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Mammals in Machu Picchu
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What mammals can I see in Machu Picchu?

On the trip to Machu Picchu, in addition to the historic Inca citadel, you can see a great diversity of animals, such as: the spectacled bear, the vizcacha , the Andean deer, the river otter, the skunk, the sachacabra and much more. In total, 70 species of mammals have been recorded, from 20 families and 47 genera. All within the so-called Natural Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.



chinchilla
Chinchilla – Machu Picchu

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a natural and historic area protected by the Peruvian State that covers an area of ​​32,592 hectares. Up to 70 species of mammals have been recorded there. In the archaeological site of Machupicchu, the ancient citadel built by the Incas, you can see vizcachas, Andean deer, llamas and, with luck, the famous spectacled bear. This is without counting the species of birds, flowers and even butterflies.


What mammals can I see in Machu Picchu?

In the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary there are a total of 70 species of mammals, from 20 families and 47 different genera, which are shown in the following table:

No.Scientific nameCommon name
1Didelphis pernigraAndean Eared Opossum
2Marmosa sp. 1blancas
3Marmosa sp. 2Marsupial Weasel
4Marmosa (Micoureus) reginaMarsupial Weasel
5Marmosa (Micoureus) sp.Queen Marsupial Weasel
6Marmosop impavidusMarsupial Weasel
7Inca LestorosInca Marsupial Weasel
8Akodon boliviensisInca marsupial shrew
9Akodon subfuscusBolivian Field Mouse
10Akodon surdusBrown Field Mouse
11Akodon sp. 1Slate-bellied Country Mouse
12Akodon sp. 2Country Mouse
13Akodon torquesCountry Mouse
14Calomys sorellusMontane Woodland Field Mouse
15Euryoryzomys nitidusReddish Evening Mouse
16Microryzomys minutusShiny Rice Mouse
17Neocomys spinosusTiny Little Rice Mouse
18Nephelomys albigularisCommon Spiny Mouse
19Nephelomys keaysiWhite-necked Rice Mouse
20Oligoryzomys destructorYungas Rice Mouse
21Oligoryzomys longicaudatusDestroyer Rice Mouse
22Oligoryzomys sp.Long-tailed Rice Mouse
23Phyllotis darwini posticalisRice Mouse
24Phyllotis osilaeDarwin’s Mouse-Eared
25Phyllotis sp.1Little-eared Mouse
26Phyllotis sp. 2Mouse-eared
27Rhipidomys leucodactylusMouse-eared
28Rhipidomys couesiCherimoya Rat
29Thomasomys aureusCoues’s climbing rat
30Thomasomys gracilisGolden Wild Mouse
31Thomasomys notatusDelicate Wild Mouse
32Thomasomys sp. 1Bordered Wild Mouse
33Thomasomys sp. 2Wild Mouse
34Lagidium peruanumWild Mouse
35Lagidiun viscaciaPeruvian vizcacha
36Cavia tschudiiChilean vizcacha
37Dasyprocta kalinowskiiWild Guinea Pig
38Cuniculus taczanowskiiSihuayro, agouti, añuje
39Cuscomys oblativusTaczanowski bale
40Dactylomys peruanusMachu Picchu tree rat chinchilla
41Peropteryx macrotisPeruvian cone cone
42Saccopteryx lepturaSack-eared Bat
43Anoura geoffroyiList Brown Bat
44Anoura spLong-faced Tailless Bat
45Carollia perspecillataLong-faced Bat
46Desmodus rotundusCommon Fruit-eating Bat
47Glossophaga spCommon Vampire
48Micronycteris spLong-faced Bat
49Phyllostomus hasstatusBat-eared Bat
50Sturnira erythromus Dark Fruit BatGreater Spearblade Bat
51Sturnira lilium Yellow Road BatSturnira erythromus Dark Fruit Bat
52Sturnira sp. 1 BatSturnira lilium Yellow Road Bat
53Sturnira sp. 2 BatSturnira sp. 1 Bat
54Mormopterus phrudus Incan free-tailed batSturnira sp. 2 Bat
55Tadarida brasiliensis Mastiff BatMormopterus phrudus Incan free-tailed bat
56Myotis nigricans Common Blackish BatTadarida brasiliensis Mastiff Bat
57Vampirops sp.Myotis nigricans Common Blackish Bat
58Leopardus colocolo Pajonal cat, osccollo, Andean catLeopardus colocolo Pajonal cat, osccollo, Andean cat
59Puma concolor PumaPuma concolor Puma
60Lycalopex culpaeus Red fox, atocLycalopex culpaeus Red fox, atoc
61Tremarctos ornatus Spectacled Bear, ukukuTremarctos ornatus Spectacled Bear, ukuku
62Lontra longicaudis Little river wolf, mayupumaLontra longicaudis Little river wolf, mayupuma
63Eira barbara Manco, badger, ucateEira barbara Manco, badger, ucate
64Mustela frenata Weasel, achoccallaMustela frenata Weasel, achoccalla
65Conepatus chinga Skunk, añasConepatus chinga Skunk, añas
66Nasua nasua Ring-tailed Coati, achuni, capisoNasua nasua Ring-tailed Coati, achuni, capiso
67Hippocamelus antisensis High Andean deer, tarukaHippocamelus antisensis High Andean deer, taruka
68Mazama chunyi Dwarf Deer, tanka taruka, waucoMazama chunyi Dwarf Deer, tanka taruka, wauco
69Odocoileus virginianus White-tailed deer, luychuOdocoileus virginianus White-tailed deer, luychu
70Pudu mephistophiles Pudu, sachacabraPudu mephistophiles Pudu, sachacabra


