Endemic Animals of Cuba








Cuban Crocodile
Cuban Crocodile
The Cuban crocodile is amongst the most threatened of the New World crocodilians (which include alligators, caimans and gharials). It is of medium size and has a short, broad head with high bony ridges behind its eyes; a large adult has a medial ridge that runs between its eyes towards its snout. Its toes are short and do not have webbing, indicative of animals that spend more time on land as compared to most other crocodilian species. Juveniles ...
and adults both have a sprinkled pattern of black and yellow on their back, and for this reason are sometimes called 'pearly' crocodiles.
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Cuban Crocodile
Cuban Solenodon
Cuban Solenodon
The Cuban solenodon is an insectivore native to Cuba. It is unusual among mammals in that its saliva is venomous. With small eyes and dark brown to black hair, the Cuban solenodon is sometimes compared to a shrew, although it most closely resembles members of the tenrec family, of Madagascar. It has an elongated snout and a long, naked, scaly tail.
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Cuban Solenodon
Cuban trogon
Cuban trogon
The Cuban trogon or tocororo is a species of bird in the family Trogonidae. It is endemic to Cuba, where it is also the national bird. Its natural habitats are dry forests, moist forests, and heavily degraded former forest.
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Cuban trogon
Desmarest's hutia
Desmarest's hutia
The Desmarest's hutia, also known as the Cuban hutia, is a species of rodent endemic to Cuba, although an extinct subspecies is known from the Cayman Islands. Weighing up to 8.5 kg, it is the largest of the extant species of hutia . It has the most complex stomach of any rodent.
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Desmarest's hutia
Cyclura nubila
Cyclura nubila
The Cuban rock iguana, also known as the Cuban ground iguana or Cuban iguana, is a species of lizard of the iguana family. It is the second largest of the West Indian rock iguanas, one of the most endangered groups of lizards. A herbivorous species with red eyes, a thick tail, and spiked jowls, it is one of the largest lizards in the Caribbean. The Cuban iguana is distributed throughout the rocky southern coastal areas of mainland Cuba and its ...
surrounding islets with a feral population thriving on Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico. A subspecies is found on the Cayman Islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Females guard their nest sites and often nest in sites excavated by Cuban crocodiles. As a defense measure, the Cuban iguana often makes its home within or near prickly-pear cacti. Although the wild population is in decline because of predation by feral animals and habitat loss caused by human agricultural development, the numbers of iguanas have been bolstered as a result of captive-breeding and other conservation programs. Cyclura nubila has been used to study evolution and animal communication, and its captive-breeding program has been a model for other endangered lizards in the Caribbean.
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Cyclura nubila
Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker
Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker
The Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker is a subspecies of the ivory-billed woodpecker native to Cuba. Originally classified as a separate species, recent research has indicated that C. p. bairdii may, in fact, be sufficiently distinct from the nominate subspecies to once again be regarded as a species in its own right. There have been no confirmed sightings of the bird since 1987; it is generally believed to be extinct, although the survival of some ...
individuals is considered a remote possibility.
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Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker
Cuban tody
Cuban tody
The Cuban tody is a bird species in the family Todidae that is restricted to Cuba and the adjacent islands.
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Cuban tody
Cuban black hawk
Cuban black hawk
The Cuban black hawk is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is endemic to Cuba and several outlying cays.
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Cuban black hawk
Gymnogyps varonai
Gymnogyps varonai
Gymnogyps varonai, sometimes called the Cuban condor, is an extinct species of large New World vulture in the family Cathartidae. G. varonai is related to the living California condor, G. californianus and the extinct G. kofordi, either one of which it may have evolved from. The species is solely known from fossils found in the late Pleistocene to early Holocene tar seep deposits in Cuba. G. varonai may have preyed upon carcasses from large ...
mammals such as ground sloths.
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Gymnogyps varonai
Cuban kite
Cuban kite
The Cuban kite is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles and harriers. It is endemic to Cuba. This species is classified as critically endangered by BirdLife International and the IUCN. The current population is estimated 50 to 249 mature birds. In the last 40 years the species has only been observed a handful of times with the latest published sighting in 2010 in Alejandro ...
de Humboldt National Park. The Clements Checklist and the AOU consider it as subspecies of the hook-billed kite. A molecular phylogenetics analysis using mitochondrial DNA suggests that it warrants species status having diverged from the mainland lineage approximately 400,000 to 1.5 million years ago. Forest destruction and degradation is the leading cause of population decline, as well as the reduction in prey snail numbers and persecution by local farmers. Its apparently tame nature makes it an easy target for shooters.
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Cuban kite
Blue-headed quail-dove
Blue-headed quail-dove
The blue-headed quail-dove, or blue-headed partridge-dove, is a species of bird in the pigeon and dove family Columbidae. It is monotypic within the subfamily Starnoenadinae and genus Starnoenas.
