Turkey

Below you can find a complete list of Turkish animals. We currently track 218 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 and domesticated animals. There are more than 1500 types 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.

Other animals unique to Turkey are the northern bald ibis, the Asia Minor spiny mouse, and the agali, a wild mountain sheep.

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

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.

Native Birds

Turkey’s various environments of steppes, wetlands, and forests provide habitats for many species of avifauna. Not only do many birds reside here year round, but Turkey is an excellent place for avid birders to see multitudes of migratory species. Ideally, spring is the best time of year to visit for to experience breeding season. Around 460 species visit the country each year, including endangered avifauna such as the Dalmatian pelican, greater spotted eagle, and sociable plover. Below are some of the most popular birdwatching places in Turkey.

  • Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits – Migratory birds make their way through these narrow straits on their migration routes, making these ideal places to see some unique species.
  • Black Sea Sores of Istanbul – Not only is the ocean scenery unmatched but many bird species can be spotted off these shores. Eastern imperial eagles, black storks, short-toed snake eagles, black kites, and osprey fly the skies.
  • Manyas Bird Paradise – Visitors can access observatory towers by connecting hiking trails surrounding the lake. Over 2-3 million birds of around 300 species fly through or rest at the area during migration, quite the spectacle for bird watchers. Species include spoonbills, cormorants, pelicans, swans, and geese.
  • Sultan Marshes Bird Sanctuary – A beautiful wetland home to many types of wildlife, waterfowl species here are a must-see. Flamingoes, perc, and cranes hangout in the tall grasses.

There are countless other popular locations for bird watching all over the country. Many of the mentioned areas are highly protected to maintain environments for threatened species and unique species from all over the world.

Native Fish

Turkey is a coastal country, surrounded by multiple bodies of water. Fishing is a popular pastime, sport, and livelihood in the country. Some of the most popular fishing areas include:

  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Aegean Sea
  • Black Sea
  • Bosphorus Strait
  • Sea of Marmara

Common species caught in these waters include blue fin tuna, bonito, bluefish, sea bass, bream, red mullet, and many more. Unfortunately, overfishing, pollution, and climate change have led native species to become endangered and, therefore, protected. Protected species include cuttlefish, dolphins, sea horses, sandbar sharks, and black coral. It is illegal to fish these types of marine life.

Native Snakes

The ideal environments of Turkey provide habitats to exciting wildlife, including reptiles and amphibians. Around 45 species of snake exist in the country, 12 of which are venomous. Common species include boas, racers, blind snakes, dwarf snakes, etc. While snake bites are not common in Turkey, they do occur. Venomous species to look out for are:

  • Ottoman viper
  • Anatolian meadow viper
  • European adder
  • Wagner’s viper
  • Black Cobra

Those are only a handful of examples of venomous snakes in Turkey with the Ottoman viper surpassing the others as the most dangerous. If bitten by a snake it is always recommended to seek medical attention regardless of species.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Turkey

Animal attacks on humans are rare in the country, but there are some dangerous types of animals in Turkey’s nature.

  • 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 Animals

  • 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.

Zoos in Turkey

Along with wild animals roaming their natural habitats, Turkish zoos also exhibit exotic animal species and are a fun place for family trips when visiting or on a day off. Listed are some popular zoos in the country. The most popular zoo to visit is Bursa Zoo – a small zoo focusing on animals native to Turkey but still displays exotic species such as baboons, lions, waterfowl, and ostriches. Visitors may also go to the smaller aquariums and zoos of Turkey.

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

Akbash

Often used as a guard dog!

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Guards it's master's flocks!

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

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!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 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!

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan

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

Cinereous Vulture

This vulture can fly at great heights. At least one was found a few thousand feet from the top of Mount Everest.

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

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!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

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!

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

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!

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds

European Bee-Eater

They can eat up to 250 bees per day!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

European Wildcat

A group of wild cats is called a destruction

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!

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

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!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

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!

Grey Heron

Male grey herons are picky about their mates. They'll reject a female that they don't fancy.

Griffon Vulture

Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

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!

Honey Buzzard

Honey buzzards are medium-sized raptors that earned their names by raiding the nests of bees and wasps.

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.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

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.

Hyena

There are four different species!

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!

Jackdaw

The jackdaw tends to mate for life with a single partner

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kangal

Can run up to 35 miles per hour (56km).

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lazarus Lizard

Lazarus Lizards can communicate through chemical and visual signals.

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

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!

Long-Tailed Tit

Often hangs upside down while feeding!

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!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

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!

Night Heron

When they feel threatened juvenile night herons vomit their stomach contents.

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Nose-horned viper

The fangs of a nose-horned viper can be as long as half an inch

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

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

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!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

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!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

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

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Saluki

The Saluki is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

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!

Song Thrush

A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.

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!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Syrian Hamster

Can get used to and respond to human voice

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.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

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!

Turkish Angora

A breed that originated in central Turkey!

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!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

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!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Turkish Animals List

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.