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Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

Interesting facts:

Their habitat is montane cloud forest from Southern Mexico to western Panama. The male has a helmet-like crest. Depending on the light its feathers can shine in a variant of colors from green-gold to blue-violet. In breeding males, tail coverts are longer than the rest of the body. It is classified as near threatened due to habitat loss.

Featured species: Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

The Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius) is a species of large semi-aquatic rodent that lives in herds near fresh water from eastern Panama to the northwest of Colombia and the west of Venezuela, west of the Andes. Originally described in 1912 by the American zoologist Edward Alphonso Goldman, this species is scarce and shy in Panama and uncommon in Venezuela. In Colombia, lesser capybaras were abundant in stream edges, swamps and permanent lagoons.

Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

From its description, it was considered as a small subspecies of capybara (H. hydrochaeris), the largest living rodent in the world. However, in 1991 after genetic and morphological analysis that determined differences, it was elevated to species condition. At present, only these two species of capybaras exist. The size and weight of the lesser capybara are considerably smaller than its congener’s.

Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

It feeds only on vegetables and is captured by caimans, crocodiles, boas, big cats such as the jaguar and puma, and by humans, as it is used as a source of food by subsistence hunting. This species occurs only in habitats close to water including marshes, estuaries, and along rivers and streams. Depending on habitat and human pressure, it is found singly or socially, as well as may be diurnal or nocturnal. They can reproduce throughout the year, and after a gestation of approximately 15 weeks, two to eight cubs are born.

Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

The major threats are deforestation of gallery forests, extensive agriculture and subsistence hunting, especially in Colombia where it is heavily hunted and its habitat is being rapidly destroyed in swamps at the mouth of the Magdalena River. In Panama, although it is scarce, can be frequently seen in the Canal area.


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