The most famous animal species in Machu Picchu

These are the most famous mammal species recorded in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary

  • Spectacled Bear – The tremarctos ornatus inhabits the humid forests of Machu Picchu, where it can feed on trees and fruits. Its main hallmark is its gray and white spots around its eyes (similar to glasses). It is also called ‘ukuku’.
  • Andean Puma – The puma concolor inhabits much of the American continent. Depending on the region, its name may vary. In Machu Picchu it feeds on rodents, insects and even cattle or camelids. Avoid contact with men, have solitary habits. Its cream and yellow color is its main characteristic.
  • Andean deer – The hippocamelus antisensis is a deer that inhabits forests between 1,500 and 3,200 meters above sea level. It reaches a maximum of 80 centimeters. It has fur and short horns. In Machu Picchu it is possible to appreciate them hidden in the humid forests.
  • Red Otter – The lontra longicaudis is also called the ‘northeast otter’. It inhabits low mountain rivers, up to 3 thousand meters above sea level. It can reach 2 meters in length. It feeds on fish. In Machu Picchu it is usually seen in the rainy season (from November to March) in the waters of the Vilcanota River.
  • Zorrino – The conepatus chinga skunk, also called ‘añas’ inhabits the low and high mountains up to over 4 thousand meters above sea level. Its main feature is its abundant light and dark colored fur. Another distinctive feature is their rectal glands that secrete unpleasant odors as a defense mechanism.
  • Vizcacha – The lagidium viscacia, also called mountain vizcacha, is a species of rodent that inhabits high mountains up to 5 thousand meters above sea level. Its main characteristic is its abundant and soft fur, its large ears and its resemblance to a rabbit. It can reach 80 centimeters and its main food is ichu or Andean grass.

The most famous bird species in Machu Picchu

In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu more than 200 species of birds have been registered (it is estimated that 10% of the entire bird population of Peru), among which are:

  • Andean condor – The vultur gryphus is the largest bird species in South America and the second largest flyer in the world –after the albatross-. It can reach 1.42 meters in diameter (3.30 meters with wings spread). It inhabits the Andes Mountains and its diet is carrion. It flies at heights of up to 6 thousand meters above sea level but also descends to the coast to feed.
  • The torrent duck – The merganetta armata inhabits the rivers of low mountains at altitudes between 1,500 and 4,500 meters above sea level. It is characterized by its red beak and legs (yellowish in females). In Machu Picchu the waters of the Vilcanota River inhabit, especially in the rainy season (from November to March).
  • The Giant Hummingbird – The patagona gigas inhabits is the largest hummingbird species in the world, reaching a diameter of up to 18 centimeters. It inhabits humid and tropical forests between 1,500 and 3,500 meters above sea level. It has white and brown plumage. It is possible to see them in the mountains of the Inca Trail to Machupicchu.
  • Cock-of-the-Rocks – The Peruvian rupicola is recognized as the ‘national bird of Peru’ due to its striking red and black plumage on the males. It inhabits the rocky forests of the low mountains. It can reach 32 centimeters. In Machu Picchu it can be seen at specific points, at a prudent distance.
  • The real churrete – The cinclodes aricomae inhabits the humid and tropical forests of low mountains, between 3,500 and 4,800 meters above sea level. In Peru it is an endemic bird. It is characterized by its brown plumage with white spots on the eyes. It reaches up to 22 centimeters. It is frequently seen on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.



Questions and answers about animal life in Machu Picchu

  • 1. How many mammals are there in Machu Picchu?

    In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu there are up to 70 registered species of mammals.

  • 2. How many species of birds are there in Machu Picchu?

    In 1995 alone, more than 400 species of birds inhabiting the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu were recorded. Today it is presumed that there would be many more.

  • 3. What is the most famous mammal in Machu Picchu?

    There are many mammals that inhabit the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Perhaps the most famous is the spectacled bear tremarctos ornatus (scientific name).

  • 4. Can I see wild animals while visiting Machu Picchu?

    In the archaeological site of Machu Picchu it is possible to observe wild animals such as the vizcacha or the Andean deer (in the high mountains). You can also appreciate domestic animals such as the llama.

  • 5. What is the most famous bird species in Machu Picchu?

    In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu there are more than 400 species of birds. Perhaps one of the most famous is the cock of the rocks.

  • 6. Can I see llamas on my visit to Machu Picchu?

    Yes, in the archaeological site of Machu Picchu there are around 30 llamas that roam free around the place. Many tourists like to take pictures with these domestic animals.

  • 7. Can I see the cock of the rocks on my visit to Machu Picchu?

    In the archaeological site of Machu Picchu there are no suitable forests and rocks for the habitat of the cock of the rocks. However, along the Inca Trail or at the Mándor waterfalls, with luck, you can appreciate these birds.

  • 8. Can I meet pumas in Machu Picchu?

    Pumas, although they inhabit the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, are animals that avoid contact with humans.

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, January 24, 2023