Animals in Iran

Below you can find a complete list of Iranian animals. We currently track 174 animals in Iran and are adding more every day!

Situated at the crossroads between Western Asia and India, Iran is a land of steep mountainous terrain, semi-arid deserts, and mixed forests. Featuring a rich history that dates back to the original Persian Empire, it is bound between Iraq in the west and Pakistan in the east, the Caspian Sea in the north, and the Persian Gulf in the south. The country has a particularly rich heritage of felines, hoofed mammals, bats, rodents, reptiles, and migrating birds.

The Official National Animal of Iran

Rather than a single national animal, Iran instead has a list of national symbols, which includes the Asiatic lion, Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard, Persian cat, and Persian fallow deer.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Iran

The best place to find Iran’s rich wildlife is its national parks. The Nayband Wildlife Reserve, which is the country’s largest park at 6,000 square miles, consists of mountains and desert plains in the South Khorasan Province toward the east. It is native to leopards, gazelles, goats, and plenty of snakes.

The Khar Turan National Park, which is the country’s second-largest wildlife reserve, can be found in the northeast, near the Caspian Sea. It forms a long stretch of protected land with the nearby Golestan National Park and the Miandasht Wildlife Refuge.

The Sorkheh Hesar Forest Park, Lar National Park, and Khojir National Park are all located directly to the east of Tehran. They are good places to observe migrating birds that arrive for the winter. Finally, the Kavir National Park to the east of Namak Lake has some Indian wolves, striped hyenas, Asiatic cheetahs, and gazelles.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Iran Today

Although Iran is home to several big carnivores, attacks on humans from wolves and bears are very rare. For the most dangerous animals, you should consider the more venomous species.

  • Scorpions – Iran has many different species of scorpions, but one particular species that goes by the scientific name of Hemiscorpius lepturus has a strangely painless sting. This hides the fact that dangerous toxins are spreading throughout the body and can lead to serious wounds, inflammation, and even death. In fact, this one species seems to be responsible for the vast majority of scorpion deaths in Iran.
  • Snakes – Iran is the home of quite a few venomous snake species in its arid deserts. The Persian horned viper and the spider-tailed horned viper have toxins that cause some bleeding and hemorrhaging. The Caspian cobra, which only lives in the arid northeastern part of the country, has neurotoxin that can cause weakness, paralysis, and even death. However, the saw-scaled viper, which is native to the Middle East and India, might be responsible for more deaths than any other snake.

Endangered Animals in Iran

Despite the fact that large stretches of the country are sparsely inhabited by humans, many of Iran’s larger animals are still facing the prospect of extinction. The country’s conservation efforts need to be improved before it’s too late for many of these endangered species.

  • Persian Leopard – This subspecies of the leopard only has about 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild and is now in danger of becoming extinct.
  • Asiatic Cheetah – This subspecies once stretched across India and the Middle East, but as a result of habitat loss, hunting, and a fall in prey numbers, it’s thought that less than a hundred now remain in the wild. It is highly endangered and could eventually become extinct.
  • Caspian Seal – Found exclusively along the shores of the Caspian Sea, this seal species has fallen from a high of 1.5 million to perhaps around 100,000 due to predation, industrialization, and overexploitation of the local ecosystem.
  • Persian Fallow Deer – Nearly hunted to extinction by the late 19th century, this deer has been slowly reintroduced to parts of its former habitat. However, there are still only about a thousand of them remaining.
  • Siberian Crane – This waterbird has a western population and an eastern population. The western population breeds in Siberia and migrates south for the winter near the Caspian Sea. However, there are very few western cranes remaining and they may already be extinct.
  • Egyptian Vulture – Sporting a white plumage, this species of scavenging vulture is threatened by hunting, pesticide use, intentional poison, power lines, and other human activity.

Iranian Animals

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

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!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

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

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

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

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.

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

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

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!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

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.

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.

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!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

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!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

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!

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 Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

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.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

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!

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

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.

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!

Myna Bird

For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.

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.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Persian

Thought to have originated in the Middle East!

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

Pine Marten

A pine marten can jump from tree to tree similar to a squirrel.

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!

Redback Spider

The redback spiders found in New Caledonia differ from other populations in that they don’t practice sexual cannibalism and don’t bite people as much.

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.

Russian Tortoise

Known by at least five different names

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Saluki

The Saluki is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.

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!

Slug

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

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

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.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

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-Tailed Eagle

It is one of the biggest birds of prey.

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

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Iranian Animals List

Animals in Iran FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Iran?

Iran has plenty of big cats, ungulates (hoofed mammals), rodents, reptiles, and migrating birds. The country seems to be particularly rich in bats as well.

What is the most dangerous animal in Iran?

The most dangerous animals might be scorpions or snakes, including the very venomous and aggressive saw-scaled viper.

Are there lions in Iran?

The Asiatic lion, a subspecies of the common lion, once roamed Iran, but the only country you can now find it is in India. The Iranian government has made a few attempts to restore the lion population to very limited success thus far.

Are there bears in Iran?

Yes, Iran is home to a light-colored version of the brown bear and the Asiatic black bear (which can be identified by the white mark on the chest). However, not much is known about their native ecological role in Iran.

What is the national animal of Iran?

Iran has several national symbols, including the Asiatic lion, Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard, Persian cat, and Persian fallow deer.

Are there monkeys in Iran?

No, Iran does not have any monkeys, since it lacks the appropriate climate and forests.