Below you can find a complete list of North Korean animals. We currently track 226 animals in North Korea and are adding more every day!
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — commonly known as North Korea — is unusual in that it’s arguably the most politically and culturally isolated nation in the world. Due to the country’s lack of international cooperation and commitment to secrecy, less is known about North Korea’s wildlife and animals.
Animals of North Korea
Historically, the Korean Peninsula was a biodiversity hot spot and part of the Palearctic realm. But 50-plus years of regional strife has pushed North Korea’s environment into a unique state of “catastrophe,” and many area animal populations are feared extinct. Rapid deforestation has triggered severe flooding problems, and high-octane pollution is quickly choking wildlife into regional extinction.
Despite the unusual isolationist circumstances, scientists and researchers use data from other regional countries to compile dossiers and guesstimates about North Korea’s wild animals. But such reports should never be taken as gospel because we simply don’t have the facts.
The DMZ: North Korea’s Rare Conservation Hot Spot
There is one last hope for North Korea’s animals: the demilitarized zone that divides Korea, aka the DMZ.
Over the past half-century, the 38th parallel has become a unique wildlife haven. Forests have grown back in the area, and rare animals once thought lost are resurging in the people-free stretch of land.
Technically, the DMZ is not part of either North or South Korea. However, if authorities can develop collaborative conservation initiatives, the DMZ’s natural bounty may help jump-start North Korea’s ecosystem.
The Official National Animal
North Korea is one of the few nations that doesn’t have an official national animal, but the Chollima, a mythological winged horse, popular in many Asian mythologies, is a national symbol.
The country does have a national dog: the Pungsang. A rare canine breed, Pungsangs are hunting dogs that originated in the Kaema highlands of North Korea. With their smiling faces and friendly eyes, Pungsangs rank among the cutest dogs. But international kennel clubs have a less favorable opinion of the pups, considering them to be a Siberian husky variant “only less physically impressive and with behavioral issues.”
North Korea also recognizes a national bird — the northern goshawk. It’s scientific name is Accipiter gentilis. Accipiter means “hawk,” and gentilis means “noble,” a reference to the fact that only nobles could fly the species for falconry purposes in the Middle Ages.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in North Korea
North Korean tourism is unusual in that it’s tightly controlled. All visitors are assigned government-appointed monitors and aren’t free to go where they want or visit nature reserves with wild animals — if there even are any. And while there is a zoo in North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang, it doesn’t have many animals, the enclosures are made of fake trees, and its biggest attraction is a chain-smoking chimpanzee named Azalea.
The Most Dangerous Animals in North Korea Today
What are the most dangerous animals in and around this country?
Endangered Animals in North Korea
Due to limited data, it’s tough to say which animals are endangered or extinct in North Korea specifically. However, scientists do have data from South Korea from which we can extrapolate information.
According to some reports, North Korea is home to 105 mammals, of which seven are endangered, six are vulnerable, and three are near threatened.
Determining the number and species of endangered and extinct animals in this region is near impossible at the moment since researchers cannot work for extended periods in the country, and North Korean scientists don’t distribute data to other nations.
Flag of North Korea
The North Korean flag has a red horizontal stripe in the center, that is bordered by thin white lines above and below. The bottom and top edge are dark blue horizontal bands. Towards the upper-left portion, sits a red star. The red color represents lives lost by citizen’s who fought for their country. The white stands for cultural unity, while blue stands for the Korean people’s hope for progress and peace.
North Korean Animals
Stunningly beautiful wings
It's one of the most commonly eaten fish in the world
The Amur leopard may be the rarest big cat on Earth!
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 lady beetles infest indoor spaces, but they do not reproduce indoors.
Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!
Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!
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!
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!
Can live its entire life indoors
The most common species of bee!
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
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!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
They are excellent “guard geese”
They usually have 2-3 young at a time but can have up to 7!
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!
European adders are the only snake that lives above the Arctic Circle.
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
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!
Diving bell spiders can breathe underwater using an air bubble on their abdomen
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!
The shy eurasian bullfinch prefers to forage very close to cover.
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
Eurasian lynxes can survive extreme weather up to elevations of 18,000 feet
They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
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"
Freshwater eels are actually catadromous, meaning they migrate to saltwater to spawn
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!
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.
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!
Gourami fishes show parental care for their young
There are 11,000 known species!
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!
They are loud, spirited birds with raucous cries that sound like bursts of laughter.
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.
Changed little in over 500 million years!
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.
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jackdaw tends to mate for life with a single partner
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Shares its name with a Japanese "spider demon"!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
The checkered keelback of the east Indies can detach its tail and grow it back, much like a lizard.
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
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.
Ear tufts make it look bigger!
Often hangs upside down while feeding!
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
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!
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
Can live for up to 100 years!
The eyespots on this butterfly’s wings deter predators from attacking.
Teachers in schools often use the evolution of the peppered moth as a good example of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
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
The smallest of the North American salmon
Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.
There are 500 different species!
There are 30 different species worldwide!
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.
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.
Will mate with the entire flock!
Its scientific name, lagopus, is Ancient Greek for “hare” and “foot,” referring to its feathered feet and toes.
Their fur has been considered a luxury item since the Middle Ages
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
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
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
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!
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 largest feline in the world!
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.
The Ural owl can rotate its head up to 270 degrees
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!
North Korean Animals List
Animals in North Korea FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Animals Live in North Korea?
The animal most unique to North Korea is the Amur leopard — and scientists aren’t sure if individuals of the critically endangered species live within the country or if they’re just in the DMZ. Other animals in the region include white-naped cranes, Asiatic black bears, lynxes, Siberian musk deers, Korean hares, Korean crevice salamanders, Korean gorals, and Minke whales.
For a complete list of North Korean animal species, scroll down.
What Dangerous Animals Live in North Korea?
The seven most dangerous animals in North Korea are mosquitos, giant Asian hornets, jellyfish, vipers, tiger snakes, wild boars, and pufferfish.
Does North Korea Have a Zoo?
Yes, North Korea’s zoo is in Pyongyang. It goes by three names: Korea Central Zoo, Pyongyang Central Zoo, and the Central Ideals Zoo.
Does North Korea Have Tigers?
Although it cannot be confirmed, scientists believe that endangered Siberian tigers may still live in North Korea.
Are there scorpions in North Korea?
Yes, scorpions live on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea. Moreover, they’re an important part of traditional medicines and are still used in formulas to treat colds, whooping cough, skin rashes, constipation, dysentery, nervous prostration, osteomyelitis, and tetanus.