Located in western South America, this mountain range has an area of more than 7,000 kilometers and, therefore, is the longest in the world. In addition, it is part of seven countries and houses the highest volcanoes on the planet. In this article we will tell you some examples of the fauna of the Cordillera de los Andes. Do not miss it!
What is the fauna of the Andes Mountains like?
Its main inhabitants are the South American camelids, a family composed of animals that can survive the extreme conditions and the changing temperatures between day and night. There are also some predators, birds, butterflies, endemic fish and a handful of reptiles. Some examples of the fauna of the Cordillera de los Andes are:
1. Vizcacha de la sierra
Also known as montana vizcacha, this rodent that composes the fauna of the Andes Mountains prefers rugged rocky areas with very little vegetation.
It has a very soft and thick coat, of brown color, with the exception of the tail that can be black or gray. The vizcacha – image that heads this article – is very similar to the rabbit, because it has long erect ears, and protruding mustaches of the face.
2. Andean condor
It is the largest non-marine bird and has no known subspecies. Large, black feathers on almost the entire body (except for some areas of the wings and neck, which are white) and a bald head of red, is the national symbol of many South American countries.
Unlike other scavenger birds, the male Andean condor is larger than the female. In addition, it stands out for its longevity: it can live about 75 years. Build 'roosts' shared with other specimens on the highest cliffs of the mountain, although well differentiated 'rooms' of couples, which are monogamous for life.
This feline is another of the typical representatives of the fauna of the Cordillera de los Andes, which hunting through ambushes. Its diet is formed by a great variety of prey, although its main food is deer.
Cougars are very territorial, their population density is low and they prefer to walk alone. It is a very slender and agile animal, golden in color, with a long tail and erect ears. The figure of the puma is present in the South American culture and even in the name of the rugby team of Argentina.
Of the family of the camelids (which includes the llama, the vicuna and the alpaca), the guanaco is the most widespread of the subcontinent, since it inhabits almost the entire mountain range. This wild animal has a thick, double coat to protect it from the cold.
The guanacos can weigh more than 100 kilos, they feed on herbs, tubers and moss, and their main predator is the puma. It is grouped into small herds, composed of a male and some females with their young. The first is responsible for warning the dangers and warn others by specific sounds.
It is also called southern Andean deer andIt is a mammal of the cervid family that is in danger of extinction. Its population has declined drastically due to hunting.
With robust body, short legs and thick fur of light brown in winter and dark in summer, the huemul is herbivore and feeds on grasses, shoots and shrubs. The males have bifurcated antlers up to 30 centimeters long and are larger than the females.