypt’s wild cats can be differentiated fairly easily, though the smaller cats are fairly similar. In fact, the most difficult of Egypt’s true wild cats is the Felis silvestris (Wild Cat), because it is so similar to a large domestic tabby-type feral cats. However, Leopards and Cheetahs are both extremely rare and perhaps even extinct in Egypt, while the Sand Cat, Wild Cat and Caracal are very elusive. The Swamp cat probably provides the best chance to be spotted, as it seems to have adapted better than most to our human presence.


Many believe that the Wild Cat (Felis Silvestris) is the forerunner of the modern domestic cat. However, the animal is now thought to have been domesticated in Mesopotamia, around 8,000 years ago. In fact, the first representations of a truly domestic cat do not appear in Egypt until the New Kingdom, around 1450 BC. There are earlier pictures in tomb paintings and friezes of what are clearly cats, domestic in appearance, but there is no evidence to prove that these depictions are of domesticated tabbies. By the New Kingdom, cats are portrayed more closely in association with other tame domestic animals, being fed or tethered to chair legs.


Wild Cats (Felis Silvestris)

The subspecies occurring Egypt are the F. s. libyca and F. s. tristrami. Their Arabic name is Qitt gabali libi, though Egyptians frequently refer to them as Kaffir Cats. They grow in length to between 61 and 93.5 cm, with a tail measuring 23.7 to 39 cm. Weighing between 2.5 and 5 kg, males are usually larger and heavier than females. They look like large, domestic cats but can be distinguished by the color of the back of the ear, the shape of the tail and the length of the legs, though none of these characteristics are easy to see given only a quick glimpse. Furthermore, when threatened, they react similar to domestic cats, arching the back and erecting the fur, spitting and hissing, with claws extended. They also sound much like domestic cats. However, their limbs are longer and they have proportionately longer tails.


These cats are a grizzled buffish above with a blackish stripe down the center of the back. They are paler along the flanks, and whitish to pale buff below, marked with pale brown spots that form vertical stripes along the shoulder and sides. The legs have brown transverse bands and are paler inside, while the feet are yellowish with broken stripes. These cats have short muzzles, with orange around the nose and white patches below the eyes. Their cheeks are striped, and the throat and upper lips are also white. There is almost no tuft on the ears, which are orange-buff on the back and whitish inside. The tail is long, and dark above, with three blackish rings at the base and a dark tip.


These cats have a fairly large range outside of Egypt, In Egypt, the F. s. libyca can be found along the margins of the delta and Nile Valley, including the Fayoum where they are reported as fairly common. However, in the Fayoum, many of the cats may be hybrids due to mating with domestic cats. They are also found along the Mediterranean coast desert to Mersa Matruh, and have also been recorded in the Western Desert at Bahariya and Dakhla. The F. s. Tristrami is known from the North Sinai around al-Arish and in the southwest Sinai. They prefer dry areas with cover including cultivated land in the coastal desert zone, but also inhabit areas in the mountains.

These cats are typically nocturnal, opportunistic hunters. They have well developed hearing and sight, and mostly make a diet of small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.

Apparently, this animal has not been studied extensively in Egypt. For example, it is not known exactly how much they actually do breed with domestic cats. In fact, their breeding habits in Egypt are largely unknown, though elsewhere they have a gestation period of 56 to 60 days, giving birth in the spring to two to five kittens.


Swamp Cats (Jungle Cat, Felis chaus)



Swamp Cats ((Jungle Cat, Felis chaus)



Swamp cats, of which only one subspecies appears in Egypt, the F. c. nilotica, can also be confused with domestic cats. In Arabic they are known as Qitt barri nili. These cats look not unlike a very large, short-tailed domestic cat, growing in length from 40.5 to 104 cm. They have tails that range in size from 21 to 28 cm, and weight between 7 and 11.2 kg.


These cats are generally grizzled yellow-brown above, paling in color towards the flanks and with a darker stripe down the center of the back. The underside and inside of the legs are pale. They have pale spots on the flanks and belly, and pale stripes behind the legs. Their feet are ocher to brown, and are in generally les strongly marked than the Felis Silvestris). Their muzzle is rather elongated, and buffish along the nose with white patches below the eye and very faint markings along the forehead. Their cheeks have no patterns, and the whiskers are mixed black and white. They have large ears with short, black tuft, and their backsides are russet with a blackish base. The tail is distinctly short with a rounded dark tip and two blackish rings Kittens have strikingly short tails, blue-ray eyes and significantly more robust claws than domestic kittens.


Swamp Cats ((Jungle Cat, Felis chaus)



In Egypt, these cats’ range include the Detla, along the Mediterranean coastal desert to Mersa Matruh, and all along the Nile Valley in the South to Aswan. There have been three recent recordings of kittens in cane fields at Luxor. They have been recorded in the Dakhla and Khaga Oasis in the Western Desert, and are reportedly common in the Fayoum. They like thick cover such as agricultural farmlands, marshes and reed beds, though in the coastal desert they are found in areas of less cover and have even been recorded along sea cliffs on the north coast. They prefer to make dens in burrows, rock cavities, deep thicket are dry areas in reed beds, but have also been found in abandoned buildings.


They have very acute sight and hearing, good scent and diet mostly on small mammals, birds, reptiles, including snakes, fish and eggs. They are usually nocturnal, but have been sighted hunting during daylight hours.


When threatened, like the Wild Cat, they react similar to the domestic cat, arching the back, raising the fur and hissing. They are reported to defend themselves fiercely.


These cats are probably mostly solitary, occupying a home range, though there have been reports of up to three adults seen together. In Egypt, births are usually recorded between January and April with from two to as many as six kittens, reared only by the female or with help from the male.


As a final note, these cats were mummified by the ancient Egyptians, but there is not evidence that they were ever domesticated by them. A theory that they contributed to the present domestic cat is now mostly rejected.


Sand Cats (Felis margarita)



The smallest of the Egyptian wild cats, there are two subspecies recorded in Egypt, which include the F. m. margarita on the mainland and the F. m. harrisoni in the Sinai. They normally have a length of 66 to 83 cm with a tail ranging between 23 and 31 sm. They weight between 1.5 and 3.4 kg, with the male generally larger and heavier than the female. This cat is smaller and more compact than the Felis Silvestris, with proportionately shorter legs.

Arabian Sand cats at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort.

These cats have a pale buff above, that pales even further toward the flanks and legs. They are white below, with throats tinged orange. Their markings are obscure, with pale brown stripes along the flanks. However, the forelegs are strongly marked with two transverse blackish stripes, while the hind legs are less strongly marked, with up to five brownish stripes. The feet and pads are totally covered with long, brown hair. They have a broad, flat head, with a pale face marked with orange-buff. The ears are very large and broad, and almost meet over the forehead. The back of the ears are buff with darker batches, while the inside is whitish. Their eyes are large with yellow iris. The tail is long, measuring about half the body length, colored grayish buff above and paler below. The tail usually has faint rings, numbering two to six, and has a clear dark tip. The F. m. harrioni differs from the F. m. margarita, having usually five to seven tail rings, pure white paws and a larger, broader skull.




In Egypt, very little is really know about the cat’s range. They have been spotted in southern and middle Egypt along the Nile, but evidence suggests that they may be more numerous in the northern Sinai. They seem to like sandy desert, for which their heavily haired soles are thought to be an adaptation, but an also be found in more rocky areas, though not in the mountains. They are not good climbers.


When threatened, they behave much like the Felis Silvestris, and thus the domestic cat.


Sand Cats (Felis margarita)


Though considered strictly nocturnal, they have been observed basking during daylight hours on very rare occasions. They are very cautious animals, and have been observed surveying their surroundings for as long as fifteen minutes with just their head out of the burrow before finally emerging.


These cats are thought to feed largely on small desert rodents, including the Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Cairo Spiny Mouse and others. They have also been seen to take geckos, and probably also feed on birds, other reptiles and large insects. We believe they hunt mostly by sound, though they also have good sight, but less developed scent. They are thought to have a home range that is probably very large, moving as much as eight kilometers during a single night.


Though the breeding habits of these cats are unknown in Egypt, elsewhere they have a gestation of approximately 63 days, delivering from two to five kittens during March and April. Though these cats have a voice similar to Felis Silvestris, loud mewing calls during mating have been likened to the yelp of a dog. Their tracks are almost impossible to follow because of their dense fur.


