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The Complete Animal List

Endangered Species Mammals Birds Reptiles
Amphibians Fish Invertebrates Chihuahuan Desert

The following animal list will give you some idea of the diversity of species that live at the El Paso Zoo. Because our exhibits are always changing, some animals may not be on exhibit when you arrive. If you want to check on the exhibit status of a species you can contact the Education Curator at or call 915-521-1850.

+ Designates animals that are part of the behind the scenes Educational Animal Collection or off exhibit at this time. List updated on January 28, 2014

Endangered and Threatened Species
Many species at the El Paso Zoo are classified by conservation organizations and government agencies as endangered or threatened with extinction. The first part of this list summarizes the latest information on the status of selected species.

See below for more information on codes like SSP, PMP etc.

Asian Elephant, Endangered, SSP
Asian elephants are competing for habitat with 20% of the world's population in Southeast Asia. Conservationists estimate a wild population of only 35,000 animals across the entire range of the species.

Amur leopard, Critically Endangered, PMP
The Amur leopard is one of the rarest large cats in the world with as few as 48-50 animals (2013 census) left in the wilds of the Amur River region of Russia and China. Major threats to their survival include depletion of prey, habitat loss, and conflict with humans and the small wild population, which makes them vulnerable to inbreeding, and "catastrophes" like fire and disease. There are only about 200 animals in captivity in some 36 zoos around the world. Five leopard cubs have been born here since 2001.

Aruba Island rattlesnake, Critically Endangered, SSP
This snake lives on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean and is the rarest rattlesnake in the world. The island is very small and development is destroying most of the snake's habitat. Less than 12 square miles of habitat remains (not on exhibit at this time pending completion of new exhibit).

Bali mynah, Critically Endangered, SSP
This bird is endangered because of forest destruction and the pet trade. Due to captive breeding programs, there are more Bali mynahs in zoos and private aviaries than on the island of Bali in Southeast Asia. Our animals are part the SSP program. A release program has been in existence for about 14 years. Captive bred birds have been released with minimal success because people involved with the black market pet bird trade have captured the birds. A new effort to release birds into better-protected habitat on the nearby island of Nusa Penida is currently underway. The population appears to have adapted to the island and is breeding, with a total of 65 adults and 62 young present in 2009.

Bolson tortoise, Vulnerable
These reptiles hibernate during the cooler winter months inside the exhibit and most likely will not be seen. The Bolson tortoise is the largest land turtle in North America. South of El Paso, in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, where the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango intersect, there is a Biosphere Reserve called the Bolson de Mapimi. The last remaining wild population of Bolson tortoises survives in this reserve thanks to the conservation efforts of Mexico.

This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has experienced a population decline of up to 50% over the past 3 generations. It faced catastrophic levels of exploitation during the middle of the 20th century, with subsequent lower levels of exploitation. About six separate subpopulations exist, comprising some 7,000 to 10,000 adults, collectively occurring over about 7,000 sq. km.

Carbonera Pupfish, Endangered
This endangered pupfish is found in the wild only in the Samalayuca Dunes of northern Mexico, 35 miles south of El Paso in the state of Chihuahua. Since 2004, hundreds of baby pupfish have hatched in El Paso Zoo aquariums. In the wild pupfish eat microscopic algae called diatoms and small invertebrates like amphipods, gastropods and ostracods. The El Paso Zoo and the Dallas Zoo and Childrenís Aquarium are the only facilities that have this species. At the El Paso Zoo you can see them in the Spring Exhibit inside the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center.

Cotton-top tamarin, SSP
These small primates are endangered because of the clearing of their forest habitat and population depletion from the animal trade. Nature reserves have been set up to help protect the species. Only 2-3,000 survive in the wild.

Galapagos Tortoise
The greatest threats to the tortoises come from introduced nonnative species to the islands, such as rats, dogs, and cats, which eat tortoise eggs and young tortoises. They also must compete for food with goats and cattle, which causes food shortages. At best, there are about 10,000 to 15,000 tortoises living today on the Galapagos Islands.

