Below you can find a complete list of Afghan animals. We currently track 154 animals in Afghanistan and are adding more every day!
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 List
- Afghan Hound
- Angora Goat
- Asiatic Black Bear
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Camel Spider
- Cashmere Goat
- Common Buzzard
- Common Raven
- Crab Spider
- Desert Locust
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Leopard Cat
- Long-Eared Owl
- Monitor Lizard
- Myna Bird
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
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.