Caracal (Felis caracal)

Caracal (Felis caracal)


Of the larger cats, the Caracal is almost certainly the more numerous in Egypt. F. c. schmitzi make up the only subspecies in Egypt, known in Arabic as Umm rishat. They normally have a length of 85 to 120 cm, with a tail between 20 and 30 cm. They weight between 8 and 18 kg, with the male generally larger and heavier than the female.

This is a medium sized cat with a short tail and long ear tufts. It has a uniform orange-brown coloration above, and is paler to white below with pale spotting. There is faint striping on their legs. Their hindquarters are set slightly higher than their forequarters, and they have a rather angular and strikingly marked head, with pale marking above each eye and a clear dark line running from above the eye down along the tear line and along the nose. They have white chins and throats, while their ears are large, long and pointed with elegant, elongated black tufts up to 60 mm long. The back of their ears are blackish.


In Egypt, these cats are rare and little is really known about them. They have been recorded in the Eastern Desert and in the north and southwestern Sinai, with unconfirmed reports of tracks in the central Sinai. However, they are very elusive and may be more widespread than the few recorded sightings indicate. They like open country, as well as mountain areas.


Caracal (Felis caracal)


The cats are not vocal but they may spit and growl if threatened.


These cats are largely nocturnal, but they may be active at dusk or during the day. Usually they remain by day in rock crevices, caves, burrows or dense bush.


Caracal are famous for their bird hunting skills, and are known to grab a flushed bird from the air with a high leap. They are agile cats that also feed on mammals as large as full-grown gazelles, but also reptiles and occasionally fresh carrion, including dead fish and even fruit. They have excellent sight and hearing, and good scent.

These are usually solitary animals, though they do occasionally form pairs or family groups. The mail is probably territorial, with a range depending on the density of prey.

The gestation period of the cats is 69 to 70 days, with births usually in early August. They make a nursery den line with fur and feathers, and usually deliver from one to six kittens.


Cheetah (Hunting Leopard, Acinonyx jubatus)


Cheetah (Hunting Leopard, Acinonyx jubatus)


In Egypt, the Cheetah is known as Fahd siyad, Shita. They range in length between 175 and 220 cm, with a tail of 65 to 80 cm. These large, slender, small headed cats usually weight between 40 and 60 kg.


These cheetahs are buffish to yellow colored above and on the flanks and outside legs. They have solid, round, dark spots. Below, they are paler with more diffused spotting. Their fur is generally short and dense, but longer below and with an erect mane along the shoulders and back. Their head is proportionately small and flat on top, with dense spotting, though the chin is white. One of their most distinctive features is the blackish tear mark running from the eye down the side of the face. They have short ears and a short muzzle. Their tail is long and full, being broader at the tip than the base. The upper part of the tale is spotted, while the lower half has up to six dark rings. The last of these rings is the broadest, while the tip of the tail is white. Unlike the other cats in Egypt, their claws are only semi-retractable.


In Egypt, these cats are very rare, and may be extinct. If still in Egypt, they are restricted to the Western Desert in and around the Qattara Depression. However, hunting, habitat disturbance and the reduction in prey have at the very least brought the population down to a critical level. However, sightings have been reported as late as 1994. These animals like open plains and savannas but can also be found in semi desert environments. They have roamed in the acacia groves of the Qattara Depression, but historically have also been found in the Mediterranean coastal desert and the sandy deserts of North Sinai.


Cheetah (Hunting Leopard, Acinonyx jubatus)


The Egyptian Cheetah has never been photographed, and very little is known about its habits. Elsewhere, they hunt by day, using mounds or raised areas as a lookout position. They run their prey down with a burst of speed up to 100 kmph, though they can only sustain this speed for a distance of about a half kilometer. Their diet in Egypt is likely to be gazelles, hairs, birds and small mammals. They hunt mostly by sight.

Cheetahs hiss and snarl when angry.

These cats occupy a home range that varies according to prey density, which may be very large in Egypt. They have a complex social life. Females generally are solitary, except when raising their cubs or during mating. Young males are usually more social, forming groups, though in Egypt, it is unclear how these animals react given their small number.

The gestation period is usually 91 to 95 days, and in Egypt cubs have been found in April and May, but also November.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)


Leopards (Panthera pardus)


Leopards are another rare, if not extinct cat of Egypt, known in Arabic as Nimr. The subspecies occurring in Egypt are the P. p. jarvisi and P. p. pardus.

These cats are the largest in Egypt, measuring between 170 and 290 cm, with a tail 60 to 100 cm. They weight in the range from 35 to 85 kg, with the males larger and heavier than the females.

Leopards (Panthera pardus)

The Egyptian leopard is a powerful cat, orange-buff to pale yellow above, and white below. They are spotted all over, though less densely below and inside the legs. The spots are arranged in rosettes, particularly on the flanks and hindquarters. They have large and powerful heads, which are spotted more finely than the rest of the body. The cats have white chins, and ears that are rather small, with a backside marked in black and white. The upper part of the tail is also spotted, while the lower part have incomplete, dark rings. The Sinai variety, P. p. jarvisi, is described as being slightly darker with brownish spots. However, this subspecies is virtually unknown, and it may be a now isolated population of the Arabian Leopard, P. p. nimr.

In Egypt, sightings of this animal have been very rare. The P. p. pardus is recorded in the Western Desert as late as 1913, but in 1994, an expedition to the Gebel Elba region heard a leopard at night and recorded photographed fresh tracks the next day. The Sinai Leopards would be extremely rare, and the latest verified records are from the 1950s. However, Bedouins from the Gebel Serbal area and Feiran still claim that the animals can be found in the mountains in very small numbers.

Elba Mountain Ranges

These cats range from deep forest to near desert, but in Egypt, they have been found in mountainous areas that are lightly wooded with Acacia, such as Gebel Elba. They are very wary and elusive.

Using hearing and sight, they are commonly only active at night, feeding on large to small mammals, birds, reptiles, large insects, eggs and sometimes livestock. Normally they are solitary and territorial, though nothing is known of their habits in Egypt. They usually have a gestation period of 90 to 112 days, giving birth to one to six cubs.

Read more:

Zakouma National Park

This may be a hard pill to swallow for some of you but the fact is that more than 20,000 Elephants were killed every year for their ivory tusks and with the majority in Central Africa. Thanks to US Security Council that issued a ban on this commercial trade of elephant ivory. AFP photojournalist Marco Longari, who TIME named the Best Photographer on the Wires in 2012, documented the ceremony as well as the park’s efforts to track and defend the animals. Take a look.


A stockpile of ivory is ready to be stored after cataloguing at the Chadian Zakouma National Park, Feb. 20, 2014 ahead of a ceremony where over a ton of ivory from Chad will be burned


Chadian soldiers escorting the Chadian President, speed past horsemen arriving to attend a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad’s oldest natural park, during which elephant tusks will be incinerated

Chadian soldiers escorting the Chadian

A pyre on which over a thousand kilos of elephant tusks will be incinerated burns during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad’s oldest natural park, in Goz Djarat

thousand kilos of elephant tusks will be incinerated burns

A Chadian child looks on during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad’s oldest natural park, led by the Chadian President during which a thousand kilogrammes of elephant tusks will be incinerated

A Chadian child looks on during a ceremony

A Zakouma National Park anti-poaching team patrol on Feb. 25, 2014

A Zakouma National Park anti-poaching team

A collared elephant, darted at the Zakouma National Park on Feb. 23, 2014 during a collaring operation aimed at preserving elephants in the park, gets up after the effect of the drug has evaporated

after the effect of the drug has evaporated

African Parks staff scramble to help an elephant who fell on a dangerous position after being darted at the Zakouma National Park

African Parks staff scramble to help an elephant

African Parks staff apply a collar to an elephant, darted at the Zakouma National Park

African Parks staff apply a collar to an elephant

A collared elephant, darted at the Zakouma National on Park

A collared elephant, darted at the Zakouma National

An Zakouma National Park anti-poaching team patrol

 anti-poaching team patrol
From: TIME

Credit: Marco Longari—AFP/Getty Images

Animals of Arabia


The  Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) – once roamed the entire Arabian Peninsula and  became extinct as a wild species in the early 1960s. However, the late Sheikh  Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan had a few captive animals that bred well, and today  there are several herds at various locations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. They  are the largest of the Arabian antelopes and are creatures of the open desert  being able to live in areas without trees or standing water. (Getty Images)



