Below you can find a complete list of Iraqi animals. We currently track 236 animals in Iraq and are adding more every day!
Iraq is an ethnically diverse country in Western Asia that has historically served as an important crossroads of vast empires. It shares a border with Turkey to the north, Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Saudi Arabia and Jordan toward the south. The country is comprised of two main climates: the hot and arid lowlands or alluvial plains and the cooler uplands of the northeast. The country’s two mightiest rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Persian Gulf. The area between the two rivers, which goes by the historical name of Mesopotamia, is widely regarded as the cradle of human civilization. It’s also the source of the country’s most abundant wildlife.
The Official National (State) Animal of Iraq
While Iraq has a few different national symbols, the golden eagle is the one animal that adorns the country’s coat of arms. Formally known as the Eagle of Saladin (after the 12th-century historical figure), it was adapted in the 20th century as a symbol of pan-Arabism.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Iraq
Iraq has long been a difficult place for animal lovers to visit because of its history of lax wildlife protection, habitat degradation, and internal warfare. The struggle to open the Halgurd Sakran National Park, located in the mountainous north abutting Turkey and Iran, best exemplifies the country’s problems. The organizers of the park had planned for it to encompass a massive 400 square miles, including the country’s highest point, Halgurd Peak, at 12,000 feet above sea level. But many factors, including perpetual warfare, the presence of unexploded munitions, and the dwindling of many unique species in the area, have all combined to delay its opening.
Nevertheless, Iraq is not completely free of beautiful wildlife areas. The Mesopotamian Marshes, situated in the south where the Tigris and Euphrates converge, is the richest source of wildlife in the country. Historically comprised of three distinct areas (the Central, Hammar, and Hawizeh Marshes), it used to be one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world, until Saddam Hussein drained part of the swamp and caused significant damage to the local wildlife. The drainage was eventually reversed after his overthrow, but it’s still affecting the abundance of migrating and native birds. Visitors can still find flamingos, pelicans, herons, reed warblers, the sacred ibis, African darter, and Mesopotamian crow. This area is also an excellent source of freshwater fish.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Iraq Today
The hot, arid deserts and scrublands of Iraq teem with several species of dangerous snakes and weird insects.
- Saw-Scaled Viper – Native to the scrublands and deserts of Iraq, the Indian saw-scaled viper will defend itself with dangerous venom that causes pain, swelling, and occasional blistering. In rare cases, bleeding and coagulation can occur over several areas of the body.
- Horned Viper – Easily identified by the unique pointed horns on its head, the horned viper will lie submerged and camouflaged in the sand, waiting to strike at prey. The venom itself can cause pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and tissue death. This snake can sometimes deliver enough of a dose to kill a person. Fortunately, they are seldom encountered by people.
- Deathstalker – Sporting a weird green or brown color, this is one of the most dangerous species of scorpions in the world. Although a single sting from the deathstalker is very painful, it would not normally kill a healthy adult. It’s usually the second sting that may prove fatal.
- Black Desert Cobra – This all-black snake, which can be found in scrublands, deserts, and rocky terrain all over the Middle East, can deliver a powerful neurotoxin that affects the entire body.
Endangered Animals in Iraq
- Persian Leopard – Although quite rare, his subspecies of the leopard is still occasionally seen in northern Iraq. The main threats to their existence are deforestation and hunting.
- Persian Fallow Deer – Once widespread across the entire Western Asia region, the Persian fallow deer may already be extinct from Iraq. Only about 1,000 to 2,000 of them remain in the world.
- Spur-Thighed Tortoise – While still somewhat common around the Mediterranean, this species of tortoise has almost completely disappeared from the northern Iraq territories in which it resided.
- Syrian Brown Bear – Easily identified by its smaller size and light brown fur, this subspecies of the brown bear was once found across most of northern Iraq. But the combined effects of overhunting and habitat loss have made it endangered in the country.
- Northern Bald Ibis – The northern bald ibis can look a bit weird. Featuring a bare red face, a long, curved bill, and glossy black plumage, this unique but endangered bird can be found in semi-desert or rocky habitats. While Iraq is considered to be outside of its normal migratory range, it used to appear in the country with some regularity.
Stunningly beautiful wings
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
Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!
Has a curved, upturned beak!
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
There are 8 different species!
These birds eat a diet of bones
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!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
These snakes have been introduced to all continents, except Antarctica!
Can live its entire life indoors
The most common species of bee!
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
Can survive without water for 10 months!
The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.
Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.
Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
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
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!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
The most common raptor in the UK!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
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 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!
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
These tiny wolves prefer to cohabitate in pairs or groups of three (generally two males and a female).
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
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!
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!
They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
The Eurasian Eagle-owl is the second largest owl in the world with a wingspan up to six feet!
The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds
They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.
Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
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!
Can glide up to 90 meters!
Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"
There are around 7,000 different species!
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!
The most common type of urban roach
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 29 different species!
There are 11,000 known species!
Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
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!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Horned vipers sidewind across the desert sands of their home.
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
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!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
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.
Ear tufts make it look bigger!
Often hangs upside down while feeding!
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
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!
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!
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!
Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!
Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
There are more than 5,000 species.
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!
Thought to have originated in the Middle East!
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
A pine marten can jump from tree to tree similar to a squirrel.
There are 500 different species!
There are 30 different species worldwide!
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 are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.
This bird moves its tail to steer its body like a rudder on a boat.
It's horns are made from keratin!
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.
The roe is one of the most popular game animals in Europe
Will mate with the entire flock!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
There are more than 700 different species!
The Saluki is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.
They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
This is the smallest venomous snake in India's Big Four.
There are around 2,000 known species!
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!
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!
Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.
Found widely throughout British gardens!
They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce
Has up to 45 eggs per egg case
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 4,000 known species worldwide
A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
Average adults weigh about 200 grams!
They can’t sing like other birds.
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!
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
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
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!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
Spends most of it's time in the trees!
The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!
Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!
Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.
There are 200 different species!
They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.
There are around 75 different species!
Iraqi Animals List
Animals in Iraq FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Iraq?
Iraq is home to almost 80 species of mammal, including such well-known animals as the wolves, badgers, otters, martens, porcupines, muskrats, foxes, jackals, wild pigs, wildcats, and hyenas. But birds are probably the most conspicuous of all animals. It is estimated that more than 400 species of birds can be found in Iraq, many of them living in the southern wetlands. Snakes and insects are also quite common throughout the entire country. The lion, cheetah, ostrich, oryx, and wild donkey once lived in Iraq, but over the centuries they have all become extinct.
Are there tigers in Iraq?
Iraq no longer has any native tigers, but there is some evidence that the now extinct Caspian tiger subspecies did once live here. The last known sighting occurred in 1887.
Are there alligators or crocodiles in Iraq?
The country does not have many native species, but the mugger crocodile of India may have once lived in Iraq.