Below you can find a complete list of Yemeni animals. We currently track 138 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 List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Desert Locust
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Fruit Bat
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Long-Eared Owl
- Monitor Lizard
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Rock Hyrax
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Yemen FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do people raise farm animals in Yemen?
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.