Animals in China

Below you can find a complete list of Chinese animals. We currently track 184 animals in China and are adding more every day!

As one of 17 megadiverse countries, China is home to a great majority of the world’s animal species. Many animals in China are native to the country, so there are many endemic species. Chinese animals include more than 7,500 species of vertebrates. There are many animals in China, including more than 4,900 species of fish, more than 1,270 species of birds, more than 560 mammal species, more than 400 species of reptiles, and more than 350 amphibian species. More than 800 Chinese animals are threatened by extinction, so there are many extinct animals in China, sadly, as well.

The Official National Animal of China

The animal most closely associated with China, the giant panda, is also its official national animal. Native to south-central China, the giant panda is a folivore, meaning that it subsists almost exclusively on leaves. Nearly 99% of the giant panda’s diet consists of bamboo shoots and leaves.

Giant pandas are primarily found in the mountain ranges of the Sichuan Province. Some are also found in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Years ago, these giant bears were driven out of lowland areas, and their numbers started dwindling. It has been estimated that there are now approximately 1,600 giant pandas in the wild; some estimates put the figure as high as 3,000 individuals. As a result, in 2016, the IUCN reclassified the giant panda from Endangered status to Vulnerable status.

The giant panda has long been the national animal of China. It is considered a “living fossil,” and its distinctive black-and-white appearance and behavior make it beloved among humans.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in China

There’s a wide array of animals native to China. If you want to see Chinese animals, here are some of the most popular ones and where to find them:

  • Red Panda – Also known as the lesser panda, the red panda is the only living species of the genus Ailuridae. The genus’s name is derived from the Ancient Greek word for “cat” due to the creature’s cat-like appearance and behavior. This panda is primarily found in the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, but it’s been found as far east as Shaanxi Province too. You can find it in many Chinese zoos.
  • Chinese Giant Salamander – Although it looks a lot like a Komodo dragon, the Chinese giant salamander is actually an amphibian. The largest species of giant salamander, it can grow up to 6 feet long, weighs up to 130 pounds, and may live for an average of 60 years. Although listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, millions are raised for food on farms every year. Find great examples at the Beijing Zoo, the Beijing Blue Zoo, and the Shanghai Aquarium.
  • Tibetan Macaque – Endemic to Tibet, central and southern China, and eastern India, the Tibetan macaque is the largest breed of macaque in the world. With their hairless faces, bearded heads, and large bodies, they are popular with tourists. Find them at Monkey Valley in the Yellow Mountains Scenic Area, at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and at Mt. Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve.
  • Siberian Tiger – The largest of the big cats and largest tiger species, the Siberian tiger almost went extinct during the 1930s. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, more than 600 are found in the wild. Listed as Endangered by the IUCN, these tigers can be found in captivity at Harbin Siberian Tiger Park and at safari parks and zoos across China.
  • Chinese Sturgeon – Considered a national treasure, the Chinese sturgeon is nearly extinct and is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Among the largest species of freshwater fish, Chinese sturgeons can be found at the Beijing Aquarium and at the Chinese Sturgeon Museum in Yichang.

The Most Dangerous Animals in China Today

There are many dangerous Chinese animals. If you are looking for the most dangerous animals in China, here’s a rundown of the top contenders:

  • Asian Black Bear – One of the most dangerous animals in China, the Asian black bear is aggressive toward humans. In 2013, eight people in India were killed by Asian black bears. These dangerous Chinese animals are mostly found in the forests of northeast China.
  • Chinese Red Head Centipede – With its brown body and red head, the Chinese red head centipede is easy to recognize. Another of the most dangerous animals in China, one killed a young girl in the Philippines a few years ago. Found mostly in southern China, their venom causes fever, severe pain, and weakness.
  • Asian Giant Hornet – Known as the murder hornet in the U.S., the Asian giant hornet is the largest and deadliest member of the wasp family. Approximately 2 inches long with a brown body, it has orange spots on its head and brown and orange stripes on its abdomen. Its stinger, which administers deadly venom, is 6 millimeters long. In 2013, 41 people in Shaanxi Province in southeast China died after being attacked by these hornets.

Endangered Animals in China

Sadly, there have been many extinct animals in China. Indeed, many animals native to China have become extinct through the years. Some of the most endangered animals in China include:

  • Pere David’s Deer – This wetland deer species is classified as Extinct in the Wild by the IUCN. Originally found in northeastern and east-central China, around 1,600 are currently kept in captivity.
  • Tibetan Antelope – Also known as the chiru, this mammal was classified as Endangered by the IUCN in 2000. Around 100,000 of them remain in the wild.
  • Black Necked Crane – These large wading birds have been listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN since 1994. In China, populations totaling around 3,5000 individuals are still found in Yunnan and western Guizhou.
  • Chinese Alligator – Considered the most endangered of all animals in China, the Chinese alligator is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and only around 150 remain in the wild – mostly near the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
  • Crested Ibis – This large bird almost became another extinct animal in China. At one point, only seven individuals were left in the wild. Today, there are more than 700 in the wild and another 700 or so in captivity.

Chinese Animals

Alligator

They have two sets of eyelids!

Amur Leopard

The Amur leopard may be the rarest big cat on Earth!

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Asian Giant Hornet

The largest wasp in the world!

Asian Palm Civet

It mainly eats mangos and coffee!

Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

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!

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Burmese Python

These snakes can swallow their prey as whole.

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

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.

Carp

The carp is one of the most popular pond fishes in the world

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!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Chinese Crested Dog

A hairless breed of dog!

Chinese Paddlefish

The Chinese paddlefish is one the largest freshwater fish in the world

Chinese Shar-Pei

These dogs have a blue and black tongue.

Chow Chow

Loyal and affectionate to it's family!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Clouded Leopard

Has canines that can be two inches long!

Cockroach

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.

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!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Dhole

Only 2,000 left in the wild!

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!

Eel

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

Elk

Adult males can jump eight feet vertically

Ermine

A very bold and ferocious predator!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

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!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Giant Panda Bear

Bamboo makes up 99 per cent of their diet!

Giant Salamander

Cryptobranchus giant salamanders breathe mostly through their skin.

Gibbon

Found in dense jungles and tropical forests!

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!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

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!

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!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

King Cobra

They are the longest poisonous snake in the world.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

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!

Marmot

A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

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!

Muskrat

The muskrat can stay underwater up to 17 minutes at a time

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

Paddlefish

Paddlefish have existed since the Cretaceous Period

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peacock

Most commonly found on the Indian mainland!

Pekingese

Thought to be over 2,000 years old!

Pere Davids Deer

Has webbing between its toes, aiding in swimming!

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!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Pug

Fun and sociable, yet stubborn!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red Panda

There are less than 3,000 left in the wild!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

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.

Sable

Their fur has been considered a luxury item since the Middle Ages

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

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!

Shih Tzu

Can live for up to 15 years!

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

Snow Leopard

Unlike other big cats, snow leopards don’t roar.

South China Tiger

There are less than 20 in the wild!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Sun Bear

The smallest species of bear in the world!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

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.

Tibetan Fox

Tibetan foxes are not territorial and will share a hunting ground with other mated pairs.

Tibetan Mastiff

Originally bred in the Himalayan mountains!

Tibetan Spaniel

Originally bred to be a companion dog in Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries.

Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan terriers have round, flat, “snow shoe” feet that evolved to give them traction on snowy Himalayan paths

Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Uguisu

Their guano is used in face creams!

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 Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!

Weasel

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!

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Yak

There are only a few left in the wild!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Chinese Animals List