Manu National Park has a staggering diversity of mammals, with 221 species being recorded to date. Despite the high number of species, most mammals are challenging to see in the rainforest environment, and those that you do see tend to be the larger and more spectacular taxa such as primates, ungulates and carnivores. After 40 years of protection from hunting many larger mammals are now quite tolerant of visitors and Manu offers some of the best mammal watching opportunities in the Amazon basin.

Amongst the most attractive for visitors are:

Giant Otter

The world’s largest otter that can be found in family groups on the lakes of the park; the top predator on Amazonian lakes, they are very active and social making them highly entertaining to watch.


The Jaguar is largest cat of the Americas and a treat for any lucky enough to see it. Manu is now proving to be the most reliable rainforest location to find this species. Nearly 70% of visitors have seen these magnificent cats during the dry season (July to September) in recent years, usually on the beaches or banks of the Manu river.


Primates are another treat to watch and 14 species of monkey are recorded from the park including: the tiny Pygmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest primate; the impressive Red Howler Monkey whose howling calls carry up to 2 km through the forest and are one of the defining sounds of the Amazon; and the agile Black-faced Black Spider Monkey, the largest of the monkeys in Manu.

White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccaries form large herds that shape the environment as they pass through the forest devouring plants and animals alike. An encounter with such a herd is an amazing experience.

Other mammals

Many small mammals are active at night, so night walks offer a great opportunity to find small cats, night monkeys, possums, porcupines, rodents and procyonidae species such as the olingo and kinkajou.

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