Animals in Turkey

Below you can find a complete list of Turkish animals. We currently track 151 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.

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 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

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!

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!

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!

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.

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

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!

Desert Locust

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

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!

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!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

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!

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!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

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!

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!

Turkish Animals List

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.