Specatcled Bear


Antisana Volcano, near Papallacta

I have visited Ecuador three times: in August 2012 for a week to see Spectacled Bears and Mountain Tapirs in the Andes, and then to the Napo Valley; for a long weekend in September 2015 to look for Olinguitos; and then in 2021 for a week in the Galapagos and a week in the Andes and Napo Valley.

Napo Saki, Pithecia napensis, Napo Valley Wildlife Centre, 2021

Bellavista Lodge and Mindo

Olinguito, Bassaricyon neblina

During 3 nights in 2015 we saw Olinguito, Kinkajou, Andean White-eared Opossum, Red-tailed Squirrel and Tube-lipped Tailless Bat plus a couple of hard to identfy rodents, one of which was most likely a Grey-bellied Nephelomys.

In 2021 I spent another night at Bellavista and saw some of the above. I also spent many hours at the San Tadeo Birding Garden failing to see a Mountain Coati among the Red-tailed Squirrels and the occasional Central American Agouti and an Ecuadorean Small-eared Shrew.

Cayembe – Coca National Park

Spectacled Bear, Tremarctos ornatus, 2012

I spent four days here in 2012 and saw Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, White-tailed Deer, Andean Rabbit, and Andean Fox.

Stump-tailed Porcupine, Coendou rufescens, 2021

Returning for a night in 2021 I added Stump-tailed Porcupine to this list.


Montane Myotis, Myotis oxyotus

An hour at the Guayango ecolodge close to Papallacta was plenty of time to see a colony of Montane Myotis.

The Napo Valley

Pygmy Marmoset, Cebuella pygmaea, 2012

Over 2 nights in 2012 at Sacha Lodge I saw Greater White-lined Bat, Graells’ Black-mantled Tamarin, Golden-mantled Tamarin (across the river), Pygmy Marmoset, Common Squirrel Monkey, Marañó White-fronted Capuchin, Noisy (Spix’s) Night Monkey, Red (Double-browed) Titi and Venezuelan Red Howler Monkey. In 2021, I returned for 3 nights to the Napo Valley Wildlife Centre adding Tayra, Two-toed SlothGiant Otter, Woolly Monkey, Napo Saki, White-bellied Spider Monkey, Fringe-lipped Bat, Greater Spear-nosed Bat, Proboscis Bat, Seba’s Short-tailed Bat and Common Long-tongued Bat.

Rio Canande Lodge

A night here in 2021 produced Brown-headed Spider Monkeys and Mantled Howlers.

San Isidro Cabanas

Colombian Night Monkey, Aotus lemurinus

Colombian (Lemurine) Night Monkeys are the big draw at this lovely lodge and I saw plenty during 2 nights in 2021. Black Agoutis are common and I also saw a Red-tailed Squirrel.

The Galapagos

Galapagos Sea Lions, Zalophus wollebaeki

I spent 6 nights here in the 2021. The only mammals I saw were the ever present Galapagos Sealions.

Mountain Tapir, Tapirus pinchaque, Coca Cayembe, 2012

Community Reports

The Andes, 2023: Coke Smith, 6 days & 14 species including Spectacled Bear & Mountain Tapir.

Ecuador, 2023: Antee’s report of 16 days & 33 species including Oncilla, Western Pygmy Marmoset, Mountain Tapir and Spectacled Bear.

Ecuador, 2023: Ben Balmford and Marina Altoè, 18 days & 30 species including Jaguar, Mountain Tapir, Tayra and Eastern Pygmy Marmoset. A very useful report.

Bats of Cascada San Luis Cave, SE Ecuador. 2023: John Roger’s report of 6 species of bats including Hairy-legged Vampire and Handley’s Nectar Bats.

Western Mountain Coati, Mashpi, 2023: John Roger’s report of a (now deceased) Mountain Coati. (With some more pictures here from 2021 by Europe’s Big 5)

Andes to Amazon, 2023: Hugh Lansdown. 12 days & 17  species including Western Pygmy Marmoset, Woolly Monkey & Monk Saki.

Cayembe Coca NP, 2023: Greg Easton. 3 days & 5 species including Spectacled Bear & Mountain Tapir.