Arabian  Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica) – highly adaptable, it inhabits virtually every  environment and lives in the cities along the coast, the desert and the  mountains. An omnivorous animal, it will eat almost anything, from dead fish on  the beach, to dates, carrion and of course small mammals and birds, which it  actively hunts during the night. The cubs, numbering up to six per litter, are  raised in a burrow that the vixen excavates herself and often uses year after  year. (Getty Images)

Caracal  (Caracal caracal ssp.) – much smaller than the leopard, it is the second  largest of the wild cats that occur in the region. Once widespread in the open  desert as well as the hills it is now confined to the mountains. Light brown to  sandy in colour it has strong black facial markings, with the back of the ears  and the long tufts also being black. A very agile hunter, it preys mainly on  birds and small mammals and reptiles but has little difficulty in killing a tahr,  gazelles or goats. Most of the time, they hunt at night and spend the day  resting, giving preference to a shady place. (Getty Images)


Hare  (Lepus capensis) – absent from the mountains but otherwise widespread in the  United Arab Emirates. The local hare is much smaller than its European  counterpart and is therefore often mistaken for a rabbit, which does not occur  in Arabia. Unlike the rabbit, the hare does not live in burrows, but spends the  day motionless, with its ears folded back, relying totally on its camouflage,  remaining in shallow scrapes under a bush or even in the open. (Getty Image)

Hedgehogs – there are three species in the UAE, the largest and most common  being Brandt’s Hedgehog (Paraechinus hypomelas). It has an overall dark to black  appearance with only the tip of its muzzle and the inside of its ears being  grey. Slightly smaller is the Ethiopian Hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus). This  animal is much lighter in colour, the bases and the tips of the spines are white  and as is its hairy underside. Very similar but again smaller is the Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus).  Its spines are also white at the base and the tip, and its underside is white,  but its ears are longer and more pointed. In the Emirates they are found in the  mountains, as well as in the desert and the coastal plains. (Getty Images)

Stripet hayaena  (Hyaena hyaena)

Bats – several species of bats occur in the UAE. The most common insect-eating  bats are the mouse-tailed bat (Rhinopoma muscatellum) and the sheath-tailed bat  (Taphozous nudiventris) followed by the leaf-nosed bat (Asellia tridens),  pictured. These are small bats with bodies only a few cms in length and a  wingspan of 20 to 25cm. All three are active at night, spending their days  suspended from the ceiling of a cave, in rock crevices, hollow trees or under  the roofs of old buildings. (Getty Images)

Sand Cat (Felis margarita) – its present distribution in the United Arab  Emirates is probably limited to the Liwa, although there are confirmed reports  that in the past it was also found at Jebel Ali, near Dubai, and in Falaj al  Mualla in the Emirate of Umm al Qaiwain. Orange-grey to buff in colour, with a  white belly, it is the smallest of the Arabian wild cats. Living in areas where  there is no natural shelter available, the sand cat is the only cat in Arabia  that digs its own burrow, in which its lives all year around. Active at night,  the sand cat emerges from its burrow to hunt at dusk. Insects and reptiles form  a large part of its diet. (Getty Images)


Sand Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica) – the second largest of the antelopes  that occur in the UAE and weighs up to 22kg. Virtually extinct in the wild,  there are occasional reports from the Liwa of small groups of these creatures.  They are very light in colour, the head completely white in older animals, with  back and flanks being light beige. The sand gazelle is the only antelope in this  area that regularly gives birth to twins, and this usually in spring and autumn.  (Getty Images)

Arabian Oryx. Al Maha, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Scimitarhorned Oryx.  Al Maha, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.


Mountain gazella  Al Maha, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Idmi breeding and reintroduction

The Idmi, or mountain gazelle, used to roam across the whole Arabian Peninsula. De to habitat loss and illegal hunting, its populations have dwindled and this elegant animal is now classified as Vulnerable to Extinction. In the hope of boosting the Idmi’s numbers, ZSL has been running a breeding programme at the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre in Saudi Arabia.

Mountain Gazelle

The Idmi is one of several highly endangered species of gazelle being bred at King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre , managed by the ZSL on behalf of the Saudi National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development.

There is currently a breeding herd of over 180 individuals in breeding pens at the centre. These are set in a 600 hectare enclosure, where new gazelle can be reared carefully and given thorough health checks. The research centre carries out work on gazelle ecology and biology to develop our understanding of why they are in trouble and how to keep them successfully in captivity.

When Idmi need to be caught for veterinary work or to be released, an ingenious setup  developed in New Zealand is used. Animals are enticed into a ring of poles attached to sheeting. When an animal enters the area, the poles are raised up and the sheeting corrals the gazelle, allowing it to be caught gently by hand.

Radio collared gazelle

We are breeding Idmi in order to restore the natural population, so groups of animals are being periodically released into the National Ibex Reserve. Animals to be released have to pass health checks and are fitted with radio collars so that their movements can be tracked at the research centre. This is both to keep an eye on them and to provide us with new scientific data. They are given some time in a pre-release area to let them get acquainted with their new surroundings before being let loose.

The first group of 17 idmi were released in 2007 , the first successful release of this species for over ten years. Over 100 gazelles have now been released into the National Ibex Reserve, and the project is going strong.

There are a number of other rare species of antelope and gazelle at the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre, such as the Arabian Oryx and rheem. They are also being bred as part of a wide effort to restore the biodiversity of this beautiful area.

Arabian Mountain Gazelle (Gazella gazella cora) – found on the gravel plains,  the sand deserts and the mountains. Its natural range extended right across the  northern Emirates, only avoiding the very soft sandy areas of the Liwa. It has a  delicate body, weighing only 10-14kg and can reach speeds of 65 kms per hour if  it needs to escape danger. The mountain gazelle has a pure white belly with a  dark to black stripe on its flanks that changes to dark beige or brown on the  back, the neck and the head. Most grazing activity takes place at dawn and dusk.  They rest during the hottest hours of the day under any shelter available. Usually moving in small groups of four to six animals, they are highly  territorial. As with oryx and sand gazelle they do not need to drink water, but  will readily do so if water is available.


İran’da Yaban Hayat

Cografya: Guneybati Asya ülkesidir ve orta dogu  bolgesinde bulunmakta. İran, 1.648.195 km²’lik yüzölçümü ile

İran’da 180.200 km² ormanlik alan var.İran’in (ve bolgenin) en yuksek dağı Damavand (5671 M),İran’da 12 göl ve cok sayida nehir vardır ama gemi geçebilen tek nehri Karun (950 KM) nehridir.
Sınır komşuları: kuzeyden: Ermenistan – Azerbaycan Cumhuriyeti (ve Nahcivan) – Hazar denizi (deniz yoluyla: Rusya – Kazakistan ) – Turkmenistan
batidan: Turkiye (499 KM) – Irak,  guneyden: Pars korfezi – Umman denizi (deniz yolundan: Suudi Arabistan – Kuveyt – Umman – BAE – Bahrain – Katar )

dogudan: Afganistan – Pakistan, Iran 3200 Km yakin suya kiyisi vardir. Bunlarin 2440 km İran  korfezi ve Umman denizine ve 740 km Hazar denizinedir. İran 30 bölgeye (eyelet) ayrılmıştır.


8.Doğu Azerbaycan
9.Batı Azerbaycan
16.Çaharmahal ve Bahtiyari
17.Kohkiluye ve Buyer Ahmed
21.Sistan ve Belucistan
28.Kuzey Horasan
29.Razavi Horasan
30.Güney Horasan



Bas aslan kabartması  Zoroastrian Nevruz.

Persepoliste aslan kabartması


Kurt (Canis lupus) Foto: Bas Van T Slot

İran leoparı (Panthera pardus saxicolor)


Asya çitası











PERSian onager

















Bahram Gur Hunting Onagers with Fitna, Page from the Haft paykar from a manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami, at the Brooklyn Museum (Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation)



Yaban eşeği (Equus hemionus) Bahram-E-Goor Milli Parkı













4. yüzyıla ait gümüş ve yaldızlı ceylan içecek kabı,  (H: 15.5 W: 25.4 D: 14.1 cm), İran veya Afganistan, Arthur M. Sackler S1987.33 Hed 






İran ceylanı, Kursaklı ceylan dağılımı (Gazella subgutturosa)

Iran, Bamoo national park

İran ceylanı, Kursaklı ceylan  (Gazella subgutturosa)Bamoo National Park

İran yaban keçisi (Capra aegagrus)

Yaban koyunları. İran’da Ovis gmelini, Ovis vignei ve bu  iki türün melezleri bulunmaktadır.


