Flora and fauna of Peru - Characteristics and species

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Peru is considered one of the 17 megadiverse countries that exist. But what does this mean? A country is classified as megadiverse when it has high levels of biodiversity together with a high degree of endemism. This classification is under the supervision of the Environmental Conservation Monitoring Center, which belongs to the United Nations Environment Program. Faced with this fact, the great biodiversity of Peru is undeniable.

For this reason, from Ecologist Verde we want to publicize some species of flora and fauna of Peru. If you want to know more about the subject, we invite you to continue reading this article.

Characteristics of the flora and fauna of Peru

Peru presents a great diversity of ecoregions, adding a total of 11. The truth is that there are many species of flora and fauna in Peru and, therefore, it is difficult to find a factor in common between so many species. However, Peru can be divided, in very general terms, into 3 large regions. Starting from this division into regions, we will mention some characteristics of the biodiversity of each one of them.

  • Biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest region. The Amazon rainforest occupies more than half the surface of Peru. In fact, the variety of species that the forest harbors is so great that it is estimated that all the species have not yet been discovered. Regarding the characteristics of biodiversity, the species are adapted to a tropical and humid climate.
  • Biodiversity of the mountains and mountains region. This region corresponds to the Peruvian Andes and presents altitudes of up to more than 6,000 meters. The biodiversity of this region is adapted to the altitude and to the temperate-cold climate and the very dry air.
  • Biodiversity of the coastal region. The coastal region is strongly influenced by the presence of the Pacific Ocean. Consequently, the species are adapted to live under a semi-warm and very arid climate.

If you want to continue learning more about the subject, we recommend this other article on Biodiversity in Peru: characteristics and importance.

Flora of Peru

Next we will develop the most relevant species that are part of the Peruvian vegetation.


Orchids are a group of plants native to South America that are very present in Peru. They are epiphytic or terrestrial plants, with very showy flowers. In Peru they can be found both in the jungle region, as the species Phragmipedium kovachii, in the region of mountains and mountains, for example the species Masdevallia veitchiana and, also, in the coastal region, as is the species Cattleya maxima.

If you want to know more about Epiphytic plants: what they are, types and examples, visit this other article that we recommend from Green Ecologist.


This species (Puja raimondii) is native to the region of mountains and mountains and, unfortunately, it is one of the plants in danger of extinction of Peru. According to the IUCN, it has been classified as in danger of extinction mainly due to the severe modification that its habitat has undergone.

Peruvian cotton

The Peruvian cotton species (Gossypium barbadense) is indigenous to the coastal region of the country. It is a shrub that produces cotton fibersIt also has antifungal properties and some use it for its medicinal benefits to treat hypertension.


Mahogany native to South America is scientifically called as Swietenia macrophylla and, in Peru, it is found specifically in the Amazon rainforest region. It is a tree of almost 50 meters high, whose wood has an important value in cabinetmaking.

Other plant species of Peru

  • Pink stick (Aniba rosaeodora)
  • Hare's legPunotia lagopus)
  • Chastudo (Oreocereus leucotrichus)
  • Pitahaya (Hylocereus megalanthus)
  • Tongues (Trichocentrum tigrinum)
  • Torosisa (Stanhopea candida)

Do not hesitate to read this article by Green Ecologist on Plants in danger of extinction in Peru to know more about the vegetation of Peru.

Fauna of Peru

In the next paragraphs we will develop those species that are part of the animals of Peru.

Spectacled bear

The spectacled bearTremarctos ornatus) is the only species of bear present in South America and, precisely, its distribution covers the entire region of mountains and mountains of Peru. This species is characterized by the presence of white or yellow spots near its eyes that resemble glasses, hence its name. Here you can read Why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction.

Humboldt penguin

This species of penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) has a distribution that covers the entire coastal region of Peru and part of the coast of Chile. Sadly, it is one of the animals in danger of extinction of Peru, as it has been classified by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction. Its state of vulnerability is due to the decrease in its main food: anchovy.

Cock of the rocks

This peculiar bird (Rupicola peruvianus) is native to both the Amazon region and the mountain range region. It stands out for the vivid coloration of plumage, which is typical of males. In contrast, females have a somewhat duller brown coloration.

Dotted frog

The dotted frogBoana punctatus) is an endemic species of South America whose distribution includes the Amazon region of Peru. Curiously, its coloration changes depending on the day or night: during the day its back is rather light green with dark spots and at night the back turns reddish.

Bighead stick lizard

The big-headed stick lizard (Enyalioides laticeps) is a species of lizard endemic to the Amazon and its distribution covers all of eastern Peru. It is characterized by its arboreal and diurnal behavior and its diet based mainly on arthropods.

Other species of animals of Peru

  • Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna)
  • Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  • Cougar (Puma concolor)
  • Suri (Rhea pennata)
  • Macaws (Ara spp.)
  • Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)
  • Anchovy (Engraulis ringens)
  • Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
  • Paicha (Arapaima gigas)
  • Branch cutter (Phytotoma raimondii)

We show you 20 endangered animals of Peru so you can learn more about the animals of Peru.

If you want to read more articles similar to Flora and fauna of Peru, we recommend that you enter our Biodiversity category.

  • List of Wild Flora Species. (2022). CITES Peru. Available at: https://www.minam.gob.pe/simposio-peruano-de-especies-cites/wp-content/uploads/sites/157/2018/08/Listado-FLORA-CITES-FINAL.pdf
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2022). International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Available at: https://www.iucnredlist.org/es/
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