Below you can find a complete list of Afghan animals. We currently track 239 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.
First used as a shepherd and hunter!
Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Renew their horns every year!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!
Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!
Has a curved, upturned beak!
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
There are 8 different species!
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
Not all birds are able to fly!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
Can live its entire life indoors
The most common species of bee!
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin
Can survive without water for 10 months!
The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.
Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.
Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
The larvae of a moth or butterfly!
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
There are about 3,000 documented species!
There are more than 160 different species!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans
This vulture can fly at great heights. At least one was found a few thousand feet from the top of Mount Everest.
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
The most common raptor in the UK!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.
They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.
There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!
There are 93 different crab groups
Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings
Many are critically endangered species!
Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together
Have changed little in 200 million years!
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
There are around 40 different species!
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
Has exceptional eyesight!
They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
The Eurasian Eagle-owl is the second largest owl in the world with a wingspan up to six feet!
They can eat up to 250 bees per day!
They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
Found across mainland Europe and Asia!
The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world
Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air
There are more than 240,000 different species!
Can glide up to 90 meters!
Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"
There are around 7,000 different species!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
Named for the Arabic word for love poems
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
The most common type of urban roach
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
The goldcrest never starts moving and needs to consume for most of the day to survive. Therefore, in the colder months, it's best that eat 90% a day.
Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 29 different species!
There are 11,000 known species!
Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.
Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
There are four different species!
Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jacana has the ability to swim underwater
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Spends much of the time high in the trees!
There are 11 different species!
The first ever domesticated lizard! There are now more than 100 unique color morphs thanks to selective breeding.
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
While linnets are monogamous during mating season, they do not mate for life. While breeding pairs are together, the males are highly territorial and will defend the nesting site and the surrounding area.
There are around 5,000 different species!
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
Ear tufts make it look bigger!
Often hangs upside down while feeding!
Macaque females will pass on their social rankings to their daughters
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
Less than 2,500 left in the wild!
A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Some species have a poisonous bite!
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.
Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!
There are around 260 known species!
Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!
Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood
There are 250,000 different species!
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.
Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!
Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
There are more than 5,000 species.
An onager's coat changes color with the season.
Females are about four times the size of males
They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.
Can live for up to 100 years!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
The pheasant-tailed jacana is the only species in its family that migrates long distances.
Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas
There are 500 different species!
There are 30 different species worldwide!
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 300 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.
Rhesus Macaques are the most widely distributed primate in terms of geographic diversity
It's horns are made from keratin!
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!
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.
Will mate with the entire flock!
Known by at least five different names
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
There are more than 700 different species!
This is the smallest venomous snake in India's Big Four.
There are around 2,000 known species!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.
The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
There’s a population of Siberian ibex in New Mexico
Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.
Found widely throughout British gardens!
They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce
Has up to 45 eggs per egg case
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 4,000 known species worldwide
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
Average adults weigh about 200 grams!
They can’t sing like other birds.
The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Unlike most geckos, tangerine leopard geckos have movable eyelids.
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.
They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most
There are 30 different species worldwide!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
Spends most of it's time in the trees!
The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!
Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!
Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.
There are 200 different species!
They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.
Yaks can live at altitudes up to 20,000 feet--the highest of any land-dwelling mammal.
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.