Mezopotamya alageyiği (Dama dama mezopotamica)(Brooke, 1875)

Nesli tükendiği düşünülen ve 1956 yılında varlığı İran’ın güneybatısındaki Huzistan eyaletindeki Dasht-e-Naz yaban hayat parkında yeniden keşfedilmiştir.

Yeniden yerleştirme çalışmaları doğrultusunda Mazanderan ve Urumiye gölü içindeki adaya yerleştirilmiştir.Ayrıca İsrail’de de yeniden yerleştirilmiştir.




Bozayı (Ursus arctos) Elbruz dağları

Çizgili sırtlan (Hyaena hyaena)

Çöl kedisi (Felis margarita thinobia)



Oklu kirpi (Hystrix indica)








the assemblage of animal species, generally excluding domestic animals, living within a defined geographical area or ecological zone. i. Fauna of Persia. ii. Fauna of Afghanistan. iii. Fauna of Central Asia.

FAUNA, the assemblage of animal species, generally excluding domestic animals (q.v.), living within a defined geographical area or ecological zone.


i. Fauna of Persia.

ii. Fauna of Afghanistan. See AFGHANISTAN iii.

iii. Fauna of Central Asia.



The Persian fauna is known in piecemeal fashion from studies of various groups of animals, but there has so far been no coordinated effort to record the entire range systematically, as there has been for the Persian flora (e.g., Rechinger) and for the fauna of the former Soviet Union, former British India, and the Arabian peninsula (Büttiker; Büttiker, Wittmer, and Krupp). In Persia some invertebrate groups have been studied systematically, and studies have been undertaken for all vertebrate groups, but the scientific literature is vast and scattered; a preliminary attempt to include the most important works in an annotated bibliography was undertaken by R. L. Burgess and his colleagues in 1966; Henry Field’s bibliography, also prepared with the assistance of colleagues, is even larger. Bashir E. Allus’s bibliography on the vertebrates of Iraq and neighboring countries is also very useful, as are comprehensive bibliographies on the fish, amphibians, and reptiles of Turkey by Ibrahim Baran and his colleagues and on the mammals by Hans Kumerloeve.


The first European naturalist to visit Persia was Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, employed by the Russian government to explore parts of Gīlān and Māzandarān in 1770-72 (1774; 1784; Pallas). Subsequent explorers who made zoological collections included Guillaume A. Olivier, who went to Isfahan and Tehran in 1796; Édouard Ménétriés, who worked in the mountains of Ṭāleš; Carl Eduard von Eichwald (1834-37; 1841), who touched at two or three places on the Persian coast during his exploration of the Caspian shores in 1825-26; Rémi Aucher-Eloy, a French botanist who made zoological collections on his visits to Shiraz, Būšehr, Bandar-e ʿAbbās(ī), the Baḵtīārī mountains, Hamadān, Tehran, and Tabrīz but failed to note the precise locations where each sample was taken; William K. Loftus, who collected some zoological specimens along the Persian-Turkish border region in 1849-52; Alexander Keyserling, who collected a few reptiles and fish in Khorasan in 1858-59; and Theodor Kotschy, a botanical collector who brought some reptiles, without adequate location notes, to the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Apparently the first attempt to compile a list of all the vertebrates known from Persia was that of Filippo De Filippi, who included 30 mammals, 167 birds, 39, 3 amphibians, and 22 fishes. He also provided a list of land and fresh-water mollusks. A more thorough and systematic synopsis of the vertebrates, exclusive of fish, was prepared by the Persian Boundary Commission of 1870-72 under the direction of Frederic Goldsmid (q.v.). William Thomas Blanford listed 89 mammals, 383 birds, 92 reptiles, and 9 amphibians, as well as providing a survey of scientific natural history in Persia up to 1876. He included a brief descriptive analysis of the fauna and considered the relations between the faunas of various regions of Persia and those of neighboring regions. No other author has attempted such a comprehensive survey of the Persian fauna.

After Blanford’s work the pace of studies of Persian fauna increased. The Russian ornithologist N. A. Zarudny traveled extensively in Persia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, collecting birds and other vertebrates (Zarudny; Nikol’skiĭ, 1903; idem, 1907); the greater part of his collections is in the zoological museum in St. Petersburg. Persian birds have probably been studied more extensively and by more workers than any other group of fauna (for bibliography, see BIRDS IN IRAN). The most important synoptic lists, handbooks, and papers include those of Simon H. Jervis Read (1958; idem in Camb. Hist. Iran); Charles Vaurie; François Hué and Robert D. Etchécopar; Hermann Heinzel and his colleagues; Derek Scott and his colleagues; Stanley Cramp and K. E. L. Simmons; Colin James Oliver Harrison; and Philip Arthur Dominic Hollom and his colleagues. According to Scott, 491 species are known to occur in Persia.

Mammals, particularly game species, have also been investigated, most notably in reports of the Persian Game and Fish Department (Sāzmān-e šekārbānī wa naẓārat bar ṣayd), later incorporated into the Department of Environmental Conservation (Sāzmān-e ḥefāẓ-e moḥīṭ-e zīst; see ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION). The most comprehensive synopsis of Persian mammals is that of Douglas Lay, who accompanied the Street expedition in 1962-63. He provided descriptions of habitats, remarks on specimens collected by the expedition, and a synoptic list of the 125 mammal species known in Persia in 1967, with summaries of their distribution. Xavier de Misonne published a descriptive zoogeographic analysis of the mammals, as well as brief descriptions and characterizations (1959; idem inCamb. Hist. Iran). Fred Harrington produced a guide to Persian mammals under the auspices of the Department of the environment; it was organized by type of habitat, rather than taxonomically, and included 148 species, 112 of them illustrated. Probably the most detailed systematic study of a group of mammals in Persia is that of the bats (q.v.) undertaken by Anthony DeBlase, who accompanied the 1968 Street expedition; he recognized thirty-eight species and provided a detailed account of each, as well as a brief zoogeographic analysis of Persian bats.

Among important papers on Persian reptiles published since Blanford’s work are those by A. M. Nikol’skiĭ (1903; 1907), based on Zarudny’s collections; Franz Werner, who published a list of known species and a descriptive zoogeography; and Steven Anderson (1963) on a collection from southern Persia, including a list of the reptiles, a zoogeographic discussion, and a bibliography. Anderson (Camb. Hist. Iran) provided a zoogeographic analysis of lizards and an updated list (1974) and synopsis (1979) of turtles, crocodiles, and amphisbaenians. Maḥmūd Laṭīfī of the Rāzī institute (Moʾassasa-ye Rāzī; see DĀM-PEZEŠKĪ) at Karaj near Tehran, one of the foremost producers of snake antivenin in the world, compiled a handbook on the snakes of Persia, including keys for identification, descriptions, illustrations, distributions, and information on snakebite; in the English translation Alan Leviton and George Zug provided an emended list of Persian snakes, totaling seventy-five taxa.

Amphibians have traditionally been considered together with reptiles. In addition to the papers by Werner and Anderson (1963), Anderson (see AMPHIBIANS) listed six species of salamanders (a seventh, Salamandra salamandra semenovi, has since been recorded) and seventeen species of frogs from Persia. The most detailed amphibian study so far is that by Josef Eiselt and J. F. Schmidtler on the frogs of Persia.

Apart from studies of commercially important species undertaken by members of the Department of the Environment, the fishes (q.v.) have received attention from several zoologists. Nelson Annandale and S. L. Hora (1920) reported on those of Sīstān; Lev S. Berg provided the first list of fresh-water fish since that of De Filippi; and M. A. G. Saadati attempted a systematic treatment. N. B. Armentrout (1969; 1980) compiled a checklist of Persian fresh-water fish, and the list has been extended and updated in the publications of Brian Coad (1979; 1980; 1987), who has recorded 155 native fresh-water species and has provided the only published zoogeographical analysis.

