Animals in Albania

Updated: March 9, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Albanian animals. We currently track 237 animals in Albania and are adding more every day!

Albania is a small southeastern European country situated against the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea, directly across from the boot of Italy. It shares a land border with Kosovo and Montenegro to the north, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. About 75% of the landmass is dominated by hills and mountains which rise to more than 650 feet above sea level, including the Albanian Alps in the north, the aptly named Central Mountain Range, and the Ceraunian Mountains in the southwest. The part of the country closest to the coast is covered by low, fertile plains. Albania is particularly rich in bats, deer, rodents, carnivores, insects, and migrating birds.

The Official National Animal of Albania

The golden eagle is the national animal of Albania. It is an important element of Albanian folklore, featuring in folk songs, and a double-headed eagle also adorns the coat of arms and the country’s flag.

Albania is one of several countries in the world to have the golden eagle as its national animal, with others being Germany, Austria, Mexico, and Kazakhstan.

The large raptor has a wingspan on average around 5.9-8.2 feet, and can be found in the rocky peaks of the Albanian Alps. The bird is a protected species and threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching and habitat loss. Experts believe that around 25 years ago there were between 100 and 200 couples of golden eagles, and now there are only about half that many in existence in Albania.

a predator golden eagle with a dangerous look

The national animal of Albania is the golden eagle.


Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Albania

In order to protect its rich wildlife, Albania has established 14 national parks and marine parks, encompassing about 6.7% of the overall territory. It also has hundreds more protected refuges and important areas for birds.

  • Butrint National Park, located to the very south of Albania in Vlore County, comprises about 36 square miles of hills, wetlands, salt marshes, plains, freshwater lakes, and reed beds. As part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important bird area, Butrint bears the names of the ancient Greek and Roman cities which form the most important element of the park. Visitors can find a diverse range of wildlife, including foxes, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, plovers, egrets, fire salamanders, beech martens, sea turtles, and dolphins. It’s also a potential habitat of the rare Mediterranean monk seal.
  • Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park, located in the eastern county of Elbasan near the Macedonian border, offers 131 square miles of glacial lakes, valleys, alpine meadows, and dense forests. Visitors can sometimes catch a glimpse of red foxes, weasels, martens, badgers, bats, wolves, and bears. The most elusive animal of all is the incredibly rare Balkan lynx.
  • Dajti National Park is located directly to the east of the capital, Tirana. Encompassing more than 100 square miles, then park bears the name of the mountain in the Skanderberg range. It is a good place to find foxes, wolves, hares, wild cats, and even bears. Dajti is also directly adjacent to the Shtame Pass National Park, Kraste-Verjon Protected Landscape, and Mali me Gropa-Bize-Martanesh Protected Landscape.
  • Valbonë Valley National Park is located near the northern border with Montenegro. Despite encompassing only 30 square miles, the park contains a diverse range of waterfalls, glacial springs, rock formations, and dense forests. Golden eagles, bears, falcons, owls, herons, plovers, deer, wild boar, chamois, and many other birds are all found here.
Mediterrainean monk seal

Butrint National Park is a potential habitat for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.


Largest Animals in Albania

The largest animal in Albania is also the largest toothed predator in the world: the sperm whale. These massive giants of the sea can weigh on average 35 to 45 tons and grow to 49 to 59 feet in length. This very rare creature has been seen in the waters of the Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park on Albania’s southwestern coast.

Albania is home to the brown bear, which is the second-largest bear species after the polar bear. Brown bears can weigh between 300 and 860 pounds and reach a height of 5-9.2 feet. They are present throughout Albania, including its mountainous northern, central, and southern regions, and play an important role in maintaining the country’s biodiversity. However, these bears are endangered and despite being protected by the Albanian government their numbers have declined to such an extent that there are now thought to be only about 180-200 individuals surviving in the Albanian Alps.

The Dalmatian pelican is the largest of the pelican family, one of the biggest bird species on the planet and the heaviest flying animal in the world. Weighing in at around 33 pounds at most, it has a huge wingspan of 8.8 to 10.4 feet. This pelican is critically endangered and can be found in breeding season in the lagoon waters of Divjakë-Karavasta National Park in western Albania.

The Illyrian shepherd dog is a large, strong sheep-guarding breed now more commonly known as the Sarplaninac, named for the Sharplanina mountain range. Fully grown females weigh on average 65-88 pounds, while males can grow to weigh 100 pounds, with their heights typically 22.5-24 inches. They can be found in the remote, high altitude northeastern parts of Albania.

Animals With the Toughest Skin-sperm whale

Sperm whales can be found in Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park on the southwestern coast of Albania.


The Most Dangerous Animals in Albania Today

Albania is home to only about five species of venomous snakes and a few other large carnivores. Death from wildlife is relatively rare, but some species can cause quite a lot of pain and suffering.

