Animals in Afghanistan



Below you can find a complete list of Afghan animals. We currently track 175 animals in Afghanistan and are adding more every day!

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a landlocked country in South and Central Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China.

Afghanistan is home to unique and diverse wildlife. Some are critically endangered and others are extinct. A few are the stuff of myth and legends. Read on to find out about all the unique and interesting animals that call Afghanistan home.

Afghanistan Wildlife Summary

Afghanistan is a dry and mountainous country. The rugged northern mountains are an ideal hideaway for elusive snow leopards and Himalayan bears. There are also rivers, valleys, and lush marshes. These provide sustenance and shelter to a number of endangered herbivores, such as the Marco Polo sheep and the markhor goat. In the past, these animals attracted wolves and large feline predators, big cats including tigers, lions, and cheetahs.

The Official National Animal of Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s national animal is the snow leopard. This elusive cat lives high in the mountains. It is rarely caught on video by trail cameras. The golden eagle is the national bird. It is one of the best-known and most recognizable birds of prey in the world.

Afghanistan also has a national dog, the Afghan hound. Afghan hounds have narrow faces and long fur on their ears, sides, and legs. They are a favorite show dog the world over.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Afghanistan

The forests of Nuristan have the most unique wildlife. This province borders Pakistan and has the lowest human population. Since 2020, almost the entire province is protected as a national park.

Some of Afghanistan’s top animals, including snow leopards and bears, live in the Pamir Mountains and the Karakoram Mountains in the northeast section of the country. They are an extension of the Himalayas.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Afghanistan Today

Afghanistan is home to a number of venomous animals, including snakes, scorpions, and spiders. The saw-scaled viper is one of the deadliest snakes in Asia, and the carpet viper can cause deadly blood clots and bleeding. The deathstalker scorpion is the most dangerous scorpion in the world. And bites from spiders such as the black widow, while rarely fatal, can make an adult human very sick.

Endangered Animals in Afghanistan

Many of Afghanistan’s large mammals are classified as “globally threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These include big predators such as the snow leopard, wolves, and the Asiatic black bear, as well as herbivores like the urial, markhor, and Siberian musk deer.

Several big cats – the Asiatic cheetah, Caspian tiger, and Asiatic lion – once lived there, but they are now considered regionally extinct.

Afghan Animals

Afghan Hound

First used as a shepherd and hunter!

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

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

Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

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

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Camel Spider

Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.

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!

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan

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!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

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!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

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

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

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

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

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

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goose

There are 29 different species!

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!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

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.

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!

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!

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.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Markhor

Less than 2,500 left in the wild!

Marmot

A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

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!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Myna Bird

For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.

Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

Newt

Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!

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

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

Pigeon

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

Pika

Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

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.

Russian Tortoise

Known by at least five different names

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

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.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Slug

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

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

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!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

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.

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!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

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!

Yak

There are only a few left in the wild!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Afghan Animals List

Animals in Afghanistan FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Kinds of Animals Live in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is home to a variety of animals, including snakes, scorpions, flying squirrels, great gerbils, Himalayan brown bears, weasels, otters, bats, Indian crested porcupines, palm civets, lynx, snow leopards, big cats, deer, mountain goats, hyenas, ibex, pikas (a small rabbit-like mammal), and foxes. An estimated population of 1,000 wolves lives in Afghanistan.

One of Afghanistan’s most famous animals is the camel spider, also called the wind scorpion or sun spider. Despite its common name, this arthropod is not a true scorpion or a true spider. It has long legs, an elongated, ridged abdomen, and large mandibles. The largest camel spiders are about 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 cm) in length.

What makes the camel spider famous? In 2004, a photo went viral of a U.S. soldier holding two camel spiders. The photo tricked the eyes with false perspective – the legs in the background make the arthropods look ten times their actual size! With the photo, camel spider myths began to circulate. The truth is, they can’t run faster than a human, they have no venom, they don’t scream, and they’re not dangerous to people or camels. Ants are their favorite food.

What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is home to the world’s most dangerous scorpion, called the deathstalker. It is also known as the Naqab desert scorpion, Palestine yellow scorpion, or Omdurman scorpion. It is generally one to three inches long (30 to 77 mm).

What makes this small scorpion so dangerous? Its venom is a mix of neurotoxins – chlorotoxin, charybdotoxin, scyllatoxin, and agitoxins one, two, and three. The sting is extremely painful for healthy adults and it can be deadly for children, the elderly, or those with medical conditions. Antivenom can be used to treat a deathstalker scorpion sting.

Perhaps the most dangerous animal in Afghanistan is the carpet viper. At just 2 feet in length, the carpet viper is a small snake. But its venom can cause deadly bleeding and blood clots if antivenom is not administered.

Are There Tigers in Afghanistan?

The Caspian tiger, a tiger subspecies analogous to the Siberian tiger, once roamed the Middle East and parts of Asia, including northern Afghanistan. It lived wherever water collected and marshes formed, attracting its prey.

During the 1800s, people began overhunting the Caspian tiger. Around the same time, natural disasters and disease reduced the populations of prey animals such as wild pigs. During the early 1900s, rewards were paid for tiger skins, as governments wanted to clear them from farmlands.

A small population of Caspian tigers survived and roamed the Piandj River, located between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The last sighting occurred in 1998.

Today, Caspian tigers are presumed to be extinct. However, efforts are being made to breed and release tigers back into the area, repairing the broken ecosystem.

Are There Dangerous Animals in Afghanistan?

As is true of most places, there are animals in Afghanistan that can harm humans. These include black widow spiders, the deathstalker scorpion, the carpet viper, and the saw-scaled viper.