Golden lion tamarin, SSP
The golden lion tamarin is one of the world's endangered mammals. It has declined largely because of destruction of its forest habitat for lumber, agriculture, pasture and housing. Over 1000 animals now survive in the wild. Thirty years ago, the population was down to 200. Captive breeding programs from Zoos around the world have successfully added nearly 200 animals to the wild population.

Hooded Crane, PMP
Listed as endangered by the USFW. World War II devastated hooded crane populations and only 250 were counted at the end of the War. The high density of birds on relatively small wintering grounds in Japan makes them vulnerable to natural or manmade catastrophes. Today the wild population is estimated at 11,500 birds.

Malayan tiger, Endangered, SSP
An estimated 500 Malayan tigers are left in the wild of Malaysia, which has carrying capacity of 493 to1480 tigers based on available habitat.

Lion-tailed macaque, Endangered, SSP
Lion-tailed macaques are the most endangered of the 16 species of macaques. They have a low reproductive rate and seem unable to adapt to human encroachment: clearing of forests for agriculture, construction of dams and roads. Only about 2500 survive in the Ghats Mountains of southwest India.

Mexican wolf, Critically Endangered, SSP
The El Paso Zoo is part of a group of zoos in partnership with a US Fish and Wildlife Service cooperative breeding program to save critically endangered Mexican wolves. The program is designed to breed captive animals in support of a reintroduction project to restore the species to its native habitat in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Approximately 50 animals now roam in the wild because of the effort.

Ocelot, SSP
Listed as endangered in Texas. Ocelots once lived as far east as Louisiana, but their habitat has been reduced by agriculture. Today only about 100 ocelots live in South Texas.

Baja California Pronghorn, also called the Peninsular Pronghorn , Critically Endangered, SSP
One of the newest animals at the Zoo is the critically endangered Baja California pronghorn, also called the Peninsular pronghorn. In 2012 the El Paso Zoo joined a small group of zoos in North America working to help save these animals. They have declined dramatically as a result of loss of habitat from human development, cattle ranching and livestock fencing interfering with their natural movements and drought. Today only about 250 animals exist in the wild.

Przewalski's wild horse , Critically Endangered, SSP
The Przewalski's wild horse went extinct in the wild during the 1960s. Reintroduction efforts are now underway in Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. There are now approximately 325 free-ranging re-introduced and native-born Przewalski's wild horses in Mongolia, the only country where truly wild reintroduced populations exist within its historic range. The success of reintroduction efforts has resulted in the status of the species being elevated from extinct to critically endangered.

Siamang, SSP
Listed as endangered by the USFW. Wild populations are decreasing rapidly because of habitat loss.

Sumatran orangutan, Critically Endangered, SSP
There are more orangutans in the wild than previously thought because of improved population estimates. In 2004, the total world population for Borneo and Sumatra was 50-60,000. The Sumatra situation is extremely desperate with an estimated population of 7,500.

Spider monkey, Endangered
Two subspecies from Central America are listed as Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of our spider monkeys are believed to be hybrids.




Our Source at the El Paso Zoo: Our species status reports on based on the maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at For more information visit the Categories and Criteria section of the website.

Endangered: An animal or plant is Endangered when it is not Critically Endangered, but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

Critically Endangered: An animal or plant is Critically Endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.

Vulnerable: An animal or plant is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.

Lower Risk: An animal or plant is Lower Risk when it has been evaluated, does not satisfy the criteria for any of the categories Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.

Hybrid: the offspring of two animals of different species or subspecies such as a mule. For example, there are a number of subspecies (varieties) of spider monkey ranging from Mexico to South America. Some of our spider monkeys are the result of captive breeding between different subspecies.

SSP: Species Survival Plan. The Species Survival Plan program began in 1981 as a cooperative population management and conservation program for selected species in zoos and aquariums in North America. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

PMP: Population Management Plans provide basic population management for various captive populations. PMPs are established for studbook populations that do not require the intensive management and conservation action of Species Survival Plans (SSPs).

