Mammals of Costa Rica

Costa Rica's mammalian population is outstandingly diverse! There are flyers, crawlers, creepers, loungers, predators, and prey. A total of 212 species, also varying in degree of status between secure and threatened, share the ground, trees, mountainsides, skies, and seas.

Costa Rica Monkeys

Monkeys are another frequently encountered mammal in Costa Rica. The four species that live here are the squirrel, howler, capuchin, and spider monkeys. These are generally social animals among their own groups, except for the spider monkeys, and some sometimes be seen in numbers of up to 40 at a time. Howler monkeys can be heard up to a mile away and weigh up to 12 pounds. Capuchin monkeys are generally the ones most encountered and are winning the competition with squirrel monkeys over habitat.

Costa Rica Sloths

The pair of sloth species present in Costa Rica, two fingered and three fingered, both prefer to stay high in the trees. This is where their food is found, and commonly they only come down to defecate.

Costa Rica Tapir

Tapirs are an endangered species that look like a mix between an elephant and an anteater. They only reside in protected areas, and have learned to fear man, remaining secluded deep within the forests.

 

Costa Rica Big Cats

There are six species of cat living wild in Costa Rica--with the jaguar being the most famous. Powerful enough to take down a cow, the jaguar is an endangered species that is being helped back to a stable population through the assistance of preservation land. They are generally yellow with identifying black marks across the body. The other large cat that can be found in Costa Rica is the puma, or mountain lion. Ocelots, margay, oncilla, and jaguarundi round out the full list of cats here, all of which are endangered.

Costa Rica Anteater

 

Peccaries, anteaters, deer, rodents, foxes, and weasels are among the other mammals in Costa Rica. They all serve their purpose well in the food chain and are generally leery of humans. All have been hunted for their meat, but none of these are considered endangered.

Costa Rica Bats

Unlike the endangered cats, bats represent half of the mammal species in Costa Rica! There are several varieties of fruit bat, the very specific and ridiculously feared vampire bat, and even a species of bat that catches fish for food. The only direct threat that these animals caused to humans are sickness oriented. They can be cool to watch and do wonders on helping to control the massive insect population, but are best left alone.