Animals in Bhutan

Below you can find a complete list of Bhutanese animals. We currently track 150 animals in Bhutan and are adding more every day!

The kingdom of Bhutan is a small Asian country bordered on the south, east, and west by India and the north by China. Located on the slopes and foothills of the eastern Himalayas, the country features unusually diverse habitats from tropical lowlands to deciduous and pine forests to alpine terrain. This contributes to the diversity of Bhutan’s unique wildlife. The kingdom has received praise for its commitment to its wildlife and has pledged to dedicate over 25 percent of its land to parks and reserves.

The Official National Animal of Bhutan

The official national animal of Bhutan is the takin. This unique animal looks like muskox but is more closely related to sheep. Like the muskox, it is a large, stocky animal, with short, thick legs and spurred hooves with two toes. It has curving horns that can grow between 12 and 25 inches. Both sexes have horns. The takin has a coat of long, shaggy wool, and the faces of the males are dark. The animal stands between 38 and 55 inches at the shoulder and has a body length of between 63 and 87 inches. Males weigh between 660 and 770 pounds while females tend to weigh slightly less. Still, whether males or females are larger is uncertain, as the largest captive takin was a female who weighed 710 pounds.

The takin figures prominently in Bhutanese mythology. According to legend, the Buddhist monk Drukpa Kunley’s followers asked him to perform a miracle after a banquet where he ate a whole cow and a whole goat. So he took some of the cow bones and some of the goat bones and created the takin.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Bhutan

The top wild animals in Bhutan can be found in Royal Manas National Park, which is home to the gaur, the largest of the wild cattle, wild pigs, and Asian elephants. Some animals in Bhutan, such as the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, are extinct in other parts of the world.

Other protected areas in Bhutan are the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve, Jigme Dorji National Park, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary, Phrumsengla National Park, and the Wangchuck Centennial National Park.

The royal government operates the Motithang Takin Preserve and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature maintains Phobjikha Valley.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Bhutan Today

  • Bears – The Himalayan black bear has been known to attack humans in Bhutan. This is most likely because the near-sighted bear mistakes a standing human for another bear that’s challenging it.
  • Leopard – The leopard, which is considered vulnerable to becoming extinct, rarely kills humans but should be treated with respect.
  • TigerTiger attacks in Bhutan are also rare, but tigers in other parts of the Indian subcontinent have been famously known to kill and even eat human beings. Between 1800 and 2009 373,000 people were killed by these magnificent but dangerous beasts, and that may be an undercount.
  • Indian cobra – This venomous snake is small compared to the king cobra that’s also found in Bhutan. It prefers to flee if it’s threatened, but is dangerous if forced to defend itself or its eggs. The Indian cobra is one of four venomous snakes responsible for most of the death or injury from snakebite in the Indian subcontinent.

Endangered Animals In Bhutan

  • Takin – Unfortunately, the status of Bhutan’s national animal is vulnerable.
  • Hispid hare – This animal, also called the bristly rabbit, is endangered.
  • Himalayan musk deer – This little deer is endangered.
  • Golden langur – This Old World monkey is endangered.
  • Dhole – This wild dog is very close to going extinct.

Bhutanese Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Asian Palm Civet

It mainly eats mangos and coffee!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

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 Cricket

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

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!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Clouded Leopard

Has canines that can be two inches long!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

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.

Dhole

Only 2,000 left in the wild!

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!

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!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

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!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

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 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.

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

King Cobra

They are the longest poisonous snake in the world.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

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!

Marmot

A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

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!

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.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

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.

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!

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

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.

Tibetan Fox

Tibetan foxes are not territorial and will share a hunting ground with other mated pairs.

Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

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

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Yak

There are only a few left in the wild!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Bhutanese Animals List

Animals in Bhutan FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Bhutan?

There is an immense variety of animals that live in Bhutan. They range from the Assam forests frog, the black pond turtle, a butterfly called the mottled emigrant, the huge and beautiful Edward’s silk moth and blue mud-dauber wasps. There are also leaf and flea beetles and dragonflies.

Birds include the raven, which is Bhutan’s national bird. Others are the black-necked crane, trogons, hornbills, herons, ducks, geese and swans. Birds of prey include ospreys, eagles and vultures.

Mammals include muntjacs, barking deer and sambar. There are also red pandas, marmots and goat-antelope ungulates called gorals and serows. There are wild cats of many sizes, ranging from the Bengal tiger to the snow leopard to the housecat sized leopard cat. Also found in Bhutan are gray wolves and a unique and elusive creature called the binturong. It is a kind of weasel with a prehensile tail and is also called the bear cat.

Bigger beasts include the huge but usually docile gaur, Asian elephants, and one-horned rhinoceros.

Are there monkeys in Bhutan?

There are monkeys in Bhutan, including the golden langur, the Assamese macaque, the common gray langur, and the rhesus macaque.

Are there leopards in Bhutan?

Leopards can be found in Bhutan. These include the common leopard, which is extinct in many other parts of Asia. The leopard most likely seen in Bhutan is the Indian leopard, which is a subspecies that’s found on the Indian subcontinent and the southern part of Tibet. Other “leopards” are the clouded leopard and the leopard cat. The beautiful and elusive snow leopard is also a resident of Bhutan.

How many animals are there in Bhutan?

There must be hundreds of thousands of creatures in Bhutan that belong to 770 species of birds, 220 species of even-toed ungulates, including the takin, and 260 species of carnivores, including 89 to 124 Bengal tigers. There is also at least one species of cetacean represented by the South Asian river dolphin, though it is endangered and may even be extinct in Bhutan. There are also several species of bats, pangolins, primates, and rodents. There are also at least 1920 species of insects, including the Bhutan blackvein butterfly. Bhutan also has 36 kinds of amphibians and 83 types of reptiles, and more of these creatures have been discovered over the past few years.