For more information: 915-521-1881 or




+African hedgehog, Atelerix albiventris

Hoffman's sloth, Choloepus hoffmani

Chiroptera (Bats)
+Jamaican fruit eating bat, Artibeus jamaicensis (Not on exhibit at this time)
Island flying fox, Pteropus hypomelanus

Spider monkey, Ateles geoffroyi geoffroyi
Cotton-headed tamarin, Saguinus oedipus
Golden lion tamarin, Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia

Geoffroy's marmoset, Callithriz geoffroyi

Sumatran orangutan, Pongo pygymaeus
Lion-tailed macaque, Macaca silenus
Siamang, Hylobates syndactylus
Pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus

Gray wolf (Mexican), Cannis lupus baileyi
Malayan sun bear, Helarctos malayanus
Andean (Spectacled bear), Tremarctos ornatus
African lion, Panthera leo
Slender-tailed meerkat, Suricata suricata
Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni
Amur leopard, Panthera pardus orientialis
Sand cat Felix margarita
Ocelot, Felis paradalis
Black-footed Ferret, Mustela nigripes
+European ferret (polecat), Mustela putorius furo

Pinnipedia (fin-footed mammals)
California Sea Lion, Zalophus c. californianus

Proboscidea (Elephants)
Asian elephant, Elephas maximus

Perissodactyla (Odd-toed ungulates)
Grant's zebra, Equus burchellii boehmi
Przewalski's Wild Horse, Equus caballus przewalskii
Mexican burro, Equus asinus asinus
Malayan tapir, Tapirus indicus

Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates)
Greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Thompson's gazelle, Eudorcas thomsonii
Reticulated giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis
Baja California Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana mexicana
Guanaco, Lama glama guanicoe
Domestic sheep (Santa Cruz Island), Ovies ariers aries navajo_churro
Spanish goat, Capra hircus domestic spanish
Collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu
Ossabaw Island hog, Sus scrofa scrofa ossabaw_island

Red-rumped agouti, Dasyprocta leporina Patagonian hare, Dolichotis patagonum
Black-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus
+Guinea pig, Cavia porcellus
Prevost's squirrel, Callosciurus prevosti
Capybara, Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris
+Chinchilla, Chinchilla laniger




Struthioniformes (Ratites)
Common ostrich, Struthio camelus
Ciconiiformes (Herons and allies)
Scarlet Ibis, Eudocimus rubber
Cattle Egret, Ardeola ibis
East African Grey-crowned Crane, Balearica regulorum

Falconiformes (Raptors)
Western Harris Hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus superior
Swainson's Hawk, Buteo swainsonii

Anseriformes (Waterfowl and screamers)
Cape Teal, Anas capensis
Common White-eyed Duck, Aythya nyoca
Moluccan Radjah Shelduck, Tadorma radja
Indian Pygmy Goose, Nettapus coromandelianus
Egyptian Goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
Spur-winged Goose, Plectropterus gambensis
Marbled teal, Marmoronetta angustirostris
Black-billed Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna arborea
Blue-winged Teal, Anas discors
Hooded Merganser, Mergus cucullatus
Crested Screamer, Chauna torquata

Galliformes (Gamebirds)
Crested Wood Partridge, Rollulus roulroul

Gruiformes (Cranes and allies)
Hooded Crane, Grus monacha
Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis

Charadriiformes (Shorebirds)
Double-striped Thick-knee, Burhinus bistriatus
Inca Tern, Larostrena inca

Columbiformes (Sandgrouse and pigeons)
Nicobar Pigeon, Caloenas nicobarica
Green-winged Dove, Chalcophaps indica
Bartlett's Dove, Gallicolumba criniger
Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Goura victoria
Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura

