Below you can find a complete list of Turkish animals. We currently track 136 animals in Turkey and are adding more every day!
Turkey is a large country with varied geography that includes mountains, coastline, and islands. It has a large variety of wild fauna and domesticated animals. There are more than 1500 species of animals in Turkey. Animals native to Turkey include wolves, foxes, boars, wild cats, beavers, bears, gazelles, jackals, hyenas, deer, and mountain goats. The major domesticated animals in Turkey are water buffaloes, Angora goats, and camels.
Besides these well-known animal species, there are many unusual animals that are endemic to Turkey. These unique animals include the chevrotain. Sometimes called a mouse deer, this small, deer-like creature is the smallest hoofed mammal in the world.
The Official National Animal of Turkey
The gray wolf is the national animal of Turkey. In Turkey, gray wolves live mostly in the forests and mountainous areas. Sometimes called timber wolves, gray wolves can weigh up to 98 pounds. They feed on deer, elk, and moose. Wolves travel in family packs that include two mated wolves and their pups.
The country’s national animal symbolizes goodness, courage and strength. According to Turkish mythology, a gray wolf rescued an injured human boy and nursed him back to health. When he grew up, he mated with the wolf and produced a line of half-wolf, half-human children. The descendants of these children became the first and greatest rulers of Turkey.
Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Turkey
Turkey’s rich mix of ecosystems means there are many places to see its native wildlife. Many animal and bird species are unique to Turkey’s fauna.
Hatay mountain gazelles inhabit the forested land between Turkey and Syria. They are only found in this region of the world. This subspecies of the gazelle family was almost extinct when the Turkish government created a gazelle sanctuary in 2019. At the time, there were only around 100 mountain gazelles left. Today, there are more than 1,000 gazelles living in the sanctuary.
Brown bears live in the northern forests. They are also endangered, and many now live in the country’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Turkey has 33 national parks, and all are excellent places to see the country’s native flora and fauna.
Yozgat Pine Grove National Park was Turkey’s first national park. It is a mixed pine forest with more than 100 plant species. Wildlife in the park includes deer, foxes, snakes, wolves, eagles, and hawks.
Hatila Valley National Park is a mountainous region full of rivers, waterfalls, and pine trees. Mountain goats, wild boars, rabbits, wolves, foxes, gazelles, and squirrels all inhabit this heavily forested park.
Bird Paradise National Park is home to Manyas Bird Lake, where more than 250 bird species find shelter. The bird species native to Turkey include ducks, geese, white pelicans, egrets, purple herons, and nightingales.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Turkey Today
Animal attacks on humans are rare in Turkey, but there are some dangerous animals among its fauna.
- Snakes: Turkey has dozens of snake species, and several of them are venomous. One of the most dangerous snakes in Turkey is the Ottoman viper. Also known as the rock viper or coastal viper, this dangerous snake attacks without provocation and injects venom with every bite. Turkey’s other dangerous snakes include the black desert snake, Wagner’s viper, and European adder.
- Spiders: Turkey is home to nine of the world’s most poisonous spiders. They include the brown recluse, black widow, and wolf spider. A bite of the segestria spider can cause death in under three minutes. This dangerous spider mostly inhabits dense forests.
- Centipedes: Turkish centipedes can grow a foot long. Primarily found in the desert and scrublands, these bugs will bite humans. Their bite can hurt, but it isn’t deadly and can be treated with antibiotics.
Endangered Wildlife In Turkey
- The Mediterranean monk seal is an endangered species in Turkey. Mediterranean monk seals can grow from 3 to 7 feet. There are only a few hundred of these endangered seals left in Turkey.
- The loggerhead sea turtle is a huge turtle that can weigh more than 300 pounds as an adult. The largest loggerheads have been recorded at 1,000 pounds. Loggerhead turtles, like most other sea turtle species, are critically endangered.
- The Asia Minor spiny mouse is a tiny rodent that lives in large family packs. These endangered rodents primarily inhabit the forests, but some live near human populations.
- The bald ibis is a large migratory bird that is native to Turkey. It is extinct in the wild and only exists in captivity.
- The Anatolian leopard is a big cat that is native to Turkey. Conservationists believed these leopards were extinct, but there have been sightings of them in recent years. The Turkish government included Anatolian leopards on its list of endangered animals that require immediate protection.
Turkey Has Many Interesting Animals
Turkey has a wide variety of wild animals, including unique birds, wild cats, and marine mammals. Its most famous animals live in remote regions like the forests and mountains. Mountain goats and wild sheep run on the hillsides, and dolphins swim in the rivers and coastal areas. Turkey’s national parks are the best places to see native animals like bears, caracals, and wild boars.
Turkish Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Brown Bear
- Common Buzzard
- Common Frog
- Common Loon
- Common Toad
- Desert Locust
- Edible Frog
- Fallow deer
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Long-Eared Owl
- Marsh Frog
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- Pool Frog
- Purple Emperor Butterfly
- Puss Moth
- Raccoon Dog
- River Turtle
- Sand Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Snowy Owl
- Spadefoot Toad
- Stag Beetle
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Tawny Owl
- Tree Frog
- Turkish Angora
- Water Buffalo
- Water Vole
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Turkey FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Turkey?
Many animals live in Turkey Its native species include wild goats, wild sheep, chevrotains, brown bears, dolphins, sea turtles, gazelles, and gray wolves. Because of its large size and diverse ecosystems, Turkey has an enormous variety of animals.
Are There Wild Cats in Turkey?
Turkey is home to the European wild cat, a small wild cat. European wild cats are nocturnal hunters with stripes and long, bushy tails. They resemble large versions of domestic cats. African wild cats, Eurasian lynx and Caucasian wild cats are other big cat species native to Turkey.
The caracal is another native wild cat. This medium-sized wild cat is notable for its long, pointed ears and reddish fur. Its name comes from the Turkish word “karakulak,” which means “black ears.”
Are There Monkeys in Turkey?
There are no native monkey species in Turkey.