Animals In Afghanistan

Updated: March 9, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Afghan animals. We currently track 242 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 landlocked dry and mountainous country located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. 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 national bird is the golden eagle. Not only is it one of the best-known but it’s also one of the most recognizable birds of prey in the world.

The snow leopard is considered one of the most elusive and endangered leopards. It is believed this is the national animal because they exhibit the same bravery and courage as the Afghan people. This cat is smaller than other cats and they do well in snowy, cold areas and rocky mountains. Snow leopards can grow to lengths of 29 to 59 inches and weigh 55 to 121 lbs.

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

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In Afghanistan

Afghanistan has 8 national parks where you can discover the incredible and rare wildlife seen throughout the country. 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.

  • The Band-e-Amir National Park, located in Nuristan in the mountainous desert of central Afghanistan, was established in 2009.
  • Wakhan National Park, in northern Badakhshan province, larger than Yellowstone National Park, is the second park opened in the country, opening in 2014.
  • Kol-e-Hashmat Khan, in Kabul, is a wetland opened in 2015 for protecting migrating birds.
  • Bamiyan Plateau
  • Forests of eastern Nuristan province (Nuristan National Park)
  • Standing waters of eastern Ghazni  
  • Darqad District of northern Takhar province
  • Imam Sahib District of northern Kunduz province

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

Saw-scaled viper / Echis omanensis

Saw-scaled viper / Echis omanensis


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

Largest scorpions - deathstalker

The deathstalker scorpion can reach 4 inches

© Conejero

One of the most dangerous species of scorpions, the deathstalker scorpion has a low lethal dose of venom with a powerful mix of neurotoxins. Also known as the Palestine Yellow Scorpion, this deadly scorpion can be found in desert and scrubland habitats. Its sting is extremely painful and most fatal to those that are allergic, elderly, or very young.

Endangered Animals In Afghanistan


©Agadez, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

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.

The markhor is a wild horned goat that can be found in the mountains of Afghanistan. There are three subspecies, although they look primarily the same. They can reach weights of over 200 lbs and have incredible horns on their heads that spiral. While the markor’s numbers did shrink dangerously low and is currently on the rise, they are still in need of protection. They are poached for their horns, which are thought to have medicinal properties, and are also threatened due to loss of habitat.

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

The Rarest Animal In Afghanistan

Male Sambar deer

Male Sambar deer, similar to the Bactrian deer that is found in Afghanistan.

©Signature Message/

The Bactrian deer is a subspecies of the red deer and is so elusive that it was believed to have gone extinct. Known by quite a few names such as Bukhara deer, Bokhara deer, and Bactrian wapiti, they are native to Central Asia and are found in northern Afghanistan to the west of the Tian Shan Mountains. Due to the long-standing civil war of the 70s and 80s, which led to a loss of habit, there were no sightings of the deer until more recently. It is believed that today, wealthy people keep these deer as pets which is another issue in their conservation.

The number of Bactrian deer living in Afghanistan is estimated to be around 1900. In order to better reflect their status as endangered, they were merged with two additional red deer subspecies.

The Largest Animal In Afghanistan

black bear


The Asiatic black bear is also known as the moon bear, the white-chested bear, the Tibetan bear, and the Himalayan bear. With fewer than 60,000 bears remaining worldwide, this black bear is threatened by loss of habitat and agriculture. This is a medium-sized bear that grows to an average length of 51 to 75 inches, with males weighing between 220 to 440 pounds – females are generally half the weight of males. The distinguishing white mark on their chest is where they get the name “white-chested bear” and “moon bear” from – this mark is shaped like a crescent moon.

Afghan Animals

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings

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.


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

Asiatic Black Bear

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


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!


Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

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


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

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!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

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!

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.


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.

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


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

Cinereous Vulture

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!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

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.


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 Spider

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!

Desert Locust

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


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

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!

Dung Beetle

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!

Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Eurasian Eagle-owl

The Eurasian Eagle-owl is the second largest owl in the world with a wingspan up to six feet!

European Bee-Eater

They can eat up to 250 bees per day!

European Goldfinch

They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.


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!


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


Sleeps on just one leg!


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

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


They make many sounds when trying to attract a mate.


Named for the Arabic word for love poems


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


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.

Golden Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Griffon Vulture

Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 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.


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

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.


The fly has no teeth


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.


There are four different species!


Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Indian Cobra

One of the Big Four.


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!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!

Leopard Gecko

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.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Long-Tailed Tit

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!


The markhor drools a foamy substance after chewing its cud, which the local people use for extracting snake poison.


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!

Mole Cricket

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!

Monitor Lizard

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!

Myna Bird

Many people believe the hill myna bird is better at mimicking humans than a parrot!


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Northern Pintail

Northern pintails migrate at night with speeds reaching 48 miles per hour!


An onager's coat changes color with the season.

Orb Weaver

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!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

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

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

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

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Rhesus Macaque

Rhesus Macaques are the most widely distributed primate in terms of geographic diversity


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

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!

Russian Tortoise

Known by at least five different names

Sable Ferret

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


There are more than 700 different species!

Saw-scaled Viper

This is the smallest venomous snake in India's Big Four.


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

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!

Short-Eared Owl

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!

Siberian Ibex

There’s a population of Siberian ibex in New Mexico

Skink Lizard

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

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!


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

Smokybrown Cockroach

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!

Spider Wasp

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


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


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.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tangerine Leopard Gecko

Unlike most geckos, tangerine leopard geckos have movable eyelids.

Tarantula Hawk

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

Tiger Beetle

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


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

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!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

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


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.


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

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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.