  • Nose-horned viper: Easily identified by the unique horn emerging from the snout, the nose-horned viper (also known by the names of long-nosed viper, sand viper, and horned viper) is probably the most dangerous snake in all of Albania. Bite victims will likely experience pain, swelling, and discoloration around the injection site.
  • Mediterranean black widow: These spiders possess a venom that can cause convulsions, muscle cramps, and chills, lasting for a few days to weeks, however their bite is rarely fatal. Black widows, which live in grassy or rocky areas with a warm climate, usually only bite if surprised or threatened.
  • Eurasian wolves: Typically found in Albania’s mountainous and alpine zones, these wolves’ attacks generally are driven by infections from rabies. However, when food sources are scare, they have been reported to attack isolated small children, so care is needed to protect kids from harm in the rare event of encountering a wolf in its natural habitat.
  • Brown bear: Albania is home to a very small population of bears. While attacks are exceptionally rare, even when encountered on foot, bears may become aggressive if they feel threatened or startled. The biggest number of attacks occurs when a mother is protecting her cubs.
  • Common European viper: Found all throughout Europe, this snake is not the most venomous, but it is responsible for more bites than almost any other snake. Symptoms of its venom include pain, swelling, blisters, and even tingling. Respiratory failure only occurs in a small number of untreated cases, mostly among the old, young, or already sick.
An aggressive male nose-horned viper on a rock ( Vipera ammodytes ). Males have a background of gray or brown scales with a pattern of dark brown or black zigzags running down its back.

Identified by its horn arising from its snout, the nose-horned viper is likely Albania’s most dangerous snake.


Endangered Animals in Albania

The forests and mountains of Albania are a haven for some of the rarer European wildlife, but several of these species are at risk of becoming extinct.

  • Egyptian vulture: The Egyptian vulture (also known by the names of the white scavenger vulture and pharaoh’s chicken) breeds in southeastern Europe and travels south toward Africa for the winter. Due to the combined effects of hunting, power line collisions, accidental ingestion of lead and pesticides, and intentional poisoning, this bird is now endangered.
  • Albanian water frog: Native to the swamps and marshes of western Albania and southern Montenegro, this unique species of frog has declined dramatically from its height. It’s now endangered from pollution, habitat loss, and poaching for commercial purposes.
  • Green sea turtle: This endangered turtle has two populations, one in the Atlantic and the other in the Pacific regions, however it does migrate in the Mediterranean Sea and is found in Albania.
  • Wild cock: This large, endangered bird lives in mountainous areas, coniferous or mixed forests, and rocky regions. At the end of spring they migrate to meadows, where males perform mating dances.

Wild animals are also at risk of being hunted and sold as part of the live animal trade, despite species being protected and a ban on hunting in place in Albania since 2014. Authorities say the ban has curtailed sizable number of the 2,000-3,000 hunters from outside of Albania, including Italy, who are said to have killed more than 150,000 birds within the past decade. However, the ban has its limitations as the punishment for breaching the ban is to pay a fine.

There have been reports of numerous markets in the country selling native species including brown bears, foxes, wolves, and birds of prey, with the buyers mostly restaurant and hotel owners who want to use the animals as live or stuffed tourist attractions. Additionally, several restaurants have been known to openly include wild game, including the endangered brown bear, on their menus.

Egyptian vulture

The Egyptian vulture, which breeds in southeastern Europe, is one endangered species found in Albania.


Rare Animals of Albania

The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the world’s rarest seal species and the sole seal present in Albania. Numbers have fallen to fewer than 700 in the entire Mediterranean due to overhunting and loss of suitable coastline. This large, earless seal can be mainly found in southern Albania’s rocky coastal regions including Karaburun Peninsula, Sazan Island, and Ksamil Islands.

The Balkan lynx, the largest wild cat in Europe, is one of the rarest felines on Earth and critically endangered. Native to eastern Albania, it’s estimated there are just 15-20 individuals now in existence in the region due to illegal poaching and habitat loss, with forests cleared for firewood and construction uses. It is a criminal offense to kill a Balkan lynx and can lead to a sentence of up to seven years in jail. It is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx, which is very rarely seen in Albania as it was once widespread across Europe but there are now only scattered populations in the continent.

Not only is the Dalmatian pelican one of the largest birds in the country, but it is also one of the rarest. It is classified as critically endangered in Albania and considered threatened in all other countries where they breed and migrate to and from.

A Balkan lynx on a mountain.

The Balkan lynx is native to eastern Albania and it’s estimated there are only 15-20 left in the wild.

©Panagiotis Komninelis/

Flag of Albania

The Albanian flag consists of a red field representing bravery, strength, valor and bloodshed with a black two-headed eagle in the center. Since the Middle Ages, the double-headed eagle has served as a representation of Albania and its monarchs.

