Animals in Estonia

Below you can find a complete list of Estonian animals. We currently track 137 animals in Estonia and are adding more every day!

Estonia is one of the least inhabited countries in Europe. Its population of 1.3 million people is spread out over some 17.5 million square miles, leaving its beaches, pasturelands, marshes, and forests largely untenanted by human beings though not by wildlife. Estonia abounds with interesting mammalian species like Eurasian lynx, wild boars, brown bears, moose, flying squirrels, beavers, and grey wolves. While these fauna is not unique to Estonia, they are comparatively rare in other parts of Europe.

Estonia is also widely heralded as one of the world’s great bird-watching destinations. It’s situated on the great East-Atlantic migratory pathway used by swans, geese, ducks, divers, cranes, and Arctic waterfowl. All in all, Estonia is home to 64 distinct mammalian species and more than 300 species of birds.

The Official National Animal of Estonia

Estonia definitely has a love/hate relationship with its official national animal, the grey wolf. Estonian legends about the predatory behavior of these canny, undomesticated canines date back to medieval times. But while wolves may play predators in Estonian fables, there hasn’t been a recorded wolf attack upon humans in more than 150 years. As of 2018, there were approximately 260 wolves in Estonia, divided into 20 to 25 packs. Estonian wolves live in remote wilderness areas, where it is legal to hunt them as a way of keeping their numbers down as biologists say the optimal number of wolves is 200 animals.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Estonia

Estonia has five outstanding national parks where many varieties of rare fauna can be spotted:

  • Lahemaa National Park: Lahemaa National Park in northern Estonia contains forest and wetland habitats that are home to moose, brown bears, wolves, red deer, Eurasian lynx, and other rare animals. Not only is Lahemaa Estonia’s largest national park, but it’s also one of the largest national parks in Europe. Lahemaa is fewer than 50 miles distant from the capital city Tallinn, so it’s easy for a tourist to Estonia to add a visit to his or her itinerary.
  • Korvemaa Nature Reserve: Korvemaa Nature Reserve is Estonia’s premier birdwatching destination where lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of endangered species like the black stork, the heather cock, or the golden eagle. The reserve is also home to grey wolves, brown bears, Eurasian lynx, and other wildlife. Once, European mink abounded here, but the local mink population is now thought to be extinct from over-trapping and habitat erosion.
  • Soomaa National Park: For much of the year, Soomaa National Park in the Estonian fen country is only accessible by kayak or canoe. This is a great place to observe the country’s beaver population as well as elk, wild boar, brown bear, grey wolf, and Eurasian lynx.
  • Matsalu National Park: Matsalu National Park was founded as a bird sanctuary in 1957. It’s been estimated that more than 2 million waterfowl fly over Matsalu Bay every year, including swans; goldeneye, bluebill, and tufted ducks; and barnacle and graylag geese. All told, more than 250 bird species have been identified at Matsalu National Park during the migration season.
  • Vilsandi National Park: Vilsandi grew from an avian preserve that was founded in 1910. It consists of more than 150 islands in the Baltic Sea that provide nesting grounds for nearly 250 bird species.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Estonia Today

Estonia is home to a number of animals that can be dangerous if they’re provoked.

  • Grey wolves: While unprovoked attacks by healthy wolves are not completely unknown, the vast majority of wolves pose no threats to human safety. Wolves may be predators, but they prefer to steer clear of humans.
  • Eurasian lynx: Although cornered lynx will defend itself with tooth and claw, these wild cats typically avoid people. In fact, humans present more of a threat to lynx than lynx do to people: In certain parts of the world, lynx are still trapped for their pelts.
  • Brown bears: Brown bears generally avoid human beings, but they are known for their unpredictable temperaments. Unprovoked attacks are not completely unknown, so they must be classified as potentially dangerous predators. Female bears with cubs can be particularly aggressive.
  • Adders: Estonia is also to the species of snake known as the adder. These snakes are considered an endangered species in Estonia and are under legal protection. They generally try to elude humans but will bite if they’re picked up. Adder bites are uncomfortable but only require hospitalization in a small number of cases.

Endangered Animals In Estonia

Destruction of forest and meadow habitats means that several Estonian fauna specimens are in danger of becoming extinct. These include mammals, birds, and insects.

Estonian Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

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!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beaver

Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!

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!

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.

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!

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 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!

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!

Ermine

A very bold and ferocious predator!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

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

Ferret

Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

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!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

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!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stag Beetle

More than 1,200 different species!

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.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

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

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Estonian Animals List

Animals in Estonia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Estonia?

Animals native to Estonia include grey wolves, brown bears, flying squirrels, Eurasian lynx, moose, elks, red deer, roe deer, and wild boar.

Are there bears in Estonia?

Yes, Estonia has the highest bear population density in Europe. It’s estimated that approximately 700 brown bears make their homes in Estonia’s dense forests.

Are there snakes in Estonia?

The adder is the most common snake in Estonia. Estonia is also home to small, legless, burrowing lizards called blindworms. These unique lizards are often mistaken for snakes.

Are there moose in Estonia?

It’s been estimated that as many as 12,000 moose live in the boggy outskirts of Estonia’s forests.