Insects constitute the largest segment of Persian fauna. Although there has been no comprehensive treatment, there is a large literature on individual species. An important series, “Contribution à la faune de l’Iran,” has been published in Annales de Société Entomologique de France. In a symposium volume on the fauna and zoogeography of the Middle East, edited by Friedhelm Krupp, Wolfgang Schneider, and Ragnar Kinzelbach, a number of important papers shed light on distribution patterns and relationships among the insects of Persia and neighboring countries, includingOdonata (Schneider), Raphidiopetera (H. Aspöck), Trichoptera (Malicky), and Zygaena (Naumann).

Arthropods (q.v.) that have been studied in Persia include a number of arachnids (q.v.), like ticks, mites, spiders, scorpions (see especially Vachon and Kinzelbach for a review of taxonomy and distribution in the Middle East), pseudoscorpions, and solpugids; centipedes; millipedes; and such crustaceans as fresh-water crabs and terrestrial isopods.

Fresh-water and terrestrial gastropods and oligochaetes also occur in Persia.

[See now Firouz, 2005—e.g., Figure 1.]


The vast, arid, and physiographically complex tract stretching across North Africa, southwestern Asia, and northwestern India is home to a complex of species, many of them distinct from those of sub-Saharan Africa, tropical Asia, and northern temperate Eurasia. Their relations at the generic and family levels are, however, for the most part with those of Eurasia, and they form part of the fauna classically termed Palearctic. Persia is the most geographically complex area within this region and consequently has the greatest biological diversity for its size in southwestern Asia.

In this article only a descriptive outline of the distribution of Persian fauna in relation to physiographic and ecological features can be presented, with no speculation upon historical factors that have produced the present complex of species. Except for faunal elements shared with other regions, southwestern Asian species are distributed between two broad types of landscape. One is the region generally known as the Iranian plateau, stretching from the Anatolian highlands across Persia and Afghanistan to the Solaymān range in the southeast. Species occupying this area have been labeled Irano-Turanian by most zoogeographers. Anderson (in Camb. Hist. Iran) divided them into Iranian elements, restricted to the uplands, and Aralo-Caspian elements, concentrated mainly on the plains and basins of Turkmenistan and neighboring republics of Central Asia (see iii, below). The second major landscape type, encompassing the low-lying desert areas along the southern margins of the Palearctic from North Africa to northwestern India, is home to the Saharo-Sindian group of fauna. Within these regions are species and associations of species with much more restricted distribution. Considering the fauna of western Asia as a whole, various authors have introduced a confusing array of terms, attempting to systematize patterns of distribution within particular taxa. In addition to the labels already mentioned, there are Holarctic for the temperate and boreal latitudes of the northern hemisphere, including North America; Western and Eastern Palearctic; Euro-Siberian for the northern latitudes of the Palearctic; Eremian for Saharo-Sindian plus the arid portions of Irano-Turanian; Ethiopian or Afrotropical for sub-Saharan Africa; Oriental for southern and southeastern Asia, Paleotropical for Ethiopian plus Oriental; Mediterranean for southern Europe and the North African littoral plus the Levant; and various subdivisions that are more or less self-explanatory. Although some authors have used these terms descriptively, to others they have implied areas of origin. When used here they are simply descriptive.

Fishes. The native fresh-water fishes of Persia include 155 species in 24 families. In his concise analysis of the zoogeography of Persian ichthyofauna Coad (1987) recognized 19 major drainage basins, all but 4 of which are endorheic. The fishes are principally Palearctic but include Oriental and Ethiopian elements, particularly in those few basins that drain into the Persian Gulf. The Sīstān basin also contains Oriental species and species derived from the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. Three families, Cyprinidae, Cobitidae, and Gobiidae together comprise 73.6 percent of the species in Persia. The Caspian is the most diverse drainage basin, with 15 families, whereas the Tigris basin contains 11. The basins that drain into the Persian Gulf have 5 to 7 families each, and the remaining internal drainages have 4 or fewer. According to Coad, the most important factors in determining the present distributions at species level are transgressions of the Caspian, which shares elements of Black Sea/Mediterranean fauna; drainage captures owing to orogeny and erosion, which have enabled fish to move between adjoining basins; river highways that over time have connected habitats at very different elevations (e.g., the Helmand river between the Hindu Kush and the Sīstān basin); marine penetration from one basin to another in southern Persia, causing fresh-water fishes to develop a tolerance for salinity; and possibly human intervention. Because of rugged terrain and extreme climate (q.v.) Coad believes that historically most human relocation of native fish has been within, rather than between, basins.

Shifts in climate and devegetation affect all biota in the environment. Coad has discussed the impact of such environmental changes on fresh-water fishes (1980). The pace and impact of devegetation have increased as the Persian population has grown and industrialization expanded. Overgrazing by larger and larger flocks and herds of domestic stock and deforestation for fuel and to clear land for agriculture have altered local climates, reduced rainfall and retention of water, and increased rates of erosion and silting of streams, lakes, and marshes. Extensive irrigation projects have deflected water from natural watercourses while at the same time providing new aquatic habitats like qanāts. Dam construction can have a cascade of effects deleterious to aquatic life, whereas wells may lower water tables, leading to loss of springs and marshes without providing new habitats for fish. Agricultural and industrial runoff introduces silt and toxic chemicals into aquatic habitats. A number of exotic fish species have been introduced into Persian waterways for mosquito control and both commercial and sport fishing; such introductions alter ecological relations and may have profound consequences for native species. Overfishing has reduced stocks of such important food fishes as Caspian sturgeon, Caspian “salmon,” safīd māhī (Rutilus frisii kutum), Rutilus rutilus caspicus,Cyprinus carpio, clupeid species, and the like.

Amphibians. Persian amphibians (q.v.) are far less numerous than other groups of vertebrates, being restricted to environments that reliably provide at least seasonal water for breeding and are thus most available in the mountain drainages of the north and west. Two families of salamanders occur in Persia: The Hynobiidae, which is temperate Asian in distribution, is represented by two species of the genusBatrachuperus in northern Persia, and the Salamandridae, Holarchic in distribution, is represented by one species each of the European or Euro-Siberian genera Salamandra and Triturus and three species of the Anatolian-Iranian genusNeurergus. All are restricted to springs, caverns, and permanent streams on the windward slopes of the Zagros, Alborz, and Kopet-Dag ranges. Frogs and toads are more tolerant of arid conditions and thus more broadly distributed. They represent four or five genera in four widely distributed families. Hyla savignyi is a Middle Eastern representative of a Euro-Siberian species of a genus that is primarily neotropical in distribution, with a few Holarctic species; in Persia its distribution corresponds approximately to that of the salamanders. Pelobates syriacus, which occurs along the southern Caspian coast, represents the Western Palearctic group of “spadefoot” toads. The genus Bufo is nearly worldwide in distribution; two species or species groups represented in Persia are Western Palearctic: Bufo bufo, with one subspecies just entering northern Persia, and Bufo viridis, with several populations and related isolated species in all provinces. Two Oriental species, Bufo olivaceus and Bufo stomaticus occur in eastern Persian Baluchistan. The Ranidae are represented by four genera in Persia: Rana ridibunda and Rana macrocnemis, which are Western Palearctic; Rana camerani, which is Anatolian; and Rana(Euphlyctis, according to some authors) cyanophlyctis, an Oriental species extending into eastern Persian Baluchistan and Sīstān.

