The Sierra Maestra district occupies the southeastern end of Granma province and the southwestern end of the province of Santiago de Cuba, having an extension of more than 6000 sq km (2317 sq mi) that almost coincides with that of the Great National Park Sierra Maestra, belonging to the national system of protected areas owing to its richness and variety as well as the endemic character of its wildlife.
There is abundance of amphibious and reptiles species. Out of the eleven amphibious species, three of them occur only near the Turquino peak: the Eutherodactylus albipes, E. melacara and E. Turquinensis. Among the ten lizard species, there is one that is endemic and exclusive of the zone: the Anolis guazuma. Among mammals two species of jutía, the "conga" (Capromys pilorides) and the "andaraces" (Capromys melanurus), predominate.
Ornithological fauna is represented, among others, by the cartacuba (Todus multicolor), the tocororo (Priotelus tecnurus), and the tomeguín (Tiaris canora).
In 1998, Manuel Rivero Glean made a compilation of some of the endemic animal species found in the natural regions Montañas de la Sierra del Turquino and Sierra de la Gran Piedra, both located in the Sierra Maestra district. Among them are several species of scorpion, including the A. nanus; several species of butterfly such as the Papilio pelaus atkinsi and the Greta cubana (curious transparent-wing species); bird species like the green woodpecker, the nightingale, the sijú cotunto, the sinsontillo, and the fly bird; and other species like the almiquí, the jata bat, the withered leaves lizard (only in the Cabo Cruz region), and the catey.