Animals in Syria

Below you can find a complete list of Syrian animals. We currently track 214 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

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 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.

Camel Spider

Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

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

Cinereous Vulture

This vulture can fly at great heights. At least one was found a few thousand feet from the top of Mount Everest.

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

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!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

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!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

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!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

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!

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Cobra

When it feels threatened, it mimics a cobra in an attempt to dissuade a potential attacker.

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

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!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Gazelle

Named for the Arabic word for love poems

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

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!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

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.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

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!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Linnet

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.

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!

Long-Tailed Tit

Often hangs upside down while feeding!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

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!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

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.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

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!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

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!

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.

Roe Deer

The roe is one of the most popular game animals in Europe

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Saluki

The Saluki is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

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!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Song Thrush

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.

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

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!

Syrian Hamster

Can get used to and respond to human voice

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Teddy Bear Hamster

The oldest recorded teddy bear hamster was six and a half.

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.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Viper

Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most

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 Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

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

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Syrian Animals List

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.