Reptiles. To the observant traveler, reptiles, particularly lizards, are among the most familiar animals, as many are diurnal and most active during the hours of least extreme temperature. Certain general ecological types occur in most geographical regions of Persia, where 113 species of lizards are currently recognized. Of the Agamidae large rock-dwelling lizards of the genus Laudakia (or Stellio) are common in mountainous and foothill regions, where deep crevices provide retreats. Smaller species of the genus Trapelus move from the ground onto small rock piles or into branches of shrubs, where they watch for passing insects. On the flat plains of the central plateau toad-headed agamids, Phrynocephalus, sit and wait for ants, termites, and other small ground prey; several different species occur on the various types of substrate: loose sand, gravel, silt, and so on. In southwestern Persia and on the plateau, where alluvial soils permit burrowing, large herbivorous spiny-tailed Uromastyx are sometimes seen. The largest lizards in Persia are monitors of the genus Varanus, which occur in most provinces; they are active predators, hunting other lizards, rodents, and prey of comparable size. Two widely distributed Western Palearctic legless lizards in the family Anguidae extend into northern Persia, Anguis fragilis, a somewhat specialized feeder on slugs and snails inhabiting the Hyrcanian forest floor, and Ophisaurus apodus, a more active predatory lizard tolerant of drier conditions, found in northern Persia and the western foothills of the Zagros. Active foragers for insects in nearly all Persian environments are the relatively small, quick lizards of Lacertidae, often called “race runners.” Several genera occur on various substrates, and these lizards are common in most habitats. The genus Lacerta is generally Euro-Siberian in distribution and is represented by species in northern and mountainous regions of Persia; Eremias is a genus with many species throughout the Irano-Turanian region and is common on the plains, steppes, and interior foothills of the Iranian plateau, whereas there is only one genus of Ophisops on the plateau in Persia. Mesalina and Acanthodactylusare Saharo-Sindian genera; most species of the latter are specialized for running on loose sand. The shiny-scaled skinks are less numerous but occur in most habitats; some species are adapted to rocky habitats, others to burrowing in loose sand. The most diverse lizard family at the generic level is the geckos, many species of which are adapted to specialized substrates and environmental conditions. Most are nocturnal, but some are crepuscular and a few abroad even during the day. Most familiar to the traveler are species that live in and around houses and can be seen every evening clinging to plaster walls, waiting for insects attracted to the lights.

In his study of the lizards Anderson (in Camb. Hist. Iran) found that only a few species with broad ecological tolerance extend throughout the greater part of either the Saharo-Sindian or Irano-Turanian regions. Although each area has been penetrated by species characteristic of the other, relatively few species are broadly distributed in both regions. Entering southwestern Asia from the northwest and extending into Persia are elements related to European species, primarily those with Mediterranean distribution. Aralo-Caspian desert species occur in northern Persia in areas that are physiographic extensions of lowland Central Asia. A few Oriental faunal elements occur in southeastern Persia, primarily Baluchistan.

The Persian fauna includes seventy-five species and subspecies of snake (Laṭīfī, 1985; idem, 1991). Although every province is rich in species, snakes are less commonly seen than lizards, partly because they are well camouflaged and usually remain motionless in the presence of large animals. Because they feed higher on the food chain, the population densities of snakes tend to be much lower than those of lizards. All are predators, the larger species feeding mainly on rodents, whereas small and medium-sized species feed on lizards and occasionally birds and the smallest on arthropods. A few, like the grass snake (Natrix), eat fish, amphibians, or both. Although many species may be considered beneficial because they feed on rodent pests that compete with humans for crops and stored foods, a few are dangerous to human beings, particularly if barefoot or lightly shod. There are several genera and species of viper, and some, like the small saw-scaled vipers of the genus Echis, are quite aggressive, whereas others, like the false horned vipers (Pseudocerastes) and Vipera lebetina are large and capable of injecting quantities of venom. Vipers are well camouflaged, “ambush” predators, and may thus be trod upon by unwary humans and livestock. The cobra, Naja oxiana, an Oriental species that occurs in northeastern Persia, is an active forager and may be drawn to villages by the presence of rodents. Most snake species belong to the family Colubridae. Many are diurnal and forage actively for their prey; perhaps just as many, including vipers, are primarily nocturnal, at least during the hottest seasons. The Persian Gulf waters are rich in species of sea snakes, which prey primarily on fish; all are dangerously venomous and pose a hazard to net fishermen. The relations of Persian snakes are primarily Western Palearctic, particularly at the generic level. A few genera are Holarctic in distribution, for example, ColuberElaphe, andAgkistrodon. No species is Holarctic, however. EryxNatrixMalpolon,TelescopusVipera, and Echis are Western Palearctic genera, Eirenis andPseudocrastes Iranian in their primary distribution. SpalerosophisLytorhynchus,Walterinnesia, and Cerastes are Saharo-Sindian, whereas LycodonOligodon,Boiga, and Naja are Oriental. The sea-snake genera are widely distributed along the shores of the Indian Ocean. At the species level the relations are far more complex.

There are few turtles in Persia. They include two aquatic species, the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in the northwest, extending along the southern shore of the Caspian, and the Mediterranean stripe-necked turtle (Mauremys caspica) in the permanent streams, ponds, and lakes of western and northern Persia. A third aquatic species, Rafetus euphraticus, a soft-shelled turtle of the Tigris and Euphrates drainages occurs in the Kārūn River and possibly some other drainages of the western Zagros. Adapted to arid regions are the herbivorous terrestrial tortoises Testudo graeca ibera and Testudo graeca zarudnyi, distributed over the western and central Persian plateau. Also extending onto the central plateau in Khorasan is the Irano-Turanian species Testudo (or Agrionemyshorsfieldii. Widespread pantropical marine turtles, Caretta carettaChelonia mydas,Eretmochelys imbricataLepidochelys olivacea, and Dermochelys coriacea, have been recorded in the Persian Gulf or are likely to occur there (Anderson, 1979).

A single species of crocodile (q.v.), the marsh or mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), an Indian species, dwells in isolation in the Sarbāz River of southeastern Persian Baluchistan (Anderson, 1979).

Birds and mammals. There are very few species or even subspecies of birds and mammals that are as narrowly restricted in distribution as are the lizards, for example. A number of familiar animals are in fact Holarctic in distribution. Examples include the wolf, red fox, lynx, brown bear, golden eagle, osprey, and various migratory waterfowl. Many other species represent Holarctic genera.

Scott (1989) found that of 324 species of birds breeding in Persia only 24 are Palearctic, with restricted ranges in the Middle East. He noted that 131 Persian species occur widely in the Palearctic region; in addition, there are 81 Western Paleartic species, reaching the easternmost extremities of their ranges in Persia, whereas 19 are typically Eastern Palearctic, reaching the westernmost tips of their ranges in Persia. He distinguished 25 species as characteristic of the Saharo-Sindian desert belt. He considered the birds of southern Persian Baluchistan and the southern Persian Gulf coast predominantly Oriental, with 29 breeding species of primary distribution in the Oriental region reaching the northwestern extremities of their ranges in Persia, whereas in southwestern Persia there is a small Afrotropical influence, with 6 breeding species of primarily African distribution. Nine species of sea and shore birds that occur throughout the Indian Ocean breed on islands in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormoz. The Persian fauna is greatly enriched owing to the country’s position on the principal annual migration routes of birds. Eighty-six species of winter visitors have their breeding grounds in northern and Central Asia; many are waterfowl (including important game species) and birds of prey. In spring and autumn 24 species migrate between northern breeding grounds and southwestern or southeastern wintering grounds. An additional 57 species have been recorded as vagrants and rare stragglers (for details and examples, see Scott, 1989). Hollam and his colleagues (1988) have published maps of breeding distribution for Middle Eastern species, and C. J. O. Harrison has included summer, winter, and resident ranges in his maps of Western Palearctic birds. He has discussed distribution patterns of Western Palearctic species with respect to climatic and vegetation zones and has attempted to interpret them in the context of Pleistocene events. He has also divided the Western Palearctic into faunal areas, two of which include portions of Persia: the Caspian and Mediterranean area, a potential refuge for a number of species during the climatic changes of the Pleistocene, and the Middle East, which he believes was a speciation center for some birds, with possible refuges along the Tigris and Euphrates valleys and around the Persian Gulf.

In his analysis of the mammals, de Misonne (in Camb. Hist. Iran) defined the Persian fauna as a composite, in which autochthonous elements are combined with elements of more general Palearctic character and with others of African or Indian origin. He found that endemic species were concentrated in Khorasan, extending into Baluchistan and western Afghanistan (characterized by high-altitude and semidesert adaptations), and in Kurdistan, a more enclosed region with more severe winters.

