Below you can find a complete list of Syrian animals. We currently track 147 animals in Syria and are adding more every day!
Syria is an ethnically and religiously diverse country that’s situated between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the borders of Iraq. For thousands of years, the land fell under the sway of various empires, including Persia, the empire of Alexander, Rome, Byzantium, the Umayyads, Abbasids, the Mongols, Mamluks, Ottomans, and then, after World War I, France. The country finally gained its independence in 1945 as a republic.
Syria’s ecosystem is heavily divided between the east and west. Most of the east is comprised of dry steppes and semi-deserts, while the western part of the country near the sea contains forests, grasslands, mountains, and hills. The Euphrates, which cuts through the east, is the country’s most important river and an excellent source of fresh water and wetland wildlife. In this article, you can learn some of the most remarkable facts about Syria’s animals.
The Official National Animal of Syria
Syria’s national coat of arms is adorned with a hawk. Birds of prey have traditionally been a symbol of strength and a source of entertainment and sport throughout the entire region.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Syria
For adventurous travelers, Syria has several wildlife preserves to explore, including the Dahr Alksair Forest to the west of Homs and the Mount Qasioun area of the capital, Damascus. Sabkhat al-Jabbul (the country’s largest natural lake) and Lake Assad (an artificial lake) can be found directly east of Aleppo. They are immense sources of wildlife biodiversity. Unfortunately, as a result of the country’s civil war, which began in 2011, it has been difficult to reach some parts of Syria.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Syria Today
Syria is home to several venomous animals that can cause harm to people who wander too close. Fortunately, most of these species live out in the desert or steppe regions where they’re less likely to be encountered by people. Here are a few facts about the most dangerous animals.
- Deathstalker – As the name implies, the deathstalker is one of the most dangerous species of scorpions in the world. Its venom is a powerful neurotoxin that causes a severe amount of pain. While healthy adults probably aren’t in life-threatening danger, the old, the young, and the sick have a greater chance of death.
- Levant Viper – Also known as the blunt-nosed viper, this species is actually found across North Africa, the Middle East, and as far as Afghanistan. After a warning hiss, the viper will strike quickly and deliver a toxic substance that can cause significant pain, inflammation, and tissue damage.
- Black Desert Cobra – This species, which might be found in the area bordering Lebanon, has a dangerous toxin that might cause neurological symptoms in anyone whom it bites.
Endangered Animals in Syria
While Syria’s wildlife is not yet in crisis, human activity has put the following species in peril.
- Mountain Gazelle – A unique subspecies of the mountain gazelle is believed to be native to the hillsides and mountains of Syria. Unfortunately, across the entire Middle East, this species is now endangered from habitat loss, hunting, disease, and the fragmentation of the remaining population.
- Mediterranean Monk Seal – Once widespread across the entire Mediterranean, the monk seal is now rarely seen in Syria. Habitat degradation, deliberate killings, and entanglements in nets have all caused numbers to dwindle to under a thousand remaining.
- White-headed Duck – Sporting a white head and a blue or black bill, this duck will sometimes pass through or even stay in Syria for the winter. However, numbers are on the decline from pollution and habitat loss.
- Egyptian Vulture – This scavenging vulture is sometimes found along the Mediterranean coast of Syria, especially as it travels south for the winter. It is endangered from hunting, accidental poisoning, and power lines.
- Steppe Eagle – This is another migratory bird that sometimes passes through or stops in Syria for the winter. However, since its nesting sites are being destroyed at an alarming rate from fires and other disturbances, this species may be in danger of becoming extinct. Human hunting and electrocution are also serious problems.
- Lebanese Thin-toed Gecko – This small lizard is native to Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, but it’s now threatened by habitat loss.
- Angelshark – This unusual-looking shark, which blends in with the sediment to ambush prey, was once common throughout the coastal shores of the Mediterranean. It has been the victim of accidental catches.
Syrian Animals List
- Angora Goat
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Camel Spider
- 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 Bee
- Long-Eared Owl
- Monitor Lizard
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Syrian Hamster
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Syria FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Syria?
Syria contains nearly 400 species of birds and over a hundred species of mammals and reptiles each. The country was once home to many large carnivores such as the Asiatic lion, cheetah, and leopard, which have completely disappeared from Syria. Fortunately, many other carnivores still remain, like the brown bear, gray wolf, jungle cat, sand cat, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, foxes, and quite a few badgers and weasels. It also has a rich selection of deer, gazelles, goats, rodents, bats, snakes, migratory birds, and birds of prey. Whales, sea turtles, and other aquatic animals can be seen off the coast of Syria.
Are there tigers in Syria?
Tigers are not native to Syria today, but there is some evidence that the Caspian tiger subspecies, which went completely extinct around 2003, did once live in the country perhaps as recently as the 19th century.
Does Syria have camels?
Yes, the domesticated dromedary, also known as the Arabian camel, still lives in Syria today. Historically, it’s been used as a means of transportation, milk production, meat, and wool. Scientists have also found fossils dating back around 100,000 years of an extinct giant camel that stood about 10 to 13 feet tall, or the same shoulder height as an elephant, although it resembles a dromedary in most other respects. These remarkable facts show that the camel existed in Syria much longer than previously suspected.
What animal represents Syria?
Syria is represented by the hawk, which adorns the national coat of arms.