Animals in Netherlands

Below you can find a complete list of Dutch animals. We currently track 142 animals in Netherlands and are adding more every day!

The Netherlands (also known as Holland) is a small Western European country that has played an important role at the heart of post-Medieval European culture and politics. In Europe, the country is situated between Belgium, Germany, and the Atlantic Ocean. It also encompasses the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius in the Lesser Antilles chain. Much of the country is located below sea level and therefore prone to regular flooding. As a result, the coastline has been altered dramatically over the years to prevent this. The Netherlands harbors quite a few species of bats, rodents, deer, water birds, songbirds, seals, and other large carnivores. Both cetaceans and sea turtles can also be seen off the shore.

The Official National Animal of Netherlands

The lion is widely regarded as a national symbol of the Netherlands. Although lions haven’t existed in Western Europe for thousands of years, this animal was a popular regal symbol of strength and power throughout European history. It has been a part of the country’s coat of arms since its independence in the 16th and 17th centuries. In addition, the black-tailed godwit is the official national bird of the Netherlands. It is a long-legged, long-billed migratory bird that wades into the water to feed.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Netherlands

Despite its small size and high population density, the Netherlands has plenty of national parks and nature reserves for wildlife lovers to enjoy. More than 20 of them are scattered around the country’s diverse ecosystems. De Alde Feanen National Park in Gelderland preserves some 4,000 hectares of lakes, grasslands, and peat bogs in which you can find more than a hundred species of breeding birds. De Maasduinen National Park and De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide Cross-Border Park are also good sources of woodpeckers, falcons, hawks, nightjars, harriers, and much more.

The Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park near the center of the country boasts a crazy amount of glacially-shaped forests, meadows, and lakes inhabited by deer, foxes, woodpeckers, and birds of prey. De Maasduinen National Park, located in the country’s southeast region of Limburg, has a rich selection of wildlife, including beavers, bats, toads, snakes, sand lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Netherlands Today

The Netherlands has very few large carnivores, venomous snakes, or anything else that could be regarded as dangerous. Many of the largest animals have been hunted or eliminated over the last several thousand years. This has made it relatively safe for all human activity. But a few species may still cause some harm.

  • Common European Viper – This snake has a very widespread range across most of Europe, which leads to quite a few bites every year, but the toxicity of its venom is fortunately quite low. Biting victims can expect mild symptoms to include pain, swelling, and tingling. On rare occasions, the symptoms can escalate into something more dangerous, like nausea, vomiting, fever, and lightheadedness. Regardless of the severity, medical attention should always be sought after a bite, since symptoms may linger for quite some time and affect one’s functionality to a crazy extent.
  • Wolves – Wolf sightings are very uncommon in the Netherlands, and those that do cross over are usually just temporary wanderers from France or Germany. However, as wolf numbers continue to recover, this species could conceivably establish a more permanent native presence in the Netherlands. While wolves almost never attack humans, they do have a tendency to kill livestock, which is one of the main reasons they were hunted to the point of nearly complete extinction in Western Europe. Conservationists have tried to help wolves and ranchers co-exist by employing some protective measures to scare them away.

Endangered Animals in Netherlands

The Netherlands has some 36,000 animal species. Around 500 of them are protected by national law. But despite all efforts to protect the country’s wildlife, the Netherlands is currently in danger of losing several species to extinction.

  • European Hamster – This endangered rodent needs soft soil to dig its burrows. Due to habitat loss and changes in the soil, the European hamster is now in danger of disappearing from Western Europe completely.
  • European Rabbit – Although originally endemic to Spain and Portugal, this rabbit was later introduced to the rest of Western Europe, sometimes causing harm to the local soil. It is considered to be endangered after years of declining populations.
  • European Turtle Dove – This species of bird breeds in Europe and then travels farther south toward Africa for the winter. Although still quite common throughout Europe and not yet in danger of becoming extinct, the number of turtle doves is plummeting by a crazy amount. It is estimated to have fallen by 78% between 1980 and 2013. Experts have blamed changes in agricultural practices, which have made food less common, as well as wanton hunting practices.

Dutch 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!

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 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!

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!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Keeshond

Friendly, alert dogs that are loyal to their owners

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kooikerhondje

If Kooikerhondjes look familiar, it’s because old Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Jan Steen liked to paint them.

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!

Loach

Have sharp spines below their eyes

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.

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!

Dutch Animals List

Animals in Netherlands FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Netherlands?

The Netherlands contains plenty of native bats, rodents, hares, shrews, weasels, deer, boar, songbirds, water birds, and birds of prey. Because of its long coastline, the country also has quite a few aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, including seals, whales, and marine turtles.

What is the most common animal in the Netherlands?

Although an exact count hasn’t been done, the most common animals are probably insects such as flies or ants, while the most common mammals are likely mice and rats.

Are there bears in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands no longer has any native species of bears. It is believed that the brown bear disappeared from the country in the 11th century.

What animals once lived in the Netherlands?

Along with the brown bear, the Netherlands was once home to the European elk, Eurasian lynx, European mink, and the now extinct aurochs, a species of wild cattle. Many of these species were driven out by hunting or habitat loss.