This became the national flag in 1912 following Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire.

The flag has been modified over the years under different regimes’ rule. During the reign of King Zog from 1928 to 1939, a crown was added to the flag. It was replaced by two fasces (bundle of wooden rods sometimes including an ax) under Italy’s occupation of Albania. Following World War II, the communist regime inserted a five-pointed golden star that was removed in April 1992 after the communist government lost power.

A double-headed eagle is featured in the center of Albania’s flag.


Albanian Animals

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


First evolved 100 million years ago!


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


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!


Has a curved, upturned beak!


Can reach speeds of 30 km/h!

Balkan Lynx

The Balkan lynx communicates mostly with its ears

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!

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

Beewolf wasp

They hunt bees


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!

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors


The most common species of bee!


There are thought to be up 17,500 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.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!


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!


Natively found in the European mountains!


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 European Adder

European adders are the only snake that lives above the Arctic Circle.

Common Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

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 Loon

Also known as the Great Northern Diver

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Common Toad

Most active in wet weather!


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


A group of these birds is called a Murder.


Have an energetic and playful nature!

Dalmatian Mix

These canine’s spots are distinctive in their placement, including different shaped markings, making them unique.


There are around 40 different species!

Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle

The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators


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


Has exceptional eyesight!


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Edible Frog

Are known to guard the muddy banks!


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 Bullfinch

The shy eurasian bullfinch prefers to forage very close to cover.

Eurasian Eagle-owl

The Eurasian Eagle-owl is the second largest owl in the world with a wingspan up to six feet!

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.


The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Widow Spider

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


Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Fire Salamander

Its name comes from the fact that people once believed it was born in fire


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 Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world


They make many sounds when trying to attract a mate.

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

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!


The goldcrest never starts moving and needs to consume for most of the day to survive. Therefore, in the colder months, it's best that eat 90% a day.

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!

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!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Honey Buzzard

Honey buzzards are medium-sized raptors that earned their names by raiding the nests of bees and wasps.


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!


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!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.


There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus


Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!


The jackdaw tends to mate for life with a single partner

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lazarus Lizard

Lazarus Lizards can communicate through chemical and visual signals.


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


Does not hibernate during the bitter Arctic winter!


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.


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!

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


They line their nests with their feathers


Some species have a poisonous bite!


The mink can swim up to 100 feet underwater.


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


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!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Northern Pintail

Northern pintails migrate at night with speeds reaching 48 miles per hour!

Nose-Horned Viper

The fangs of a nose-horned viper can be as long as half an inch!

Old House Borer

Depending on the habitat and climate, these beetles can live between 2 to 10 years, often staying in their larval stage for several years, making them extremely dangerous to wooden structures.


Inhabits dark underwater caves

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


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

Pine Marten

A pine marten can jump from tree to tree similar to a squirrel.

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Pool Frog

The rarest amphibian in the UK!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 300 different species!


Known to wash their food before eating it!

Raccoon Dog

The only hibernating canine!


Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.


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

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


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.

Roe Deer

The roe is one of the most popular game animals in Europe


Will mate with the entire flock!

Rough-Legged Hawk (Rough-Legged Buzzard)

Its scientific name, lagopus, is Ancient Greek for “hare” and “foot,” referring to its feathered feet and toes.

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

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!


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!

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

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

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.

Spadefoot Toad

They spend most of their time underground!


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.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tawny Owl

The most widespread owl in Europe!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thornback Ray

The skate with the biggest spines!


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

Tiger Moth

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

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.

Ural owl

The Ural owl can rotate its head up to 270 degrees


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 Vole

The largest Vole species in the UK!

Wax Moth

The Wax Moth larvae are more dangerous than the adult.


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

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.


It interbreeds with the pine bunting

Albanian Animals List

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About the Author

Catherine Gin has more than 15 years of experience working as an editor for digital, print and social media. She grew up in Australia with an alphabet of interesting animals, from echidnas and funnel-web spiders to kookaburras and quokkas, as well as beautiful native plants including bottlebrushes and gum trees. Being based in the U.S. for a decade has expanded Catherine's knowledge of flora and fauna, and she and her husband hope to have a hobby farm and vegetable garden in future.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What dangerous animals are in Albania?

Albania is home to several species of venomous vipers and large bears and wolves.

What prehistoric animals once roamed Albania?

Both the woolly mammoth and aurochs lived in prehistoric Albania but later became extinct. The lion also survived in prehistoric Europe even until the Stone Age.

Are there wolves in Albania?

Yes, Albania has a small but stable population of the Eurasian wolf which numbers around 250.

Are there monkeys in Albania?

With very few exceptions, monkeys are not native to Europe.

Are there bears in Albania?

Yes, the Eurasian brown bear subspecies can be found in the country’s remote forests and mountains.