French Guiana: World Endangered Species Day

Red panda, manta ray, polar bear, endangered animals on planet earth. More than 20,000 plant and animal species are at imminent risk of extinction each year, according to a study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Guyana is not immune from this global phenomenon.

The fauna of Guyana includes more than 1,500 species of vertebrates. The inventory showed that 166 of them are threatened. Guyana Dolphin Sotalia Guianensis, an endangered species, freshwater fish, Harttiella pilosa is frankly an endangered species, meaning this species is vulnerable to imminent extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species is an essential document for biodiversity conservation.

This project was supported locally by DEAL Guyane, and implemented by the reference structures of the department. This assessment dynamic is part of France’s Red List of Threatened Species, supported by the IUCN and the National Museum of Natural History.

bearded tyrant


  • For birds in Guyana, the Bearded Tyrannulet (Polystictus pectoralis) appears to be a species at imminent risk of extinction, the last level of danger before the species became extinct in the wild.

This symbolic bird of the dry savannah is directly affected by the threats associated with its environment, and the use of the savannah in agriculture, livestock and urbanization. Giant snipe, oriental or yellowish meadowsweet are the species, all of which are classified as “endangered” in French Guiana.

Cryptonanus nov. Sp


Among marsupials, the genus Cryptonanus includes five living species. All of them are very small and weigh from 5 to 40 grams, these species are not particularly well known. Cryptonanus nov. Sp, an endangered species.

Ground tapir, Tapirus terrestris

© wf

Ground tapir, Tapirus terrestris, is a species well known to Guyana, and according to the IUCN website, this species is in the vulnerable area. Despite the recent ban on its marketing and rationing, this species is mainly threatened by hunting. Observed harvest rates, including traditional fishing, regularly exceed maximum rates considered sustainable.

West Indian manatee


  • The Antillean manatee is classified as “critically endangered” in Guyana.

Because of its fragility and symbolic character, the manatee is an enigmatic animal, of great cultural importance within Guyana’s various traditional societies. The main threats to this species are bycatch in coastal fishing nets and occasional poaching for its meat. In some areas, it is also likely to be affected by shipping traffic and water quality, which may help reduce its abundance.

Guyana dolphins

Guiana Dolphin Sotalia guianensis

  • The Guyanese dolphin, with a sedentary character, is classified as “endangered.”“Bycatch in fishing nets is the leading cause of death for stranded animals in Guyana. On average, there is stranding every two months. Sutale is also threatened by the degradation of its habitats due to sewage discharges, inputs used in agriculture and gold washing.
2021, exceptional antique of olive and agarwood trees on the shores of Cayenne Island

When leatherback turtles come ashore, they fall victim to coastal nets and suffer from the deterioration of their nesting sites due to urban development.

© Celine AMORAVAIN Association KWATA

Leatherback turtle, dermochelys coriacea

  • The leatherback turtle, which is highly regarded by locals and tourists, has been classified as a “vulnerable situation”, according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. Accidental pickings are responsible for most of the decline in their numbers. When they come ashore to lay eggs, leatherback turtles are victims of coastal nets. They also suffer from the deterioration of their nesting sites due to urban development. Eggs are particularly vulnerable to stray dogs, as are egg young, which are also sensitive to light pollution.

Crotalus durissus

© Audric Brooks

  • South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus

South American rattlesnake is an endangered species in Guyana. This snake is found mainly in the savannah regions of the West Coast. These areas represent less than 0.3% of Guyana’s territory. South American rattlesnakes are threatened by frequent dry season fires and the deterioration of their natural habitats due to human pressures. He is also a victim of road crushing and voluntary destruction. Only the Amana Nature Reserve and the Guyana Space Center restricted natural area represent the sanctuary islands for these listed species.

  • Cayenne turtle Podocnemis unifilis

This species is in a weak position. They are the only river turtles in the strict sense of the word, which depend entirely on hydrological cycles. In Guyana, this species is restricted to the east of the province. This turtle is experiencing a marked decline in numbers across its entire range, due to egg collection and habitat loss through gold mining and deforestation. The species in our department are subject to full regulatory protection.

Hartila Pelosa

© Antoine Baglan

  • Hartila PelosaIt Fish species classified as “endangered”. This species develops, in an environment characterized by running water, a rocky substrate supplemented with plant residues. This fish develops in a certain bioenvironment, which makes it particularly vulnerable to any disturbance in its environment. The habitat of this species is also under pressure from gold prospecting, threatened by the development of placer mining sites.
  • weak amphibians

Granville’s Anomaloglossus, Anomaloglossus degranvillei, is a small, terrestrial, diurnal amphibian. The reasons for this decline of amphibians are currently unexplained. These species occupy very stable environments in terms of temperature and humidity. A hypothesis put forward, this amphibian could be sensitive to disturbances, even minor, from its environment. It could be infection with the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is known to be responsible for the particularly severe decline in other amphibian species living in similar environments in Central America, the Andes and Australia.

There is currently no Red List for invertebrates (such as insects), nor for plants among which there are many endangered species.

GEPOG has contributed significantly to the development of these regional red lists, including other animal groups.

Guyana National Nature Park


In French Guiana, there are various stresses affecting wildlife species and their natural habitats. Drying and filling of wetlands and clearing coastal forests also reduce the species’ natural habitat. Hunting is another pressure on target species.

166 espèces de la faune de Guyane identifiées comme menacées

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