A male, white-eyed coqui “singing” to attract a female, El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico.
Photo: Father Alejandro J. Sánchez Muñoz.
Fauna of El Yunque rainforest
Among El Yunque’s fauna are birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. In all, there are more than 77 species of birds, 17 unique to Puerto Rico. The most endangered of the rainforest’s 144 animal species is the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata). Found only on the island, it is one of the ten rarest birds in the world. The parrot population was estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands when first encountered by Columbus in 1493, but dropped to a low of 13 birds by 1975. A recovery and breeding program is releasing captive birds to create a new wild flock in the Rio Abajo State Forest and to augment the existing one in El Yunque. Amphibians include 13 species of coquís, a singing tree frog native only to Puerto Rico. Millions of these tiny frogs make their “ko-KEE” calls to one another after a rain shower or to announce the ending of the day. Reptiles include about 14 species of lizards and 5 or 6 species of non-poisonous snakes, notably the endangered Puerto Rican Boa. The only order of mammal native to El Yunque is the bat, of which there are 11 species.
Source: El Yunque National Forest.
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