Animals in Timor-Leste

Below you can find a complete list of Timorese animals. We currently track 132 animals in Timor-Leste and are adding more every day!

The island nation of Timor-Leste, sometimes anglicized as East Timor, comprises half of the island of Timor in the Indonesian archipelago. Unlike the other half of the island, it is not a part of the Republic of Indonesia but is instead an independent country that was formerly a Portuguese colony to one degree or another for nearly 500 years.

Timor-Leste is a mountainous country whose chief exports are coffee and sandalwood, along with the revenues accrued from offshore oil and gas leases. Despite this windfall, the country remains relatively under-developed. Recent efforts have been focused on capitalizing upon the country’s treasure chest of unspoiled tropical landscapes and offshore marine sanctuaries.

The Official National Animal Of Timor-Leste

The official national animal of Timor-Leste is the powerful and fearsome Crocodile. While this may seem to be an odd choice for a national animal, it was selected because local legend holds that the very island of Timor itself was formed out of a giant crocodile. In fact, if one looks at a map of the island, it appears very much as if it were the head of a crocodile with its closed jaws facing to the east.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In Timor-Leste

As an underdeveloped tropical island nation, Timor-Leste abounds in wildlife almost everywhere. There are, of course, numerous places specially designed to display the nation’s wildlife endowment to the best effect. Significantly, the country has decided to focus its efforts on the encouragement of marine eco-tourism where it has a significant advantage over practically every other place on earth. While many species of mammals are also worth viewing, it is these marine animals which the nation is concentrating its efforts upon.

As a result, many of the best places to view wildlife in Timor-Leste are on the coasts and contain wide margins of the littoral seas surrounding it. The Ombai-Wetar Strait Hope Spot is a unique UN-recognized zone where viewing of marine life is highly encouraged.

Two other excellent places to view the island’s unique heritage are Atauro Island, which is being developed by a public-private partnership into a new National Park and the country’s first national park, Nino Konis Santana National Park. The latter is a very large area encompassing more than 300,000 acres of shoreline, tropical rainforest, mountainous terrain, and the island’s last surviving dry forest, which is home to a large percentage of the island’s unique bird species as well as a host of local mammals.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Timor-Leste

Since the nation uses the crocodile as its national animal, it is reasonably likely that this represents a major threat in terms of dangerous wildlife species on the island. The other most dangerous ones would include large Monitor Lizards and the Reticulated Cobra.

Endangered Animals In Timor-Leste

Because of its very unique location on the planet, Timor has a large number of near crossover species drawn from nearby Australia as well as Asia, of which Timor is virtually the last stop on the continent and the only large landmass of the continent that is below the equator.

This also means that these animal groups are in short supply even as a normal condition. Among its bat species, both the Large Flying Fox and the Sunda Flying Fox are listed as endangered species. Offshore, the Dugong, which is a relative of the Manatee, is considered to be at risk. The local edition of the one-horned rhinoceros known as the Badak Jawa is another species that is endangered.

Among the 250 local bird species, the Timor Imperial Pigeon, the Iris Lorikeet, and the Timor Sparrow are all on the list of avians worthy of concern about going extinct.

While no species of note has gone extinct recently, the island was once home to several species of very large lizards akin to the Komodo Dragon of today. These were all rendered extinct in prehistoric times.

Timorese Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

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 Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

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!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

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!

Cuscus

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

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!

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 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!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!

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!

Lorikeet

The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

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!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

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!

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!

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!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarsier

Each eye weighs more than their whole brain!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

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!

Zebra Finch

The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Timorese Animals List

Animals in Timor-Leste FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in East Timor?

Timor-Leste is a unique place where rural Asiatic species such as the Water Buffalo, Deer, and Rat live next to wild species such as the Crocodile, Bat, and Monkey, and domestically raised livestock such as Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, and Ducks.

Offshore, the area is an absolute paradise for aquatic species such as an extensive variety of Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and much other maritime life that is found among the island’s world-renowned coral reefs.

The great crocodiles hold court along the coastline and the area is filled with amphibian species such as frogs. In particular, the region is relatively unexplored so new species are being discovered all the time.

As are most tropical places, Timor-Leste is a colorful paradise filled with hundreds of unique birds with a colorful plumage and exotic bird calls.

Are there monkeys in Timor-Leste?

Yes, there are monkeys in Timor-Leste. The Crab-eating Macaque is present in the country.

Are there crocodiles in Timor-Leste?

Since it is the national animal of Timor-Leste, the answer is obviously yes. Large Saltwater Crocodiles call the region home.