Psittaciformes (Parrots)
+Blue-and-yellow macaw, Ara ararauna
Military Macaw, Ara militaris
+Lilac-crowned Amazon parrot, Amazona finschi

Cuculiformes (Cuckoos)
Roadrunner, Geococcyx californiana

Strigiformes (Owls)
Common Barn Owl, Tyto alba

Caprimulgiformes (Frogmouths and nightjars)
Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides

Coraciformes (Kingfishers, motmots, hornbills)
Blue-crowned Motmot, Momotus momota
White-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
Rhinocerus Hornbill, Buceros rhinoceros silverstris

Passeriformes (Songbirds and allies)
Azure-winged Magpie, Cyanopica cyana
Red-crested Cardinal, Paroaria coronata
Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
White-throated Magpie jay, Calocitta Formosa
Plush-crested Jay, Cyanocorax chrysops
Bali/Rothschild's Mynah, Leocopsar rothschildi
White Crested Laughing Thrush, Garrulaz leucolophus
Metallic Starling, Aplonis metallica metallica




Testudinata (Turtles and tortoises)
Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus (hibernates in winter months, most likely not seen)
Yellow-footed tortoise, Geochelonia denticulate (hibernates in winter months)
+Texas tortoise, Gopherus berlandieri
+Alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii
+Painted wood turtle, Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima
+River Cooter, Pseudemys concinna
Desert box turtle, Terrapene ornata luteola
Desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii
Galapagos tortoise, Geochelone elephantopus
+Big Bend slider, Trachemys scripta galgeae
+Red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans
+Mata mata, Chelus fimbriatus

Squamata - Suborder Sauria (Lizards)
Leopard gecko, Eublepharus macularius
+Mexican beaded lizard, Heloderma horridum horridum
Rhinocerous iguana, Cyclura c. cornuta
San Esteban Island chuckwalla, Sauromalus varius
+Texas horned lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum
+New Guinea blue-tongued skink, Tiliqua gigas

Suborder Serpentes (Snakes)
+Royal/Ball python, Python regius
Burmese python, Python molurus bivittatus
Virgin Islands boa, Epicrates monensis granti
Amazon tree boa, Corallus hortulanus hortulanus
Yellow anaconda, Eunectes notaeus
+Desert rosy boa, linchanura trivirgata gracia
Emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus
+Desert kingsnake, Lampropeltis geetulus splendida
Grey-banded kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna
Mexican milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulam
+Bullsnake, Piturphoris melanoleucas sayi
+Cornsnake, Elaphe guttata guttata
Cascabel rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus
Banded rock rattlesnake, Crotalus lepidus klauberi
+Black-tailed rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus molossus
South American (Tropical) rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus
Urocoan rattlesnake, Crotalus vegrandis
+Hopi rattlesnake, Crotalus virdis nuntius
+Panamint rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchelli stephensi
+Pygmy faded rattlesnake, Crotalus virdis concolor
Western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox
Southern ridgenose rattlesnake, Crotalus willardi meridionalis
Desert Massasagua Rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus
Mojave sidewinder, Crotalus cerastes cerates

Crocodilia (alligators, crocodiles)
American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis




Order Anura
Puerto Rican crested toad
+Fire-bellied toad, Bombina fortinuptialis
-Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus varius zeteki
+Red-spotted toad, Bufo punctatus
+Couch's spadefoot toad, Scaphiopus couchi
Woodhouse's toad, Bufo woodhousii
+White's tree frog, Litoria caerulea
Lemur tree frog, Hylomantis lemur
Red-eyed tree frog, Agalychinis callidryas

Chacoan Horned Frog, Ceratophrys cranwelli Blue poison dart frog, Dedrobates azureus
+Yellow and blue poison dart frog, Dendrobates auratus

Order Caudata
+Tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum
-Red-spotted Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens
-Central Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis
Black-spotted newts, Notpthalmus meridionalis
Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum




