Nicaragua Animals

Nicaragua Wildlife and Economy

Animals and Plants

The nature in Nicaragua

Two coastlines, mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests and large lakes bring a great biodiversity to Nicaragua. Both plants and animals include endemic species, i.e. species that only occur here and nowhere else in the world.

The flora and fauna are particularly diverse in the east of the country, where two nature reserves try to preserve this diversity: the Bosawás nature reserve in the northeast and the Indio Maíz nature reserve in the southeast.

Which animals live in Nicaragua?

There are large numbers of animal species. 183 species of mammals belong to it. In the Bosawás nature reserve there are still jaguars, pumas and the Central American tapir.

The Geoffrey spider monkey swings through the trees. The white-shouldered capuchin monkey and the coat howler monkey can also be found in the trees. The long-tailed cat and the ocelot are smaller predators with pretty coat patterns. The fur of the jaguarundi and that of the wrapped bear, however, are rather inconspicuous.

One anteater that lives in Nicaragua is the Northern Tamandua. Deer, coyotes and peccaries, the umbilical pigs, live in the drier areas of the country, such as the Pacific coast. The Florida cottontail is adapted to many habitats. Other inhabitants of Nicaragua are the three-toed sloth and the nine-banded armadillo.

What flies through Nicaragua

Around 700 species of birds are native to Nicaragua. The quetzal, which still occurs particularly in the Bosawás nature reserve, is strikingly colorful. It only lives in pristine cloud forests at an altitude of 1000 to 3000 meters.

The scarlet macaw can be observed in the damp forests of the lowlands or along rivers. Less colorful, but just as impressive, is the harpy, one of the largest birds of prey in the world.

In contrast, the Mexican siskin and several species of hummingbird are very small. And do you already know the owl? The turquoise brow motmot has been declared the national bird of Nicaragua. On the next page you will find a picture of him. Nice guy too, right?

What is crawling and fleeing there?

The 248 species of reptiles and amphibians include many snakes, crocodiles, lizards, frogs, and salamanders. The range of the poison dart frogs begins in Nicaragua.

And in the sea?

Many fish live in the Pacific and the Caribbean, but also dolphins and whales. Water turtles come ashore to bury their eggs on the beach, for example the olive ridged turtle in the Pacific. The Caribbean manatee, a manatee, lives in the Caribbean Sea.

The bull shark swims through the water on both coasts. It was also native to the huge Lake Nicaragua, but is probably extinct there, as is the sawfish. Overfishing, tourism and increased management have made sure of that. The cichlid Parachromis managuensis is still present. The lemon cichlid swims in the Río San Juan.

On the next page you will find more pictures of animals from Nicaragua. You will also find out which plants grow in Nicaragua.

And what is growing in Nicaragua?

So far, 5796 plant species have been counted in Nicaragua. In the cloud forests on the mountain slopes, for example, oaks, pines, the West Indian cedar as well as moss, ferns and orchids grow. Orchids can also be found in many species in the tropical rainforest. Mahogany species such as Swietenia humilis also grow here.

There are swampy mangrove forests on the Caribbean coast. Red, black and white mangroves and button mangroves grow here. Natural gum for chewing gum can be obtained from the milky sap of the porridge apple tree (sapote). You can also see avocado trees again and again, the fruits of which you can buy from us.

The fruits of the Manchinel tree that look like small apples should be avoided because the tree is very poisonous. If you stand under a manchinel tree in the rain, it secretes a milky liquid that causes blisters on the skin. The natives used the tree sap as an arrow poison in the past.

Nicaragua Animals


How is the economy in Nicaragua?

As a country located in Caribbean and Central America listed on internetsailors, Nicaragua ranks 126th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index. 11 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty (poverty line), almost a third of the population (30 percent) in poverty.

There are many reasons for the poor economic situation: unjust and unclear land distribution, a long civil war, poor infrastructure (e.g. unpaved roads), corruption and frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions.

A not insignificant source of money for the country are the remittances from Nicaraguans living abroad, especially in Costa Rica and the USA.

Coffee and beef from Nicaragua

15.5 percent of the state’s income, the gross domestic product, comes from agriculture. However, twice as much, 31 percent of the working population, is employed in this sector. One of the main crops is coffee. Nicaragua ranks 13th among the largest coffee producers in the world.

Bananas have never played such a big role in Nicaragua as they did in Honduras, for example. The big US companies in Nicaragua have not been given land for banana plantations. Most of the bananas are grown in the Pacific lowlands. There are also fields of sugar cane and cotton, as well as rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soy, peanuts and beans.

Cattle, pigs and poultry are bred. Meat and dairy products as well as shrimp, fish and lobster are exported. In terms of export earnings, coffee ranks first, followed by beef, and then by far gold, seafood, cheese and peanuts.

Is there any industry?

18 percent work in industry, which nevertheless generates 24.4 percent. Most of the factories are for the processing of food, and there are also chemical, metal, petroleum, beverage, shoe and textile industries.

Gold, silver, copper and lead are natural resources that are mined in mines. Gold generates 6 percent of export revenues.

Services from Nicaragua

Services now make up the largest share of the economy in Nicaragua. Half of the population works in this area, for example in trade, gastronomy, tourism, the energy industry or telecommunications. Tourism is growing particularly fast. Visitors come mainly from other Central American countries and from the USA.