Animals in Yemen



Below you can find a complete list of Yemeni animals. We currently track 167 animals in Yemen and are adding more every day!

The list of indigenous Yemen animals is extensive. It includes well-known native animals like striped hyenas, honey badgers, and geckos and lesser-known animals like Arabian leopards, African helmeted turtles, and hamadryas baboons. There are other animals, like the black-tufted gerbil, Hadramaut Mouse-tailed bats, and the Lanza’s Pipistrelle, that are found nowhere else in the world.

One of the reasons this country has such great diversity is that it contains many unique ecosystems. Part of the country is in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the most biologically rich yet threatened areas worldwide. Other parts of the country are in the Horn of Africa Biodiversity Hotspot and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Coral Reef Hotspot. The island and archipelago of Socotra are part of the country, and they contain over 700 endemic plants and animals.

The Official National Animal of Yemen

Yemen’s former Minister of Water and Environment Abdulrahman Al-Eryani wrote a bill that the Yemen government passed to make the Arabian leopard Yemen’s official national animal. He became so concerned about this species’ fate after going on wildlife expeditions with the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard that he quit his government job and went to trying to save the Arabian leopard full-time.

Male Arabian leopards weigh about 66 pounds while females weigh about 46 pounds. Both males and females are about 6-feet long. They are solitary animals, except when females are in heat. Females are pregnant for about 100 days and give birth to one-to-four cubs. This wildcat has a pale-yellow thick coat with black spots. Its tail can be up to 3.5-feet long.

The IUCN lists this animal as critically endangered. The Arabian leopard is at an even higher risk of going extinct because there are less than 60 in captivity.

Until the 1990s, this cat lived in all mountainous areas of Yemen. People overhunted its food, including hyraxes and ibexes, starving many of them to death. Additionally, humans who believed they were a threat to their livestock killed them. Breaking up forests into smaller segments through deforestation has also been an enormous problem.

Experts believe that less than 200 of these cats, the smallest leopard subspecies, live in the wild. The only known group of these leopards is in the mountains around Wada’a, Yemen. One of the last photographs of an Arabian leopard in Yemen was in 2011 in the Hawf Protected Area in the country’s eastern part.

People have reported seeing them in the mountains in the southern part of the country, but there is no scientific evidence to support these reports.

Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Yemen

There are six official protected areas for wildlife in Yemen. It can still be tough to see wildlife even in these regions because of the devastating effects of the country’s ongoing civil war.

  • Aden Wetlands Protected Area – Since 2005, residents have transformed a former garbage dump into a critical wetland sanctuary. This location is a fascinating area often visited by over 100 migratory bird species, including cattle egrets, chestnut-bellied sand-grouses, and redshanks. This area is the only region in Arabia where the lesser flamingo has attempted to breed. Additionally, these wetlands also serve as breeding grounds for green and reef herons, cattle egrets, moorhens, spur-winged and Kentish plovers, and black-winged stilts.
  • Bura’a Protected Area – This area contains one of the few remaining tropical forests that were predominant in the region’s past. This area is home to 63 threatened species. Common animals living in this protected area include hamadryas baboons, porcupines, and striped hyenas. The site is also home to 93 bird species and 13 reptiles, including the Yemeni monitor lizard
  • Hawf Protected Area – This area near the country’s border with Oman contains the largest forest on the Arabian Peninsula. It is home to Arabian leopards, Nubian ibexes, gazelles, Arabian wolves, striped hyenas, foxes, wildcats, and porcupines.
  • Kamaran Island Protected Area – This is a marine protected area in the Red Sea. Seagrasses and mangroves cover this area near the coast of Saudi Arabia. A misty fog covers it from April to November. The coral reef found a very short distance offshore is home to many fish species, including green Chromis damselfish, Red Sea dascyllus, and four-line wrasse.
  • Socotra Archipelago Protected Area – This area consists of four islands in the Indian Ocean. It has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its vast biodiversity. A unique frankincense tree grows on this island, which helps protect and feed its animals. About 90% of the terrestrial reptiles are native. The critically endangered Hemidactylus dracaenacolus gecko feeds on the island’s dragon blood tree. The phantom flutterer dragonfly lives only in some coastal regions of this island. People have accidentally introduced the red palm weevil, dubas bug, and Mediterranean recluse spider to the ecosystem. Six bird species live only in this region, along with 28 reptile species.
  • Utoma Protected Area – This mountainous volcanic region in southwest Yemen is home to many native animals, including wolves, hyenas, foxes, hares, and hedgehogs. Numerous native birds also live in this area, including eagles, falcons, and partridges.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Yemen Today

While many native animals in Yemen are not dangerous, some can be deadly. These include:

  • Fat-tail scorpions – These scorpions that stay under 4-inches long are some of the most dangerous scorpions worldwide. They deliver potent neurotoxins with their long tails when threatened.
  • East Arabian Small-Scaled Burrowing Asp – This black snake uses its long fangs to put its venom into people. It is unusual because it usually keeps at least one fang outside of its mouth. They typically use only one fang, allowing them to insert venom without taking the time to open their mouths.
  • Arabian Cobra – This snake is a subspecies of the Egyptian cobra and one of Yemen’s most venomous snakes. This snake grows to be about 5-feet long, and it has a reddish compressed body.

Endangered Animals In Yemen

Many endangered animals live in Yemen. The country’s unrest has led to many animals becoming endangered. That unrest has also caused many conservation groups to pull out of the area. Some animals endangered in Yemen include:

  • Arabian leopard – This animal has a thick coat and is the smallest member of the leopard family. Scientists believe there are less than 200 individuals in the world.
  • Nubian ibexes – This desert-dwelling mountain goat stands about 2.5-feet tall and weighs about 110 pounds. There are only about 1,200 wild individuals anywhere in the world.
  • Striped hyenas – This is the smallest member of the hyena family. Their front legs are much longer than their back ones. Researchers believe there are about 10,000 striped hyenas worldwide in the wild.
  • Arabian gazelle – This species of gazelle is sometimes called the mountain gazelle. Males weigh about 51 pounds while females are smaller. Female calves remain with their mothers for life. This animal can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

Yemeni Animals

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!

Baboon

Can travel more than four miles a day!

Banana Spider

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

Barb

There are over 2,000 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!

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

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!

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

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common House Spider

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

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!

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!

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!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

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!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

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 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.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

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!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

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!

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!

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!

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

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!

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!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!

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.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

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!

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

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!

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.

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

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

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!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Yemeni Animals List

Animals in Yemen FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do people raise farm animals in Yemen?

Yes, farmers raise animals in Yemen. They raise at least 11 breeds of sheep, five breeds of goats, two breeds of cattle, four breeds of camels, two breeds of donkeys and a breed of horse.

What primates live in Yemen?

One of the only primates to live in Yemen is the Hamadryas baboon. Adult male Hamadryas baboons grow to be about 31 inches tall and weigh about 55 pounds. They have a silver-white cape, Females have no cape, and they grow to be about 17 inches tall and weigh about 27 pounds.

Yemen is a country of great animal diversity. Many of those animals are found nowhere else on earth. Yet, conservation groups are reluctant to work in the area because of its ongoing civil war. The government has set up some protected areas, but they have only successfully established one to the point that residents see it as a great idea.