Animals in Saudi Arabia

Below you can find a complete list of Saudi Arabian animals. We currently track 147 animals in Saudi Arabia and are adding more every day!

Saudi Arabia is a large country located on the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. It has such diverse habitats as mountains, deserts, hills, valleys, volcanoes, lakes, and islands. Each area has its own unique selection of animals.

Keep reading to explore Saudi Arabia’s wildlife.

The Official National Animal of Saudi Arabia

The camel is the national animal of Saudi Arabia. Why was the camel selected as the national animal? Called the “ship of the desert,” the camel has been used for transportation and as a working animal for centuries. Specifically, the Arabian or Dromedary camel – the one-humped camel – is the national animal.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s most sought-after wildlife can be very elusive. If you want to see Hamadryas baboons, they can be found in the Hijaz Mountains. One region of these mountains, the Asir Mountains, is the stronghold of the rare and elusive Arabian leopard.

Arabian oryx, once locally extinct, were released in a fenced-in reserve called the Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area. Along with the mountain gazelle and goitered gazelle, they can also be found in the ‘Uruq Bani Ma’arid protected area.

The cute sand cat, no large than your average housecat, can only be seen in the western deserts.

A unique wading bird called a hamerkop nest in the Wadi Turabah Nature Reserve. This is the only place in the Arabian Peninsula that this bird can be found.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Saudi Arabia Today

A number of dangerous venomous snakes live in Saudi Arabia. The most dangerous snakes are in the viper family. These include the carpet viper, sawscale viper, horned viper, adder or common viper, and false-horned viper. Some emit a rattling sound as a warning when you get too close. The best thing to do if you hear this is to stop moving and back away.

Although these snakes can be harmful to humans, they do not want to bite you. There have been only around 5 reported viper bites in the country during the past 20 years.

Endangered Animals in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a fragile ecosystem with many endangered species. The Arabian leopard, for example, has been considered critically endangered since 1996. In 2006, it was estimated that there were only around 200 of these leopards surviving in the wild.

The Arabian wolf is also an endangered species. Farmers have hunted the wolf because it may stalk their livestock. Only about 2,000 to 3,000 Arabian wolves exist in the wild.

Hunting and other human activities have caused the local extinction of some of Saudi Arabia’s animals. These include the striped hyena, honey badger, and golden jackal. The Arabian oryx was also hunted to extinction in the wild, but conservation efforts and breeding programs allowed it to be reintroduced in a fenced reserve.

Saudi Arabian Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

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.

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

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!

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!

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!

Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

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!

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!

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

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!

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.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

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

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!

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!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!

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.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

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!

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

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!

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 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

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Saudi Arabian Animals List

Animals in Saudi Arabia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Kinds of Animals Live in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is home to mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.

The largest mammals include the Dromedary camel, the Arabian tahr (a type of mountain goat), the golden jackal, and the Arabian wolf. Smaller carnivores include the caracal (a medium-sized cat), the sand cat, red and fennec foxes, and the striped hyena.

There are plenty of other small mammals as well, including the rock hyrax, honey badger, and Cape hare.

Bird species common to Saudi Arabia include buzzards, eagles, quail, sandgrouse, larks, seabirds, pelicans, and gulls. Other birds migrate through Saudi Arabia and are found there only part of the year. These include swallows, storks, and flamingos.

Are There Tigers in Saudi Arabia?

According to a report from 2011, two known specimens of the rare Arabian tiger had been observed in Saudi Arabia. A small population is held in captivity; the goal is to breed more of these tigers and release them into the wild. About 200 Arabian tigers are thought to exist in Saudi Arabia and its surrounding nations.

Which is the Most Important Animal in Saudi Arabia?

It could be argued that the camel is the most important animal in Saudi Arabia – the most important to humans, that is. Though not originally from the Middle East, the camel adapted well to desert life. It is used as a working animal. At times and in certain cultures, the number of camels a person owned was equated to his wealth and social status.

Keep in mind, however, that every animal is important in its own right. All species play a role in the food web and in keeping the natural balance of the ecosystem. When one animal becomes extinct, it affects the other animals living in the same habitat.

Do Lions Live in Saudi Arabia?

Until about 100 years ago, African lions lived in Saudi Arabia. Today, these big cats are extinct in the wild and can only be found in zoos.

There is, however a tiny lion living in Saudi Arabia – a ferocious insect known as the ant-lion. This small predator hides in the sand, which it also throws at its prey – typically ants – to make them fall into its waiting jaws.

What Animals Migrate to Saudi Arabia?

A number of unique birds, including flamingoes, swallows, and storks, migrate in and out of Saudi Arabia.

What Animals Live in the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia?

The Rub’ al Khali or Empty Quarter is a sandy desert that covers a large part of the country. It is home to few animals as it is a dry and hostile environment. Arachnids such as scorpions as well as rodents can be found there. The Asiatic cheetah once lived there, but it is regionally extinct.