Wildlife of the Amazon Part 1: Mammals

Wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest Part 1: Mammals
We have the great privilege of being one of the few to run volunteer abroad programs in Guyana's unspoiled Amazon rainforest. Guyana's Amazon is the most northern reach of the Amazon Basin and also some of the last untouched tropical rainforest in the world. Being in Guyana is always a pleasure and you never know which animals you encounter. Whenever we think we have seen it all some interesting animals introduces itself that we had no clue of even existed.

Guyana's Amazon and Savannahs are very rich in wildlife and we believe with still many species to be discovered, but what animals can you expect reasonably in  4 week volunteer abroad stay in Guyana?
In the dense rainforest mammals are always some of the more difficult species to discover. But with the right persistence, by staying quite and by being on the lookout in during dawn and dusk you will often be rewarded. Keep in mind that most of the animals in the rainforest are in the trees and not on the forest floor.
In the rainforest areas there are good opportunities to see Howler, spider and Capuchin monkeys in the canopies. On the forest floor chances are you will see large guinea pig like rodents as Paca's and Agouti's. Another forest floor dweller that you might encounter are mule deer and the notorious peccary.

At the water edge you might encounter the world's largest rodent the Capybara and if you are lucky you might catch the odd looking Tapir going for swim.

Other common spotted animals around human settlements are for example the giant rat looking like possums, which are in fact marsupials and closer related to kangaroo's..

If you spent most of your time on the savannahs of the Rupununi then you have almost the guarantee to see the amazing Giant Anteater. Other commons species are grey foxes, deer, peccary and possums.  
What About  cat species like the Jaguar, ocelot and cougar? All though they are much more common in Guyana then most other countries, the chances you will see them during your stay is very minimal all though it does happen on occasion.
Of any of the large mammals species, dolphins are more easily seen in the large river systems of the Amazon Rainforest. You will find both the prehistoric Pink river dolphins and the smaller grey river dolphins here. One of the most sought after and rarest mammals of the Amazon is the Giant River otter. The Giant river otter is still quite common in some parts of Guyana and there is good chances of seeing these amazing creatures.

When looking for mammals keep in mind that most are found in the water, at the water's edge or in the tree's as the undergrowth is actually quite scarce and a hard place for mammals to survive. Don't travel to the Amazon and expect to see many large animals around every corner. Here you travel for the atmosphere, it's smell and sounds and the divers and many creatures you encounter in the most unexpected places.


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