Animals in Tunisia

Below you can find a complete list of Tunisian animals. We currently track 189 animals in Tunisia and are adding more every day!

Tunisia is a small North African country, situated between Algeria to the west, Libya to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Historically it was the seat of the Carthaginian Empire, still remembered today for its rivalry with Rome. The coast of Tunisia is marked by a pleasant Mediterranean climate and plenty of rich farmland, while the interior is mostly comprised of dry deserts and hills. One of the longest ranges is the Tunisian Dorsal or High Tell. It’s comprised of low rolling hills that extend from the Saharan Atlas mountains of Algeria. The country is also rich in wetlands and forests (although much of this has been converted into farms).

The Official National (State) Animal of Tunisia

Tunisia doesn’t necessarily have a national animal, but it does have a few traditional symbols, including the dromedary, which, unlike the camel, only has one hump.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Tunisia

Tuisia has set aside some 17 unique national parks to protect its natural wildlife.

  • Ichkeul National Park, which derives its name from the nearby lake, is located just outside the city of Bizerte, near the northernmost point in all of Africa. This wetland area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its importance as a winter bird sanctuary. Among the most interesting birds here are the graylag goose, coot, and wigeon.
  • The Zembra and Zembretta National Park encompass two Mediterranean islands located in the Gulf of Tunisia. Officially declared an important UNESO Biosphere Reserve in 1977, the park hosts thousands of migrating birds every year, including the threatened Mediterranean shearwater.
  • The El Feidja National Park, located in the northwest governorate of Jendouba, encompasses almost 7,000 acres of forests, mountains, and natural springs and lakes. Visitors might be able to find the Barbary stag, Barbary boar, African golden wolf, and other mammals here.
  • Chambi National Park, located in the western Kasserine governorate, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve surrounded by the country’s highest peak, Mount Chambi, which rises some 5,000 feet above sea level. Here one can find the Barbary sheep, Cuvier’s gazelle, Egyptian vulture, peregrine falcon, Tunisian crossbill, Bonelli’s eagle, and plenty of reptiles and snakes.
  • Finally, the Boukornine National Park, located less than 10 miles away from the capital city of Tunis, encompasses nearly 5,000 acres of Aleppo cedar and pine forests at the foothills of the Jebel Boukornine. Both the mountain gazelles and Etruscans shrews (one of the smallest mammals in the world) are found here.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Tunisia Today

The dry arid regions of Tunisia are home to several kinds of dangerous wildlife that pose a risk to people’s health. They should be avoided at all costs.

  • Horned Viper – Easily identified by the presence of unique horns above the eyes, the horned viper will sometimes lie submerged in the sand, waiting for prey to come by. The venom itself can cause pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and necrosis, and death can sometimes occur if the venom is left untreated.
  • Egyptian Cobra – These reptiles are easily identified from its large hood and its brown and black-colored body. The toxic venom affects the nervous system by stopping the nerves from signaling each other. In the short term, it can cause several unpleasant symptoms such as pain, swelling, blistering, and dizziness. Death can occur in untreated cases from complete respiratory failure.
  • Fat-tailed Scorpion – While generally not too aggressive, the fat-tailed scorpion should be completely avoided. The venom can result in pain, swelling, and internal bleeding. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to heart or respiratory failure.

Endangered Animals in Tunisia

Over the centuries, hunting and habitat loss (particularly from the spread of agriculture and farmland) have taken their toll on the local wildlife. While the country has made great strides in extending the protection of its animals, the following species are still endangered.

  • Rhim Gazelle – This endangered species has been hunted relentlessly for sport and for its meat and horns. It’s also losing habitat at a precipitous rate. It’s estimated that no more than 2,500 individuals now remain in the wild.
  • Addrax – Also known as the white antelope or the screwhorn antelope, this species is native to the Sahara Desert. At some point in the recent past, it became completely extinct from Tunisia as a result of overhunting and habitat loss. More recently, conservationists have made some attempts to reintroduce it into the country.
  • Dama Gazelle – The history of this Saharan antelope is quite similar to the addrax. After being hunted to local extinction, it was then later reintroduced into the country in an effort to preserve it.
  • Mediterranean Monk Seal – Once common throughout the Mediterranean Sea, this seal is now seldom seen near the shores of Tunisia. Less than 700 remain in the wild.

Tunisian Animals

Addax

The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.

American Cockroach

Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Caecilian

Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Carpet Viper

The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Devils Coach Horse Beetle

The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Egyptian Cobra

The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.

Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

European Bee-Eater

They can eat up to 250 bees per day!

European Polecat

Its fur changes color in the winter!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Gazelle

Named for the Arabic word for love poems

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Song Thrush

A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Tunisian Animals List

Animals in Tunisia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Tunisia?

Tunisia is home to dozens of different species of mammals, including antelopes, bats, rodents, foxes, wild cats, and hyenas, as well as snakes and reptiles. But the country is particularly rich in all kinds of birds, including waterfowl, larks, warblers, and birds of prey.

What dangerous animals live in Tunisia?

Tunisia is home to several species of snakes and scorpions. While wolves and hyenas can be dangerous in certain circumstances, actual attacks on people are exceptionally rare.

What is the national animal of Tunisia?

Tunisia was never given an official national animal by the government, but it does have traditional cultural symbols like the dromedary.

Are there bears in Tunisia?

Tunisia was once home to the Atlas bear, a unique subspecies of the brown bear. During Roman times, thousands of these bears were hunted for traditional sport or forced to fight in the arena. The invention of firearms also had a calamitous effect on the remaining population numbers. They were officially declared extinct by the 19th century.

Are there elephants in Tunisia?

The entire region was once home to the North African elephant. These were the famous elephants that Hannibal used to cross the Alps during the Punic Wars against Rome. However, these elephants became extinct around 100 AD, probably from overexploitation.