Ecuador, 2022 & 2023: Rob Jansen & Romy Jansen, 4 months & 36 species including Mountain Tapir, Mountain Paca, Pacaran & Red-mantled Saddle-backed Tamarin. 

Ecuador & the Galapagos, 2022: Romain Bocquier, 3 weeks & 28 species including Western Mountain CoatiLucifer Titi and Galapagos Fur Seal.

Ecuador, 2022: Juan Luis Ortega Herranz, 11 days & 29 species including Spectacled BearPygmy Marmoset and Mountain Coati.

Ecuador, 2022: Charles Foley, 10 days & 11 species including Mountain Tapir, Olinguito, Tayra and Spectacled Bear.

Ecuador, 2022: Aidan Place, 2 weeks with species including Western OlingoTayra and Mountain Tapir.

Ecuador, 2021: Lennart Verheuvel, 16 days & 18 species including Ecuadorian White-fronted CapuchinVelvety Fruit-eating Bat and Panama Mouse Opossum.

Ecuador, 2021: Jon Hall, 1 week & 36 species  including Napo SakiStump-tailed Porcupine and Grey-bellied Night Monkey, but no Mountain Coati.

The Galapagos, 2021: Jon Hall’s notes on finding Galapagos Sea Lions and Fur Seals.

Northern Ecuador, 2021: Cheryl Antonucci, 1 week & some nice mammals including Lemurine Night MonkeyBrown-headed Spider MonkeyMountain Coati and (almost) an Oncilla.

Mountain Coati spot in Mindo, 2021: Karina and Andrey’s report of a reliable location for the very cool Mountain Coati and a few other species too.

Ecuador 2020 & Tiputini 2013: Ian Thomson’s notes of two visits, with 35 species in 2020 including Lemurine Night Monkey, Brown-headed Spider Monkey and Colocolo (plus a Tayra catching a Three-toed sloth) & 23 species in 2013 incuding Green Agouchi.

Rio Canandé and the Andean east slope, 2019-20: John Rogers, 2 weeks or so and 16 species including Brown-headed Spider MonkeyWoolly MonkeyBlack Agouti and a Water Opossum.

Tiputini and Cayambe-Coca, 2020: William Freedberg, 10 days & some great mammals including White-bellied Spider MonkeyGiant Otter and Bush Dogs.

Cabanas San Isidro & Tiputini, 2019: Ben Schweinhart, 2 weeks & 33 species including Giant Armadillo, Oncilla and a Water Opossum.

Northern Ecuador, 2019: Anita Ericson & Lars Petersson, 17 days & 21 species including Tayra, Stump-tailed PorcupineBrown-headed Spider Monkey and Mountain Tapir.

Andean Rare Mammals, 2019: Royle Safaris, 10 days & 20 species including Stump-tailed Porcupine and Colocolo.

Bella Vista and Coco Cayembe, 2019Rauno Väisänen, 1 week & species included Tayra, Oinguito, Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir.

Napo Valley, 2019: Jan Ebr, 2 weeks & 14 species including Woolly Monkeys, Anderson’s Four-eyed Opossum and Eastern Lowland Olingo.

Papallacta, San Isidro & Wild Sumaco, 2019: Michael Kessler, 6 days & 40+ species including Dusky Shrew-Opossum, Poeppig’s Woolly Monkey, Mountain Tapir and lots of bats and rats.

Ecuador and the Galapagos, 2018: Martin Royle, 19 days & 37 species including Spectacled Bear, Northern Pudu, Red Mouse Opossum and Stump-tailed Porcupine.

Ecuador, 2018: Charles Hood, 12 days & 23 species including Mountain Tapir, Spectacled Bear, Olinguito, Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum and Dusky Shrew-Opossum.

Shiripuno Lodge, 2017: Ben Schwienhart, 10 days & 20 species including Black Agouti, White-tailed Titi, Napo Saki and Poeppig’s Wooly Monkey.

Coco Cayembe, 2017: Stuart Chapman, 3 days & 5 species including Spectacled Bear and Montane Myotis.

Ecuador, 2017: Naturetrek,  14 days & 20 species including Spectacled Bear, Woolly Monkey and Tayra.

