Animals in Bhutan

Updated: June 7, 2021
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Below you can find a complete list of Bhutanese animals. We currently track 236 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

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


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

Asian Palm Civet

It mainly eats mangos and coffee!

Atlas Moth

Adult atlas moths do not eat - they live off fat they stored as larvae.


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

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.

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


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!


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.

Clouded Leopard

Has canines that can be two inches long!


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 Green Magpie

Magpies are aggressive when threatened, often “dive-bombing” at intruders

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.

Cosmic Caterpillar

Cosmic caterpillars have spots on their back that look like eyes to scare off predators.


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.


These fish make a popular choice for aquarium hobbyists due to their hardy nature.


There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

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


Only 2,000 left in the wild!


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!


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

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


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 Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Fruit Fly

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!

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 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.


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Indian Cobra

One of the Big Four.

Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

Indian python

Kaa from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book was an Indian Python.


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

King Cobra

They are the longest venomous snake in the world.


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


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!


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


They line their nests with their feathers


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!

Monocled Cobra

The monocled cobra is responsible for the highest fatality rate of any snake in all of Thailand.


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!


The muntjac is the smallest type of deer in the world

Musk Deer

The glands of a musk deer can sell for up to $45,000 on the black market.


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


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


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees


Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell


Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


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

Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

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!

Russel’s Viper

A Russel's viper strike is so forceful it can lift its entire body off the ground.

Sable Ferret

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


There are more than 700 different species!


Male sambars will compete for mates by clashing together with their antlers


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!

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.


Populations have been affected by pollution!


The takin can leap some 6 feet through the air

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.

Tibetan Fox

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


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite


The largest feline in the world!

Tiger Beetle

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

Tokay Gecko

The Tokay gecko gets its onomatopoeic name from its "To-kay!" barking call.


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.


Yaks can live at altitudes up to 20,000 feet--the highest of any land-dwelling mammal.


There are around 75 different species!

Bhutanese Animals List

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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.

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.