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Blue-headed quail-dove
Fernandina's flicker
Fernandina's flicker
Fernandina's flicker is a species of bird in the woodpecker family. Endemic to Cuba, its small population of 600–800 birds makes it one of the most endangered species of woodpecker in the world. Fernandina's flicker is threatened by habitat loss.
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Fernandina's flicker
Zapata wren
Zapata wren
The Zapata wren is a medium-sized grayish-brown bird that lives in dense shrubs of the Zapata Swamp, Cuba. It is the only member of the monotypical genus Ferminia, which is endemic to Cuba and endangered. This species was first described in 1926 by Thomas Barbour and named after its co-discoverer, Fermín Zanón Cervera.
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Zapata wren
Cuban green woodpecker
Cuban green woodpecker
The Cuban green woodpecker is a species of bird in the family Picidae. It is the only species within the genus Xiphidiopicus and is endemic to Cuba.
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Cuban green woodpecker
Cuban parakeet
Cuban parakeet
The Cuban parakeet is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae that is endemic to the island of Cuba. It was extirpated from the Isla de la Juventud south of Cuba soon after 1900.
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Cuban parakeet
Cuban blackbird
Cuban blackbird
The Cuban blackbird is a species of bird in the family Icteridae.
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Cuban blackbird
Giant kingbird
Giant kingbird
The giant kingbird is a species of bird in the tyrant flycatcher family Tyrannidae. It is endemic to Cuba, although there are historical records of it on other islands. The species is probably mostly closely related to the loggerhead kingbird, which also occurs in Cuba as well as several other nearby Caribbean islands.
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Giant kingbird
Cuban crow
Cuban crow
The Cuban crow is one of four species of crow that occur on islands in the Caribbean. It is closely related to the white-necked crow and Jamaican crow, with which it shares similar features. The fourth Caribbean crow, the palm crow, is a later arrival in evolutionary terms, and shows characteristics more akin to North American species, such as the fish crow, which it is probably closely related to.
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Cuban crow
Zapata rail
Zapata rail
The Zapata rail is a medium-sized, dark-coloured rail, the only member of the monotypic genus Cyanolimnas. It has brown upperparts, greyish-blue underparts, a red-based yellow bill, white undertail coverts, and red eyes and legs. Its short wings render it almost flightless. It is endemic to the wetlands of the Zapata Peninsula in southern Cuba, where its only known nest was found in sawgrass tussocks. Little is known of its diet or reproductive ...
behaviour, and its described calls may belong to a different species. The species was discovered by Spanish zoologist Fermín Zanón Cervera in March 1927 in the Zapata Swamp near Santo Tomás, in the southern Matanzas Province of Cuba. The swamp holds one other bird found nowhere else, the Zapata wren, and also gives its name to the Zapata sparrow. Due to ongoing habitat loss in its limited range, its small population size, and predation by introduced mammals and catfish, the Zapata rail is evaluated as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Tourism and climate change may pose threats in the future.
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Zapata rail
Great lizard cuckoo
Great lizard cuckoo
The great lizard cuckoo is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. The species is also known as the Cuban lizard cuckoo. It is found in The Bahamas and Cuba.
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Great lizard cuckoo
Red-shouldered blackbird
Red-shouldered blackbird
The red-shouldered blackbird is a species of bird in the family Icteridae. It is endemic to Cuba, but despite its limited range, the species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
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Red-shouldered blackbird
Gundlach's hawk
Gundlach's hawk
Gundlach's hawk is a species of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is one of 21 endemic bird species of Cuba. The common name and Latin binomial commemorate the German-Cuban ornithologist Juan Cristobal Christoff Gundlach . It is threatened by habitat loss and human persecution.
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Gundlach's hawk
Cuban bullfinch
Cuban bullfinch
The Cuban bullfinch is a songbird species of the genus Melopyrrha. It is a member of the tanager family Thraupidae and belongs to the subfamily Coerebinae which also includes the Darwin's finches.
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Cuban bullfinch
Bare-legged owl
Bare-legged owl
The bare-legged owl, also called the Cuban bare-legged owl or Cuban screech owl, is a species of owl in the family Strigidae that is endemic to Cuba and Isla de la Juventud. It belongs to the monotypic genus Margarobyas.
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Bare-legged owl
Cuban pygmy owl
Cuban pygmy owl
The Cuban pygmy owl is a species of owl in the family Strigidae that is endemic to Cuba.
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Cuban pygmy owl
Cuban pauraque
Cuban pauraque
The Cuban pauraque, also known as the Cuban poorwill, is an extinct species of nightjar from the island of Cuba in the Caribbean. It was described by Storrs Olson in 1985 from subfossil material he collected in 1980 from a hillside cave overlooking the village, and former historic port, of Daiquirí, about 20 km east of the city of Santiago de Cuba. The specific epithet refers to the type locality.
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Cuban pauraque
Zapata sparrow
Zapata sparrow
The Zapata sparrow is a medium-sized grey and yellow bird that lives in the grasslands of the Zapata Swamp and elsewhere on the island of Cuba. Measuring about 16.5 centimetres in length, it is grey and yellow overall with a dark reddish-brown crown and olive-grey upperparts.
