Animals in Iraq

Below you can find a complete list of Iraqi animals. We currently track 149 animals in Iraq and are adding more every day!

Iraq is an ethnically diverse country in Western Asia that has historically served as an important crossroads of vast empires. It shares a border with Turkey to the north, Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Saudi Arabia and Jordan toward the south. The country is comprised of two main climates: the hot and arid lowlands or alluvial plains and the cooler uplands of the northeast. The country’s two mightiest rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Persian Gulf. The area between the two rivers, which goes by the historical name of Mesopotamia, is widely regarded as the cradle of human civilization. It’s also the source of the country’s most abundant wildlife.

The Official National (State) Animal of Iraq

While Iraq has a few different national symbols, the golden eagle is the one animal that adorns the country’s coat of arms. Formally known as the Eagle of Saladin (after the 12th-century historical figure), it was adapted in the 20th century as a symbol of pan-Arabism.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Iraq

Iraq has long been a difficult place for animal lovers to visit because of its history of lax wildlife protection, habitat degradation, and internal warfare. The struggle to open the Halgurd Sakran National Park, located in the mountainous north abutting Turkey and Iran, best exemplifies the country’s problems. The organizers of the park had planned for it to encompass a massive 400 square miles, including the country’s highest point, Halgurd Peak, at 12,000 feet above sea level. But many factors, including perpetual warfare, the presence of unexploded munitions, and the dwindling of many unique species in the area, have all combined to delay its opening.

Nevertheless, Iraq is not completely free of beautiful wildlife areas. The Mesopotamian Marshes, situated in the south where the Tigris and Euphrates converge, is the richest source of wildlife in the country. Historically comprised of three distinct areas (the Central, Hammar, and Hawizeh Marshes), it used to be one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world, until Saddam Hussein drained part of the swamp and caused significant damage to the local wildlife. The drainage was eventually reversed after his overthrow, but it’s still affecting the abundance of migrating and native birds. Visitors can still find flamingos, pelicans, herons, reed warblers, the sacred ibis, African darter, and Mesopotamian crow. This area is also an excellent source of freshwater fish.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Iraq Today

The hot, arid deserts and scrublands of Iraq teem with several species of dangerous snakes and weird insects.

  • Saw-Scaled Viper – Native to the scrublands and deserts of Iraq, the Indian saw-scaled viper will defend itself with dangerous venom that causes pain, swelling, and occasional blistering. In rare cases, bleeding and coagulation can occur over several areas of the body.
  • Horned Viper – Easily identified by the unique pointed horns on its head, the horned viper will lie submerged and camouflaged in the sand, waiting to strike at prey. The venom itself can cause pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and tissue death. This snake can sometimes deliver enough of a dose to kill a person. Fortunately, they are seldom encountered by people.
  • Deathstalker – Sporting a weird green or brown color, this is one of the most dangerous species of scorpions in the world. Although a single sting from the deathstalker is very painful, it would not normally kill a healthy adult. It’s usually the second sting that may prove fatal.
  • Black Desert Cobra – This all-black snake, which can be found in scrublands, deserts, and rocky terrain all over the Middle East, can deliver a powerful neurotoxin that affects the entire body.

Endangered Animals in Iraq

  • Persian Leopard – Although quite rare, his subspecies of the leopard is still occasionally seen in northern Iraq. The main threats to their existence are deforestation and hunting.
  • Persian Fallow Deer – Once widespread across the entire Western Asia region, the Persian fallow deer may already be extinct from Iraq. Only about 1,000 to 2,000 of them remain in the world.
  • Spur-Thighed Tortoise – While still somewhat common around the Mediterranean, this species of tortoise has almost completely disappeared from the northern Iraq territories in which it resided.
  • Syrian Brown Bear – Easily identified by its smaller size and light brown fur, this subspecies of the brown bear was once found across most of northern Iraq. But the combined effects of overhunting and habitat loss have made it endangered in the country.
  • Northern Bald Ibis – The northern bald ibis can look a bit weird. Featuring a bare red face, a long, curved bill, and glossy black plumage, this unique but endangered bird can be found in semi-desert or rocky habitats. While Iraq is considered to be outside of its normal migratory range, it used to appear in the country with some regularity.

Iraqi Animals

Angora Goat

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


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Renew their horns every year!


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!


Has a curved, upturned beak!


There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!


There are more than 350,000 different species


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!


The most common species of bee!


There are thought to be up 20,000 species!


Can survive without water for 10 months!

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.

Camel Spider

Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.


Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan


First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


There are more than 160 different species!


The fastest land mammal in the world!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.


There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Many are critically endangered species!


Have changed little in 200 million years!


There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

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


First domesticated in South-East Asia!


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!


It's larvae are carnivorous!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!


Has exceptional eyesight!


There are nearly 2,000 different species!


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

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

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


There are 12 different species in the world!


There are around 7,000 different species!


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!


Has evolved over 50 million years!


Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.


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.


There are four different species!


Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!


Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


There are 250,000 different species!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.


There are 13 different species worldwide


Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Thought to have originated in the Middle East!


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.


Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 50 different species!


Omnivores that eat anything!


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


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.


There are more than 700 different species!


There are around 2,000 known species!


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!


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!


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 3,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Striped Hyena

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


Populations have been affected by pollution!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


Actually a crustacean, not an insect!


There are 200 different species!


There are around 75 different species!

Iraqi Animals List

Animals in Iraq FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Iraq?

Iraq is home to almost 80 species of mammal, including such well-known animals as the wolves, badgers, otters, martens, porcupines, muskrats, foxes, jackals, wild pigs, wildcats, and hyenas. But birds are probably the most conspicuous of all animals. It is estimated that more than 400 species of birds can be found in Iraq, many of them living in the southern wetlands. Snakes and insects are also quite common throughout the entire country. The lion, cheetah, ostrich, oryx, and wild donkey once lived in Iraq, but over the centuries they have all become extinct.

Are there tigers in Iraq?

Iraq no longer has any native tigers, but there is some evidence that the now extinct Caspian tiger subspecies did once live here. The last known sighting occurred in 1887.

Are there alligators or crocodiles in Iraq?

The country does not have many native species, but the mugger crocodile of India may have once lived in Iraq.