Harrington listed 152 Persian mammalian species in the following orders: Insectivora, 14; Chiroptera, 38; Carnivora, 28; Pinnipedia, 1; Perissodactyla, 1; Artiodactyla, 13; Lagomorpha, 2; Rodentia, 47; and Cetacea, 8. The large mammals have received the most public attention, as they include both game species and predators on game species and domestic livestock. They are also the most vulnerable to changes in human land use and to overhunting. Extensive efforts have been made by the Department of the Environment to preserve their habitats and to protect game and other species by setting aside reserves and national parks. Several populations of mountain sheep (Ovis ammon) survive in the rugged mountain ranges, as does the Persian ibex (Capra hircus aegagrus), progenitor of the domestic goat. The genus Gazella is represented by three species, which are favored game in the southern provinces and the steppes of the central plateau (seeAHŪCHINKARA). The Persian fallow deer, once distributed generally throughout the southwest, had dwindled to a small population along the Karḵa River but, thanks to efforts at preservation and captive breeding, has been making a comeback. Herds of red deer (Cervus elaphus) live in the forest meadows of the Caspian region, whereas the much smaller, more solitary roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is found in the forested areas of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Gīlān, and Māzandarān; both are widely distributed Euro-Siberian species (see DEER). The wild boar (q.v.), Sus scrofa, a species distributed throughout both the Palearctic and Oriental regions, is found in a variety of habitats in Persia, wherever permanent water supplies exist. The Persian wild ass, or onager (Equus hemionus), which once roamed many steppe and desert regions, now survives mainly in national parks and wildlife refuges in Khorasan, Kermān, and Fārs. It is a Palearctic species that ranged from the Mediterranean to Mongolia within historical times.

Large and medium-sized carnivores include the wolf, jackal, fox (three species), brown bear, Baluchistan black bear, striped hyena, small cat (four species), lynx, and caracal. The leopard occurs throughout Persia, wherever large game species are present. The cheetah was once common throughout the drier steppe regions of southwestern Asia but has been driven to near extinction with the reduction of rangelands and declining populations of its prey, primarily gazelles. In Persia it has made a significant comeback in the northeast, with the establishment of protected areas and increased abundance of gazelles. The Persian lion was present in the oak forests throughout recorded history into the 20th century but is now extinct throughout its Eurasian range, except for a small population in the Gir forest of western India. The Caspian tiger was also known in the Caspian region but has not been seen since 1337 Š./1958 and is almost certainly extinct. Two species of mongoose are found in southern Persia, both primarily Oriental in distribution but ranging into the Arabian peninsula. Of seven species in the family Mustellidae six are widespread Palearctic taxa; the seventh, the honey badger (Mellivora capensis), is Afrotropical, extending well into Asia.

DeBlase (1980) analyzed the distribution of thirty-eight Persian bat species: twenty-seven restricted or nearly restricted to the Palearctic faunal region, one common to all four major faunal regions of the eastern hemisphere, two widely distributed in both Palearctic and Afrotropical regions and a third more widely distributed in the Afrotropical than in the Palearctic, and six that are essentially Paleotropical, extending into the Palearctic only in the region of southwestern Asia that links the Oriental and Afrotropical regions. The Egyptian fruit bat is the only member of Megachiroptera in Persia, occurring in the southeast, though it is not common.

The small mammals of Persia are generally less noticed by travelers, partly because most have secretive habits and many are nocturnal. Among the insectivores there are four species of hedgehogs, eight of shrews, and two of moles. There are only two lagomorphs in Persia, the rufescent pika (Ochotona rufescens), a species of the eastern Iranian plateau, and the Cape hare (Lepus capensis), which occurs in Africa, as well as in Eurasia and every province of Persia. The largest group of Persian mammals is the rodents, forty-seven species from nine families. It includes squirrels, porcupines, nutrias (introduced), jerboas, dormice, murid rats and mice, hamsters, gerbils and jirds, and voles. Jochen Niethammer (1987) has provided a list of all recently observed Middle Eastern rodents and has discussed their distribution in terms of small and far-ranging species, species of different origins, and endemic species.

The only pinniped in Persian waters is the Caspian seal (Phoca caspica), an endemic species. Several cetaceans inhabit the Persian Gulf, including four species of whales and three of dolphins. All are either worldwide in distribution or Indian Ocean species.

Arthropods. According to Max Vachon and R. Kinzelbach (1987), in Persia there are twelve genera of scorpions in two families. The genera AndroctonusButhotus,CompsobuthusOrthochirus, and Scorpio occur throughout the entire Middle East.Mesobuthus is distributed primarily in Central Asia. Some endemic genera of the family Buthidae also occur in Persia, but study of them had not yet been completed by 1987; only Kraepelinia and Liobuthus had been described. Hemiscopius occurs in southern Persia, eastern and southern Arabia, the Horn of Africa, and Socotra. The authors noted that the scorpions of North Africa and the Middle East as far as the Indus are extremely homogeneous at the genus and family levels; there is, however, a strong line of demarcation in the south, generally along a line from Dakar to Djibouti in Africa. The scorpions consist of a central Saharo-Sindian element and, along the extreme northern edge of their distribution, influence from European-Mediterranean elements; in the northeast the basic Saharo-Sindian fauna are overlaid by species of Mesobuthus from Central Asia. Territorial separation and extensive division into subspecies partly results from the steadily increasing aridity of the Middle East, with resulting isolation of populations, but the distribution pattern of the genera has undoubtedly been determined by paleogeographical factors.

Insects. A brief review of the small group of snake-neck flies (Raphidioptera; H. Aspöck, 1987) reveals only four species in Persia, two endemic. Because they are strictly arboreal, they occur only in the forested regions of the Alborz. At the generic level the Raphidioptera of the Middle East are related to those of southeastern Europe, whereas those of Afghanistan are Central Asian. The order as a whole is almost strictly Holarctic in distribution. There are 108 species of caddisflies (Trichoptera) in Persia; according to Malicky (1987), they are clearly related to European species, whereas the 60 species of Afghanistan have affinities with those of the Indian subcontinent. The caddisflies of both countries share some species with Central Asia.

In his biogeographical analysis of Middle Eastern and Arabian butterflies T. B. Larsen (1987) considers only southern Persia (Fārs, Būšehr, and Baluchistan). In this region alone there are 113 species, 89 (79 percent) of them Palearctic in their relations, though many are limited to the higher elevations of the Zagros system; only 3 species are Afrotropical. This situation is in sharp contrast to that in Oman on the other side of the Persian Gulf, where the butterflies are 30 percent Afrotropical and only 15 percent Palearctic. Four Persian species are Oriental, nine Eremian, and seven Paleotropical.

C. M. Naumann analyzed the distribution patterns of a single genus of diurnal moth,Zygaena, in the Near and Middle East. It is a large Palearctic genus represented by fifty species in the region, hence well suited to distribution analysis. The life histories of the species are tied to the distribution of their larval food plants, and their ecological relations can be divided into three major types: arboreal, eremic, and oreal. Representatives of each can be found in Persia: arboreal species in the Alborz and Zagros, eremic in Artemisia/Astragalus steppe areas, and oreal at the xeromontane elevations of the Alborz and northwestern Zagros.


Anderson (in Camb. Hist. Iran) delineated thirteen faunal areas in Persia, based on physical geography, climate, and distribution of lizards. This schema can be extended to the fauna as a whole, though other authors might well categorize the areas differently, depending upon distribution of other groups. For example, distribution of fishes and other fresh-water organisms is most readily characterized according to drainage systems, whereas the more vagile animals (especially nonpasserine birds), some flying insects, and many mammals are less constrained by topography than most reptiles, amphibians, fishes, terrestrial mollusks, and arthropods.

The central plateau. The internal drainage basin of the plateau lies entirely within Persian borders and is rimmed by mountains. Although some species range broadly over this entire region, others are confined to particular types of habitat, for example, mountain slopes, sandy plains, gravel plains and slopes, and salt depressions, or are associated with particular types of vegetation or plant species.

The Urmia basin. The mountain fauna of the area of the Iranian plateau that drains into Lake Urmia have affinities with those of the eastern Mediterranean, Transcaucasia, and Anatolia. Other species generally represent the fauna of the plateau but are distinctive at the species and subspecies levels.

The Sīstān basin. The inclusion of this portion of the Helmand drainage within the borders of Persia adds a number of species to the fauna of the country. The affinities of these fauna are primarily with those of the Iranian plateau, though some species are shared with the eastern deserts and the Aralo-Caspian region. Anderson (1968) found that the majority of lizard species belong to two basic categories, widely distributed Iranian plateau forms, found primarily in the uplands, and an endemic sand-adapted Helmand type having affinities with those on the plateau.