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Zapata sparrow
Cuban kestrel
Cuban kestrel
The Cuban kestrel was a species of small falcon in the family Falconidae that was formerly endemic to the island of Cuba. It was described from fossil remains from late Quaternary deposits from several sites throughout the island.
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Cuban kestrel
Yellow-headed warbler
Yellow-headed warbler
The yellow-headed warbler is a species of bird formerly placed in the family Parulidae, but is now in the Cuban warbler family, Teretistridae. It is endemic to extreme western Cuba and is the sister species to its fellow Cuban endemic, the Oriente warbler, which, as its common name implies, is found in Cuba's east.
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Yellow-headed warbler
Cuban oriole
Cuban oriole
The Cuban oriole is a species of songbird in the family Icteridae. It is endemic to Cuba. Adults measure 20 cm long with a 10 cm wing length. They are black with yellow patches on the shoulders, underwings, rump and undertail. Sexes are alike. Juvenile birds are olive while immature birds are olive with a black face and throat. The taxon was formerly lumped with Bahama orioles, Hispaniolan orioles, and Puerto Rican orioles into a single species ...
known as the Greater Antillean oriole until all four birds were elevated to full species status in 2010. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and plantations.
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Cuban oriole
Bubo osvaldoi
Bubo osvaldoi
Bubo osvaldoi is an extinct species of horned owl from Pleistocene of Cuba.
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Bubo osvaldoi
Oriente warbler
Oriente warbler
The Oriente warbler is a species of bird in the Cuban warbler family, Teretistridae, that is endemic to Cuba. Its natural habitats include dry forests, lowland moist forests, montane moist forests, and xeric shrublands. As its common name implies, the Oriente warbler is found in Cuba's east; it is the sister species to its fellow Cuban endemic, the yellow-headed warbler, which is found in extreme western Cuba.
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Oriente warbler
Grey-fronted quail-dove
Grey-fronted quail-dove
The grey-fronted quail-dove is a species of bird in the family Columbidae. It is endemic to Cuba.
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Grey-fronted quail-dove
Cuban solitaire
Cuban solitaire
The Cuban solitaire, also known as the Cuban nightingale, is a species of bird in the family Turdidae. It is endemic to Cuba.
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Cuban solitaire
Cuban vireo
Cuban vireo
The Cuban vireo is a species of bird in the family Vireonidae that is endemic to Cuba. Its natural habitats are dry forests, lowland moist forests, xeric shrublands, and heavily degraded former forest.
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Cuban vireo
Cuban nightjar
Cuban nightjar
The Cuban nightjar, is a species of nightjar in the family Caprimulgidae. It is commonly found in Cuba, Cayo Coco and Isla de la Juventud. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
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Cuban nightjar
Cuban gnatcatcher
Cuban gnatcatcher
The Cuban gnatcatcher is a species of bird in the family Polioptilidae, the gnatcatchers. It is endemic to Cuba.
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Cuban gnatcatcher
Monte Iberia eleuth
Monte Iberia eleuth
The Monte Iberia eleuth, also known as the Monte Iberia dwarf frog, is a species of eleutherodactylid frog. It is critically endangered and endemic to rainforest in a small part of easternmost Cuba. It is the smallest frog in the Northern Hemisphere and the third smallest frog in the world, at about 10 mm in snout–to–vent length . It was first discovered in 1993 on Mount Iberia in the Holguín Province, from which it gets its name. Much remains unkn ...
own about this small creature. It is part of a closely related Cuban group that contains five additional described species and at least one undescribed species; most of which are of tiny size, relatively brightly colored and possibly aposematic .
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Monte Iberia eleuth
Yellow-striped pygmy eleuth
Yellow-striped pygmy eleuth
The yellow-striped pygmy eleuth, also known as the yellow-striped dwarf frog, is a species of frog in the family Eleutherodactylidae from closed mesic and xeric forests in Cuba. The yellow-striped pygmy eleuth is relatively brightly marked in orange-yellow and among the smallest frogs in the world, up to 1.18 cm in snout–to–vent length with males marginally smaller than females. It is part of a closely related Cuban group that contains five add ...
itional described species and at least one undescribed species; most of which are of tiny size, relatively brightly colored and possibly aposematic . Among these, the yellow-striped pygmy eleuth is unique in being quite widespread in Cuba, whereas the others all have very small ranges in the eastern part of the island.
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Yellow-striped pygmy eleuth
Cuban spotted toad
Cuban spotted toad
The Cuban spotted toad, or Cuban Caribbean toad, is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is endemic to central and eastern Cuba. Its natural habitats are lowland mesic broadleaf forests, but it also occurs on cultivated fields as long as they are not too intensively farmed. It is common in suitable habitat but its distribution is severely fragmented and its habitat is threatened by intensive agriculture, charcoaling, and nickel mining.
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Cuban spotted toad
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