Eco tours are one of the most popular things to do in Honduras. Each year, thousands of visitors come to visit the rain forests and see the plants and animals that live in Honduras. The Honduran rain forest is the largest north of the Amazon. It is home to many species of Honduras animals. Many types of fish live in the waters surrounding Honduras, so diving trips are a great way of seeing wildlife.
In Honduras wild animals have protected habitats in the country’s many national parks and biosphere reserves. Despite this many animals that live in Honduras are endangered: the manatee, the iguanas of Utila Island, the Central American tapir, and the giant anteater, among others. Even the country’s national bird, the scarlet macaw (a type of parrot) is on the endangered list. The chief cause is illegal deforestation. Increased enforcement of logging laws and the benefits of ecotourism are helping to limit the tree loss, but deforestation remains a major concern.
Manatees are native to the warm, shallow water around the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, among other places in the world, and the West Indian Manatee, as the type native to Honduras is known, is one of the more endangered species in the region. These large aquatic mammals, which are also called sea cows, are curious and not particularly agile, so their existence is most threatened by human-related causes, such as collisions with boats and propellers, and the destruction of their habitat.
Often synonymous with tropical settings, monkeys are one of the most popular of Honduras wild animals. Three species of monkey live in Honduras: the white-faced monkey, spider monkey, and howler monkey. If you take a trip to the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve or other national parks in Honduras you are bound to hear the cries of the howler monkey.
One animal that you are unlikely to see in Honduras is the native large cat, the jaguar. These elusive creatures are one of the most prevalent of large Honduras wild animals, especially in the forests of the Mosquito Coast, but they are notoriously shy and hard to spot.
Utila Island is famous for its iguanas. An Iguana preserve near Utila Town provides glimpses of these otherworldly dinosaur-like animals.
Not all the animals that live in Honduras are creatures you would hope to run into. Crocodiles and poisonous snakes are common in the rainforests. It is always unwise to enter the Honduras jungle without a guide.
Honduras is a birdwatchers paradise. Toucans, parrots, and swallows make up just a fraction of the over 700 species of birds that have been spotted in Honduras.
In Honduras wild animals can be spotted on land, in the air, and in the water. Honduras’ Bay Islands are famous for their diving sites. Hundreds of species of fish – some of them highly colorful – live among the coral. In early and late summer, enormous whale fish can be spotted in the waters off Utila Island.
Honduras animals are one of many highlights of a Honduras vacation. Spotting a colorful parrot, huge iguana, or graceful turtle is an awesome feeling, one you can get in few other places on earth.
To help protect Honduras animals, always remember simple rules of travel when visiting the backcountry: do not by souvenirs made of endangered animals, do not approach or feed the Honduras wild animals, always dispose of trash and excrement responsibly, and stay on trails for avoid damaging habitat.