Below you can find a complete list of Iraqi animals. We currently track 149 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.
Iraqi Animals List
- Angora Goat
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Camel Spider
- Cashmere Goat
- Common Buzzard
- Common Raven
- Crab Spider
- Desert Locust
- Fallow deer
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Long-Eared Owl
- Monitor Lizard
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
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.