Below you can find a complete list of Syrian animals. We currently track 230 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.
Flag of Syria
The Syrian flag is a horizontal tricolor of red, white, and black, with two five-pointed green stars on the white stripe.
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!
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!
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!
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.
When it feels threatened, it mimics a cobra in an attempt to dissuade a potential attacker.
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!
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!
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.
An onager's coat changes color with the season.
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
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!
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
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!
Can get used to and respond to human voice
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
The oldest recorded teddy bear hamster was six and a half.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The skate with the biggest spines!
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!
There are around 75 different species!
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About the Author
AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.
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.