Animals in Yemen

Updated: January 17, 2023
Share this post on:


Below you can find a complete list of Yemeni animals. We currently track 230 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.

The Flag of Yemen

Yemen’s flag consists of horizontal red, white, and black stripes. The red stripe represents the people who died fighting for independence and unity. White represents Yemen’s bright future, and black represents the country’s dark past.

Yemeni Animals

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Renew their horns every year!

Arabian Cobra

The Arabian cobra is the only true cobra species that can be found in the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabian Wolf

Rare desert wolf


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


Arsinoitherium was a twin-horned mammal that looked like a rhino but is more closely related to present-day elephants.


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!


Has a curved, upturned beak!


Can travel more than four miles a day!

Banana Spider

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


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

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!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brahminy Blindsnake

These snakes have been introduced to all continents, except Antarctica!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

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!

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.


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.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


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


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.


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 Spider

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!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

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!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.


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!

Egyptian Vulture

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


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

European Robin

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


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!


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!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Fruit Fly

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!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Giant Trevally

The largest fish in its genus

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


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!


There are 29 different species!


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


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 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.


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horned Viper

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.


The fly has no teeth


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


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!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kenyan Sand Boa

A popular pet snake that comes in dozens of morphs!


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lappet-faced Vulture

Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


Spends much of the time high in the trees!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


There are around 5,000 different species!


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!


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!


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

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!


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


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


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!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Thought to have originated in the Middle East!


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

The pheasant-tailed jacana is the only species in its family that migrates long distances.


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

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

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!


They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs


It's horns are made from keratin!

Rhombic Egg-Eater Snake

When birds aren't nesting, these snakes fast

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!


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.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

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


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

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!

Short-Eared Owl

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!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!


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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 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.


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


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.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


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

Tiger Beetle

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


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Cricket

They make music with their wings

Tree Frog

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!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!


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!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

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


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.


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


There are around 75 different species!

Yemeni Animals List

Share this post on:
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 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.