Below you can find a complete list of Libyan animals. We currently track 118 animals in Libya and are adding more every day!
The unique wildlife of Libya extends from the Mediterranean coastline to large areas of the Sahara desert. There are 87 species of mammals, including basic farm animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and chickens. There are also 338 species of birds, many rodents, insects, and sea animals, and 95 species of reptiles including snakes, lizards, and turtles. Besides this, Libya has legislated protection of endangered animals and unique wildlife with several parks, reserves, and other protected areas.
The Official National Animal of Libya
One official national animal of Libya is the Arabian Eagle, whose image is on everything from government documents to churches to team uniforms. Also known as the Eagle of Saladin and the Republican Eagle, it rivals the Hawk of Quraish. With dark brown and black markings and an average length of 15.2-42 inches, this impressive bird was chosen as the national animal because it is large, majestic, and symbolizes power, freedom, transcendence, and shared responsibility in raising children. Its natural habitat is open and semi-open areas including open woodland, rocky hillsides, and mountains as well as steppes. Currently, it is listed as Endangered by the IUCN due to habitat destruction by humans.
Another national animal of Libya is the Barbary Lion, also called the Berber lion, Atlas lion, North African lion, and Egyptian lion. As the largest lion subspecies, it differs from its African and Asiatic counterparts, it prefers to live as a solitary hermit in the forested mountainous environments of North Africa.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Libya
A significant amount of wildlife can be found in Libya’s Saharan desert. There, about 70 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and 100 species of reptiles exist. However, the wildlife tends to be dangerous animals and, due to the extreme heat, are mostly nocturnal. For this reason, it is animal researchers who are most likely to see them. There are several protected areas where people can look at desert animals, such as Fezzan Park and Tripoli’s Zoo. Alternately, they can spot coast-dwelling animals along the Mediterranean coast, including 90 species of resident birds as well as turtles and mollusks.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Libya Today
The most dangerous animals in Libya are the wildlife that lives in the desert, such as poisonous snakes and insects. The black widow spider is native to temperate regions around the world. It is sedentary, shy, and mostly nocturnal, biting on rare occasions out of self-defense. Symptoms range from mild to severe and treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Sand or horned vipers and cobras are venomous snakes and without antivenom treatment, their bites are fatal. Reticulated pythons, although not venomous, are up to 25 feet long and kill by constricting their prey. Finally, there are scorpions. The deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus) is a common Saharan species that is fatal to children, the elderly, or weak people but is rarely seriously harmful or fatal to healthy adults.
Endangered Animals In Libya
Some examples of rare desert animals whose populations were greatly reduced by over-hunting and are now endangered species are:
- Addax (also called white antelope or screwhorn antelope)
- Some species of gazelles: Scimitar-Horned Oryx, Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas), Dama Gazelle (Gazella dama), and Red-Fronted Gazelle
- Arabian Eagle
- 2 species of turtles: Kleimann’s tortoise and Golden Greek tortoise
- Libyan jerboa
Extinct Animals in Libya
The Scimitar-Horned Oryx is now extinct in the wild, and the Barbary lion is completely extinct. Desert crocodiles were once plentiful in lakes and rivers in the Sahara until a century ago, and they are rare elsewhere in the Middle East. The Sahara contains fossils of extinct wildlife, including dinosaurs, lizards, and marine animals. Some of the fossils are on display in the Ghadames Museum.
Unique Animals in Libya
The sand cat is a small wildcat seen on rare occasions in Libya and other countries. The Libyan wildcat is another small wildcat, also called the African wildcat. With regards to domestic cat breeds, the Abyssinian is the descendant of the Libyan wildcat (African wildcat) and other small cats but closely resembles the Libyan.
Some examples of unique animals in Libya are the Glass Lizard, African Wild Dog, Barbary Sheep, Fennec Fox, Gazelle, Zonkey, and Zorse. Unique birds which are difficult to find elsewhere are the Green Bee Eater, Golden Oriole, and Nightingale. The zonkey and zorse are, as their names suggest, hybrids of zebras and donkeys and zebras and horses, respectively.
Mammals found only in Libya include Horacek’s Horseshoe Bat, Grobben’s Gerbil, the Sand Gerbil, the Vivacious Gerbil, the Cyrenaica Vole, and the Cyrenaica White-toothed Shrew (IUCN) (BHL). Hanak’s Pipistrelle is also native to the country, as is Lanza’s Worm Snake. The Libyan Blue Tit is sometimes considered a distinct species from the African Blue Tit, and the Aphanius killifish from the Mediterranean.
Insects found only in Libya include certain species of the following:
- Beetles, including Onitis ringenbachi (a dung beetle) and Caulostrophus ringenbachi (a weevil)
- Grasshoppers (Paracinipe adelaidae and Thalpomena dernensis)
- Katydid (Afrosteropleurus ientilei)
- Cockroach (Heterogamisca kruegeri)
- Planthopper (Dictyophara merjensis)
- Leafhopper (Wadkufia elegans)
- Moths (carpenter moth Meharia turatii and casebearer moth Coleophora aeneostrigella)
- Bees (Nomioides mucoreus, Andrena cyrenaica and Lasioglossum tripolitanum)
Libyan Animals List
- African Wild Dog
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Desert Locust
- Elephant Shrew
- Fennec Fox
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Bee
- Monitor Lizard
- Peregrine Falcon
- Puss Moth
- River Turtle
- Rock Hyrax
- Scimitar-horned Oryx
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Libya FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What kind of animals live in Libya?
Coastal, forest, mountain, and desert-dwelling animals.
Do lions live in Libya?
Yes, but they are kept in protected areas and are not native to Libya. The Barbary lion, which was native to Libya and several other countries, is extinct.
Does Libya have a lot of snakes?
Yes, especially in the Sahara desert, there are sand vipers, horned vipers, reticulated pythons, and cobras.