Ecuador, 2017: Sophie Bétrisey and Manuel Baumgartner, 3 weeks and 27 species including Oncilla, Tayra, Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir and both Brown and Silvery Woolly Monkeys.

Ecuador, 2016: Hugh Buck, 12 days & 17 species (on a mainly birding trip), including Tayra, Olinguito, Brown Woolly Monkey, Monk Saki and a Spiny Tree Rat.

Bellavista, 2015: Jon Hall, 3 nights & 5 species including Olinguito and Andean White-eared Opossum.

Ecuador, 2015: Cheryl Antonucci, 2 weeks & 19 species including Mountain Tapir, Spectacled Bear, Tayra, Olinguito, Yellow-handed Titi and Yellow-crowned Brush-tailed Rat.

Ecuador, 2015: Torbjorn Lundqvist, 3 weeks & 29 species including Woolly, Equatorial Saki and White-bellied Spider Monkeys, Olingo and Olinguito, 2 Tayras, Southern Naked-tailed and Greater Long-nosed Armadilloes, and an Andean White-eared Opossum. What a great trip!

Tapichalaca & Buenaventura, 2013: Fiona Reid’s excellent account of a bat and small mammal survey. 2 weeks & 35 species including a couple of new records for the region, a Mountain Paca and a Shrew Opossum.

Sacha Lodge, 2013: Cheryl Antonucci, 1 week & 18 species including Tayra, Southern Tamandua and many primates.

Napo and the Andes, 2012: Jon Hall 1 week & 18 species including Pygmy Marmoset, Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir.

Ecuador, 2012: Dominique Brugiere, 5 weeks & some good mammals including Spectacled Bears, Mountain Tapir, Galapagos Fur Seal, Tayra, Woolly Monkeys and a Giant Armadillo.

Ecuador, 2012: Alan Dahl, 1 week & 17 species including Pygmy Marmosets, Golden-mantled Tamarins and Monk Sakis.

Ecuador, 2011: Richard Webb (Wildwings), 2 weeks & 23 species including Spectacled Bear, Long-tailed Weasel, Golden-mantled Tamarin and a probable Dwarf Brocket Deer.

Bolivia, Chile, Peru & Ecuador, 2011: Matthew and Maureen Hart, 2 months & 32 species including Southern River Otter, Northern Viscacha and Anderson’s Four-eyed Opposum.

Northern Ecuador, 2010: Simon Feys, 20 days & 21 species including Poeppig’s Woolly Monkey, Monk Saki, White-bellied Spider Monkey, White-tailed Titis and Spectacled Bears.

Ecuador, 2010: Richard Webb (Wildwings), 2 weeks & 21 species on this recce trip for the 2011 tour. Including Mountain Tapir and Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth.

Northern Ecudador, 2009: Steve Davis and Karen Becker, 2 weeks & 24 species including some great primates and a Tayra.

Ecuador April, 2004 – June, 2005: some comprehensive notes on mammal watching from Rich Lindie who spent 14 months working as a naturalist in the Sacha Lodge. He saw a lot of great stuff.

Also See

Wonderful Pacarana Encounter, August 2023

Help with bat and small mammal IDs, March 2022

Brown or Poeppig’s Wooly Monkey in the middle of the Napo River, November 2019

Olingos or Kinajou ID please? November 2019

Ben Schweinhart’s pictures from Shiripuno Lodge, 2018, Feb 2019

RFI Cuyabano Wildlife Reserve / Southern Yasuni / Kapawi Lodge, July 2015

RFI Cayembe Coco, May 2015

Yasuni (Ecuador): Featured video – camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest

Olinguito Discovered, August 2013


The Mammals of Ecuador is a brilliant resource. This has a full list of all Ecuador’s mammals and – if you search (Buscar) by species – you can get detailed photos of each species. If only every country had one of these.

López-Baucells, Adrià et al. A Field Guide to Bats of the Amazon, 2018. Pelagic Publishing. This 170 page paperback is a remarkably easy to use illustrated guide to identifying all 160 species in the Amazon.

Tirira, D. 2017. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Ecuador. Editorial Murcielago Blanco. A much needed photographic field guide to all of Ecuador’s mammals.


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