Below you can find a complete list of Bulgarian animals. We currently track 239 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.
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.
Largest Animals Found in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a country located in southeastern Europe with diverse habitats including forests, mountains, rivers, and coastal areas.
Here are some of the largest animals found in Bulgaria:
European bison: The European bison, also known as wisent, is the heaviest land animal in Europe and can weigh up to 1,000 kg. They were reintroduced in Bulgaria in 1959 and now live in the Eastern Rhodopes.
Brown bear: The brown bear is the largest carnivore in Bulgaria and can weigh up to 500 kg. They are found in the forests of the Rila, Pirin, and Rhodope mountains.
Gray wolf: The gray wolf is the largest wild dog species in Bulgaria and can weigh up to 70 kg. They are found in various habitats, including forests, mountains, and even near human settlements.
Rarest Animals Found in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is home to a variety of unique and rare animal species due to its diverse habitats.
Here are some of the rarest animals found in Bulgaria:
Balkan lynx: The Balkan lynx is a critically endangered subspecies of the Eurasian lynx and is found only in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria. It is estimated that there are less than 50 individuals left in the wild.
Egyptian vulture: The Egyptian vulture is a critically endangered bird species found in Bulgaria, mainly in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is one of the rarest vulture species in Europe with only a few hundred individuals left in the wild.
European otter: The European otter is a rare and elusive mammal species found in Bulgaria, mainly in the Danube and Maritsa river basins.
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.
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 in 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.
Flag of Bulgaria
The Bulgarian flag is tricolor, containing three horizontal stripes in red, white, and green. White represents freedom, love, and peace. Through its charity work, the country strives to embody these values. Green stands for agricultural abundance. Due to the four different climates throughout the country, Bulgaria can plant a wide variety of vegetation. Lastly, the red is representative of their struggle for independence.
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.
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.
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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.