The Caspian region. This region includes the northern slopes of the Alborz, especially the lower elevations covered in Hyrcanian forest, and the narrow coastal region. The fauna is related to those of Mediterranean Europe and Transcaucasia, and a few Aralo-Caspian elements are found along the western shore north of the Aras River. Contact with Aralo-Caspian fauna occurs in the vicinity of Gorgān and Pahlavī Dež.

The Ḵūzestān plain and the Persian Gulf coast. The fauna of this region, geographically an extension of the Mesopotamian plain, is closely related to those of lowland Iraq and northern Arabia. Apparently the Tigris basin has served as a barrier to some taxa, however. The fauna is not uniformly distributed, certain species being reported only from the more humid coastal plain. With some exceptions, the species of this region may be identified as Saharo-Sindian.

Persian Baluchistan and the Makrān coast. There are two main elements in these fauna, an Iranian element composed of wide-ranging plateau forms, many of them confined primarily to the rugged, folded terrain of Baluchistan, and a Saharo-Sindian element, largely confined to the coastal region. Many species in the latter group range no farther west than Bandar-e Lenga. It is primarily in Baluchistan and the Makrān that a few Oriental elements, wide-ranging species of broad ecological tolerance, exist in Persia. The large Jāz-e Mūrīān depression is a low internal basin rimmed by mountains and having extensive eolian sand deposits on its floor. The fauna is incompletely known, but some endemic species occur there.

The Turkmen steppe. Small portions of these low plains are enclosed within Persian borders in the northeastern corner of the country and in a narrow wedge east of the Caspian, between the shore and the mountains. Anderson found that fewer than half the lizards could be considered truly Aralo-Caspian, the remainder being species from the Iranian plateau or confined primarily to mountain slopes.

The Moḡān steppe. A portion of this region, drained by the Aras River, falls within the northernmost part of Persian Azerbaijan. There are species with Medi terranean and Transcaucasian affinities, as well as as with forms from the Iranian plateau.

The Zagros. This long mountain chain forms both a barrier between the plateau and the Mesopotamian lowlands and a corridor for the southward distribution of northern faunal elements. Unfortunately, available zoological information is very sketchy, though the southern extent of many northern species is known. A number of species are also endemic to these mountains. The best-known are those of the lower passes, species that range widely through southwestern Asia and are broadly distributed at various elevations in lowland and mountain areas.

The western foothills of the Zagros. This area, too, has been relatively little studied. Although it shares species with both the Zagros proper and the Mesopotamian lowlands, there are also endemic species that lend it a unique character. Some species are most closely related to species of highland Arabia, others to those of Baluchistan and Sind. Anderson found that strictly Iranian species were absent among the lizards, and in this respect the region differs sharply from Baluchistan, where such species are an important element.

The Alborz. The fauna of this range consists of two fairly well-defined segments, that of the dry southern slopes (included in the discussion of the central plateau) and that of the much wetter, forested northern slopes (included in the section on the Caspian coast). A few species cross the passes, and a few range along the lower crests. In addition, a few endemic taxa from these mountains have been described.

The Kopet-Dag. The fauna of the more arid mountain folds stretching along the border between Persia and Turkmenistan east of the Alborz has not been studied in any detail on the Persian side. One reason is that the routes crossing the border run west and east of the mountains. The relatively low Atrak valley divides the two main folds of the range and has been little traveled by zoological collectors. Several endemic taxa occur in this region.

Islands of the Persian Gulf. Knowledge of the fauna of these islands, most of which lie close to the Persian coast, is incomplete, but it seems to represent the Saharo-Sindian group.


In analysis of the lizards Anderson (1968) emphasized the importance of the substrate to the occurrence of particular species; he also considered the relationship of climate types and lizard distribution. Harrington (1977) organized his guide to the mammals of Persia according to thirty-one types of habitat. Although Harrington’s scheme is useful in classifying the considerable diversity of ecological conditions in Persia, most of the representative mammals mentioned have much greater ecological tolerances and occur in many different types of habitats. Furthermore, his plates and accompanying texts represent a mixture of habitat types and more general geographical areas containing several habitats. Lay, in his study of mammals, described the geographical areas investigated by the Street expedition of 1962-63 and within this context provided a more detailed description of habitat types than that by Harrington.

Scott (1989) identified eight major habitat types for birds in Persia: true desert and semidesert, semiarid steppes of the desert rim and foothills, high mountains, forests and woodlands, hot southern lowlands, wetlands, habitats of the Persian Gulf and Makrān coasts, and offshore islands.

See also ĀHŪAMPHIBIANSBIRDSFISH; and other articles on individual animal species and genera.



M. Abai, “List of Cerambycidae Family in Iran,” Entomologie et Phytopathologie Appliquées (Tehran) 28, 1969, pp. 47-54.

B. E. Allus, A Bibliography on the Vertebrate Fauna of Iraq and Neighbouring Countries, 3 vols., Baghdad, 1954-55.

S. C. Anderson, “Amphibians and Reptiles from Iran,” Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, ser. 4, 31(12), 1963, pp. 417-98.

Idem, “Zoogeographic Analysis of the Lizard Fauna of Iran,” in Camb. Hist. Iran I, pp. 305-71.

Idem, “Preliminary Key to the Turtles, Lizards and Amphisbaenians of Iran,”Fieldiana. Zoology 65, 1974, pp. 27-44; tr. Y. Seyrānī as Kelīd-e šenāsāʾī-e mārmūlakhā-ye Īrān, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977.

Idem, “Synopsis of the Turtles, Crocodiles, and Amphisbaenians of Iran,”Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, ser. 4, 41(22), 1979, pp. 501-28.

N. Annandale, ed., Report on the Aquatic Fauna of Seistan, Records of the Indian Museum 18, Calcutta, 1919-21.

Idem and S. L. Hora, “The Fishes of Seistan,” in Annandale, ed., pp. 151-91.

C. Arambourg, “Sur des poissons fossiles de Perse,” Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences 209 (24), 1939, pp. 898-99.

Idem, “Les poissons oligocènes de l’Iran,” Notes et Mémoires sur le Moyen-Orient8, 1967, pp. 9-247.

Idem and U. Aspöck, “Untersuchungen über die Raphidiopteran-Fauna des Iran,”Zeitschrift der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Österreichischer Entomologen 22, 1970, pp. 89-95.

N. B. Armentrout, “The Fishes of Iran: A Preliminary Checklist,” manuscript, Bandar Enzeli, Iran, 1969.

Idem, “The Freshwater Fishes of Iran,” Ph.D. diss., Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1980.

H. Aspöck, “The Raphidioptera of the World. A Review of Present Knowledge,” in J. Gepp, H. Aspöck, and H. Hölzel, eds., Recent Research in Neuropterology.Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Neuropterology, Hamburg …, Graz, 1986, pp. 15-29.

Idem, “The Raphidioptera of the Middle East: A Review (Insecta: Neuropteroidea),” in F. Krupp, W. Schneider, and R. Kinzelbach, eds., p. 28.

U. Aspöck, “Die Raphidiopteran der Erde: Eine zoogeographische Analyse (Insecta: Neuropteroidea),” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 3, 1981, pp. 171-73.

Idem, “The Berothidae (Neuropteroidea: Planipennia) of the Middle East,” in F. Krupp, W. Schneider, and R. Kinzelbach, eds., pp. 160-73.

I. Baran, B. Coad, and M. Kuru, Zoologische Bibliographie der Türkei: Pisces, Amphibia, Reptilia,Heidelberg, 1986.

J. Baraud, “Contribution à la faune de l’Iran 10. Coléoptères Scarabaeoidea,”Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, N.S. 4, 1966, pp. 915-25.

K. H. Batanouny, Natural History of Saudi Arabia: A Bibliography I, Jiddah, 1978.

G. Ya. Beĭ-Bienko and L. L. Mishchenko, Saranchevye fauny SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 2 vols., Moscow, 1951; ed. and tr. as Locusts and Grasshoppers of the USSR and Adjacent Countries, 2 vols., Jerusalem, 1963-64.

D. Benyamini, “The Zoogeography of the Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera) of Israel and Nearby Areas,” in Y. Yom-Tov and E. Tchernov, eds., The Zoogeography of Israel: The Distribution and Abundance at a Zoogeographical Crossroad, Monographiae Biologicae 62, Dordrecht, 1988, pp. 309-24.

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(Steven Anderson)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: January 24, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 4, pp. 437-446