Animals in Turkmenistan

Updated: May 17, 2021
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Below you can find a complete list of Turkmen animals. We currently track 225 animals in Turkmenistan and are adding more every day!

To say that Turkmenistan is far away from everywhere else is something of an understatement. It is one of the least visited countries in the world and has been known to only draw about 10,000 visitors total per annum. Largely desert in nature, Turkmenistan has a narrow fringe of slightly more salubrious land along the coast of the Caspian Sea to the west which hosts numerous species of both endemic and migratory birds, a large area of Central Asian desert that comprises about 2/3rds of the entire country in the middle, and a southeastern frontier region that is comprised of mountainous terrain bordering on the neighboring states of Iran and Afghanistan.

One might assume that the small population and large territory of the country provide a unique advantage for the survival of birds and animals even while the very inhospitable nature of the climate and terrain works against it. Yet, among its limited number of animal species, there is a total of 29 species listed as being endangered among its total enumeration of about 91 species of mammals, 82 of reptiles including a surprisingly large selection of snakes, 124 species of fish, 400 bird species and a mere 5 unique species of amphibians.

In such a challenging natural environment, human participation has taken its toll as well. Overgrazing, deforestation, and habitat incursion in the form of petrochemical exploration and development have also contributed to the overall decline in animal populations.

The Official National Animal Of Turkmenistan

There is no officially recognized overall National Animal of Turkmenistan but there are two distinct specimens that are regarded as highly symbolic of the country. These are national animals in practice even if they are only recognized as national types of their own individual species in proclamation.

The first is the unique breed of horse known as the Akhal-Teke, which appears in the center of the country’s national seal and is regarded as its National Horse. The second is an enormous species of dog known as the Alabai which is primarily used as a shepherd and officially proclaimed as the National Dog species.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In Turkmenistan

With tourist accommodations few and far between in this nomadic country, the best place to find wild animal species in Turkmenistan is in one of the country’s official wildlife preserves. This is not to say that wildlife isn’t present everywhere but that it is highly inconvenient to arrange for viewing expeditions outside of several established ones dedicated to visitors.

Even these dedicated places do not always offer the highest levels of accommodation, but the animal lover in Turkmenistan is advised to check out the Repetek Biosphere State Reserve or the Bereketli Garagum Nature Reserve for desert environments. For a look at the environment in the more mountainous regions, the Gaplangyr Nature Reserve, the Kopetdag Nature Reserve, and the Koytendag Nature Reserve are all open to visitation and study. Unfortunately, illegal poaching has driven a number of protected species in these reserves closer to becoming extinct than they would be under ordinary circumstances.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Turkmenistan

While one might consider the tiger to be the most dangerous animal in Turkmenistan, the country is also home to numerous other creatures which probably exact a larger toll overall than could be caused by the small numbers of the big cats present in the country.

The Caspian Cobra is probably a significant candidate for the crown of Most Dangerous Animal, but these snakes are not considered to be as venomous as a deadly spider named the Karakurt. This spider has a bite with venom far deadlier than that found in any of the snakes present in the country.

The country is also home to two species of the European Brown Bear and several smaller cat species but they are all present in only very limited numbers.

Endangered Animals In Turkmenistan

Already stressed by their severe environment, a number of animal species in Turkmenistan have also been victimized by human factors such as overgrazing and habitat destruction in the form of deforestation or through contamination from the numerous petrochemical facilities which comprise a large percentage of the national GDP.

The tiger, as mentioned above, is highly endangered here and everywhere else in its natural range. The Asian cheetah is believed to be extinct. Many other feline species call Turkmenistan home and are on the endangered list. These include the unique Pallas’s Cat and the Leopard. Several ruminants such as the Markhor, the Turkmen Wild Goat, and the Turkmen Mountain Sheep are included, as is the Wild Ass.

Along the Caspian Sea, the Caspian Seal is endangered. A more famous entry on the list of endangered species is the Caspian Sturgeon from which caviar eggs are harvested. Should this species go extinct, it would have a worldwide impact.

Turkmen 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!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

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.

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!

Carpet Viper

The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.

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!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Chinese Geese

They are excellent “guard geese”

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

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!

Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds

European Bee-Eater

They can eat up to 250 bees per day!

European Goldfinch

They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.

European Robin

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

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

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 Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

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!

Griffon Vulture

Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

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 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.

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!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jackdaw

The jackdaw tends to mate for life with a single partner

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!

Markhor

Less than 2,500 left in the wild!

Marmot

A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

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!

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.

Onager

An onager's coat changes color with the season.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Osprey

They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peppered Moth

Teachers in schools often use the evolution of the peppered moth as a good example of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

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!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Red Deer

A male red deer shows his age in his antlers, which become longer and more branched every year.

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.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Russian Tortoise

Known by at least five different names

Sable Ferret

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

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Cat

They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!

Saw-scaled viper

This is the smallest venomous snake in India's Big Four.

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!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.

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

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!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

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

Tiger Moth

The bright colors of this moth are a signal to predators that it has a terrible taste.

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-Tailed Eagle

It is one of the biggest birds of prey.

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.

Wryneck

They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Turkmen Animals List

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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 Turkmenistan FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are there tigers in Turkmenistan?

There are a few tigers remaining in the wild in Turkmenistan but they are prized among Asiatic peoples for many medicinal and spiritual purposes. As a result, poaching continues and it seems likely that they will eventually survive only under highly protected conditions.