Order: Ostariophysi (Catfishes and Relatives)
Red Piranha, Pygocentrus nattereri

Order: Rajiformes (Skates and Rays)
Ocellated stingray, Potamotrygon motoro

Order: Characiformes
Rummy-nosed tetra, Hemigrammus bleheri
High-backed headstander, Abramites hypelonotus

Order: Cypriniformes
Goldfish, Carassius auratus
Common carp, Cyprinus carpio
Koi (Japanese ornamental carp), Carassius auratus gibelio

Order: Siluriformes
Plecostomus, Hypostomus plecostomus
Black swawtooth catfish, Pseudodoras niger

Order: Cyprinodontiformes (Topminnows)
Spotted cichlid, Cichlasoma synspilum
Four-eyed fish, Anableps anableps
Carbonera Pupfish, Cyprinodon fontinalis

Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis
Order: Percomorphi/ Perciformes
Longnose butterfly fish King angelfish Long nose hawkfish Convict cichlid, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum
Spotted cichlid, Cichlasoma synspilum
Black damselfish, Dasycyllus
Golden damsel fish, Amblyglyphidadon aureus
Moon wrasse, Thalassoma lunare
Blue tang, Acanthurus coeruleus
Porkfish, Anisotremus virginicus
Severum cichlid, Cichlascma severum

Order: Osteoglossiformes
Silver arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
Zebra Moray, Gymnomuraena zebra




Hissing cockroach, Gromhadorhina portentosa
Caribbean Giant Cockroach, Blaberus giganteus
Ferocious water bug, Belostoma flumineum

Desert hairy scorpion, Haadruras arizonensis
Chilean rose tarantula, Grammostola rosa
Costa Rica tarantula, Aphonopelma seemanni
Texas brown tarantula, Brachypelma hentzi
Texas tan tarantula, Aphonopelma anax
Tucson blond tarantula, Aphonopelma chalcodes
Straight-horned baboon tarantula, Ceratogyrus cornuata
Goliath bird-eating tarantula, Theraphosa blondi
Stripe-tailed scorpion, Vaejovis spenigerus
Black widow spider, Latrodectus Hesperus
Brown recluse spider, Laxosceles apache
Striped Bark scorpion, Centroides vittatus
Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator
Arizona tailless whip scorpion, Paraphrynus mexicanus
Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus

Giant Peruvian centipede, Scolopendras gigantean
Sonoran centipede, Scolopendras polymorpha

Sonoran Desert millipede, Orthoporus crnatus
Giant African millipede, Achispino spretptus gigus

(Live rock) Gorgonea coral, Gorgonea aegina
Colonial anemone, Protoplaythoa sp.
Umbrella false coral, Discosoma sp.

Astrea snail, Astrea tecta
Banded coral shrimp, Stenopus hispidus



Chihuahuan Desert Species
The following species living at the El Paso Zoo are also native to the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert.

Gray wolf (Mexican), Cannis lupus baileyi
Black-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus

Cattle egret, Ardeola ibis
Western harris hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus superior
Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsonii
Blue winged teal, Anas discors
Wild turkey, Meleagris gallipavo
Gambel's quail, Lophortyx gambelii
Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura
Thick-billed parrot, Rhynchopsitta pachyryncha pachyrncha
Roadrunner, Geococcyx californiana
Burrowing owl, Speotyto cunicularia (not on exhibit at this time)
Common screech owl, Otus asio (not on exhibit at this time)

Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus (hibernates during winter months, may not be seen)
Desert box turtle, Terrapene ornata luteola
Big Bend slider, Trachemys scripta galgeae
Red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans
Desert kingsnake, Lampropeitis geetulus splendida
Bullsnake, Piturphoris melanoleucas sayi
Banded rock rattlesnake, Crotalus lepidus klauberi
Black-tailed rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus molossus
Western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox



Updated January 28, 2014 Please send comments or questions to Rick LoBello, Curator of Education at Sources Encyclopedia of Animals, various authors and editors, 2002 Barnes and Noble Books, original copyright 1993. 2003


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