Animals in Bulgaria

Below you can find a complete list of Bulgarian animals. We currently track 158 animals in Bulgaria and are adding more every day!

Bulgaria is a small Balkan country in the southeastern corner of Europe. Established in the fifth century, it is one of the oldest countries in the world. Bulgaria’s boundaries include Romania to the north, the Black Sea to the east, Turkey and Greece to the south, and Serbia to the west. It is a land of unspoiled beauty with rugged mountain ranges, a coastline, and the Danube River. Almost a third of the country is forested.

Bulgaria has diverse flora and fauna. There are nearly 110 species of mammals, more than 400 native bird species, 37 reptile species, and 214 native species of butterflies here. Bulgaria’s native wildlife includes bears, wolves, wild boars, red foxes, and hedgehogs.

Some animals unique to Bulgaria are the marbled polecat, gray dwarf hamster, red deer, and steppe polecat. Bulgaria’s native birds include storks and pelicans. Fish species include the Balkan trout and common minnow.

The Official National Animal of Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s national animal is the lion. A lion appears on the country’s coat of arms, and the currency’s name comes from the Bulgarian for “lion.”

The king of the beasts is also the national animal of Senegal and Cameroon. In one sense, it’s a curious choice because there are no lions in Bulgaria. The only big cats native to the country are the Eurasian lynx and European wild cat. Lions, however, are a symbol of power, courage, and authority. They feature in the folklore and symbolism of many cultures.

Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a popular tourist attraction because of its scenic beauty and the opportunity to see wildlife in nearly unspoiled settings. The Bulgarian government and private nonprofit groups have set aside national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to protect the country’s native animals.

Rila National Park is a refuge for rock partridges, chamois, capercaillie birds, choughs, wall creepers, owls, bats, and martens.

The Srebarna Nature Reserve is a freshwater lake and bird sanctuary close to the Danube River. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Herons, cormorants, swans, and other waterfowl make their homes on the marshy flats here. St. Ivan’s Island is a national park and marine reserve that provides shelter to bird species and the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

Bulgarian horses are allowed to run free in the summer, and you can see herds of them on the Stara Planina valley below the mountain. During the summer months, you can see the horses running wild in the mountains, especially in Stara Planina, which is the local name for a mountain range in the Balkan Peninsula.

Dancing Bear Park is a bear sanctuary that was established by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and Four Paws International. It is a large, forested area in the Rila Mountains near the town of Belitsa.

The sanctuary is a home for abused bears that have been rescued from zoos and from human performers who train them to “dance.” Bear dancing as entertainment is illegal in the Balkans and Europe. The sanctuary takes in bears from around the region, and there are now about 20 rescued brown bears living there. You can visit the sanctuary to see them.

Besides the bears at the sanctuary, Bulgaria has one of the largest bear populations in Europe. Bears are the largest carnivore in Bulgaria.

Extinct and Endangered Animals In Bulgaria

The imperial eagle is one of the most endangered raptors in Europe. These birds have a protected area in one of Bulgaria’s sanctuaries. Despite this, there are only about 24 nesting pairs in existence there.

Bulgaria’s native saker falcons are almost extinct because of the illegal falconry trade. The government has put protections in place to reverse the population decline.

The Mediterranean monk seal is an endangered species that lives in the Black Sea. These seals are endangered everywhere. Conservationists believe only a few hundred exist in the wild.

Endangered mammals in Bulgaria include the long-fingered bat and the European rabbit.

The Carpathian wisent was a subspecies of the European bison that lived in the Carpathian mountains, Bulgaria and Transylvania. It became extinct in 1852.

Bulgaria’s Beautiful Animals

Bulgaria’s vast forests and mountain ranges are ideal places to see the country’s animals. The forests are home to wolves, squirrels, bats, bears, and bison. Dolphins and seals swim in the Black Sea, and hundreds of birds and butterflies fill the skies. With only a handful of threatened or endangered species, Bulgaria’s beautiful animals seem to have a bright future in store.

Bulgarian Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

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!

Badger

Can reach speeds of 30 km/h!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

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!

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 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!

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!

Chamois

Natively found in the European mountains!

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 Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

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!

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!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

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!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Edible Frog

Are known to guard the muddy banks!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Falcon

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

Ferret

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

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!

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!

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!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

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!

Huntsman Spider

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

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lemming

Does not hibernate during the bitter Arctic winter!

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!

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!

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!

Mole Cricket

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

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

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

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

Pike Fish

Apex freshwater predators with fearsome teeth!

Pine Marten

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

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Pool Frog

The rarest amphibian in the UK!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Raccoon Dog

The only hibernating canine!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

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.

Roe Deer

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

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

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

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

Spadefoot Toad

They spend most of their time underground!

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!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tawny Owl

The most widespread owl in Europe!

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

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.

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 Vole

The largest Vole species in the UK!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

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!

Bulgarian Animals List

Animals in Bulgaria FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which Dangerous Animals Live in Bulgaria?

Brown bears are the most dangerous mammals in Bulgaria, but they don’t attack humans unless they’re threatened or provoked. Most brown bear attacks are by mother bears protecting their young. Gray wolves can also be dangerous if provoked, but they too prefer to avoid humans.

Are There Wolves in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria has a healthy wolf population. Experts believe there are more than 1,200 gray wolves living in the mountains. Like bears, they are shy and rarely mingle with humans.

Do They Have Bears in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria has one of Europe’s largest populations of European brown bears. Some experts say there are 400 to 700 bears living in the forested mountain areas there.

Besides this, Bulgaria has a bear sanctuary for rescued bears. Because these abused bears were taken when they were cubs, they can’t survive entirely in the wild. The sanctuary gives them a chance to spend their remaining years in a natural setting.

Are There Snakes in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria has 17 species of snake, and five of them are venomous. Bulgaria’s snakes include the gray water snake, grass snake, and smooth snake. Only two, the horned viper and common viper, have venom that’s strong enough to hurt humans.

Are There Hyenas in Bulgaria?

There are no hyenas in Bulgaria. Red foxes, gray wolves, and golden jackals are the only members of the Canidae family native to Bulgaria.