Wildlife of Iraq (animals in iraq)

Wildlife of Iraq

Table of Contents

We introduce to you a collection of different wild animals of Iraqi wildlife that live in different regions of Iraq. These animals include yellow otter, water buffalo, Persian leopard, Persian deer, Indian crested hedgehog, wild goat, smooth-coated otter, caracal, Syrian brown bear, Kurdish mastiff dog, Caucasian badger, and honey badger. These introductions describe in detail the habitat, characteristics, and conservation status of each animal. This list shows how diverse Iraq’s wildlife is.

Wildlife of Iraq
Wildlife of Iraq

Marbled polecat: animals in iraq

This beautiful and funny otter lives in deserts and prairies and lives only in dry places. This can be found also in Iraq because it likes Iraqi deserts. This clever animal hunts when the air is between day and night to have access to both nocturnal and day animals. This useful animal destroys many pests and has been the guardian of the fields of Mesopotamia for centuries.

animals in iraq
animals in iraq

  Water buffalo: animals in iraq

This is a big buffalo or cow that should be in the water. And he usually wallows his skin in mud. Because of this habit, it is very suitable for hot places like Iraq. Iraqi people have been domesticating and raising this animal for years.

animals in iraq
animals in iraq

Persian leopard: Wildlife of Iraq

Although very small, there is a population of Iranian leopards in Iraq, and at least 9 of them have been killed in just 13 years.

This type of big cat, which is also known as Caucasian leopard or Anatolian leopard, is native to the plateau of Iran and other countries such as Turkey, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and maybe Pakistan. With less than 1,000 adults left in the wild and suffering from poaching, they are considered endangered.

Iranian goitered gazelle: animals in iraq

The steppes of Iraq are ideal for gazelles, and the goitered gazelle, also known as the Persian deer, lives there.

Outside of Iraq, it is found in countries such as Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Pakistan and Iran, and its scientific name is derived from the characteristic enlargement of the neck and throat of males during the mating season.

Indian crested porcupine: animals in iraq

The Indian porcupine, also known is a species of porcupin native to the Middle East and South Asia. It lives in rocky areas but can also be found in moderate and tropical bushes, farms, gardens, and forests. It inhabits Iran, Iraq, and India. This porcupine cannot shoot its quills, but with a little cunning, it lures its prey, then suddenly stops, and the hunter encounters it, and the quills plunge into the hunter’s body.

Wild Goat

Name: Wild Goat

Scientific Name: Capra aegagrus

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

The wild goat is a species native to the Caucasus, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and it serves as one of the living ancestors of domestic goats. Its primary threats include habitat destruction and reduction, leading to its near-threatened status.

These mammals gather in groups ranging from 2 to 130 individuals, with group sizes varying depending on the season, while maintaining a male-to-female ratio of 1 to 2.

animals in iraq
Wildlife of Iraq

Smooth-coated otter: animals in iraq

English Name: Smooth-coated otter

Scientific Name: Lutrogale perspicillata

Conservation Status: Vulnerable


The smooth-coated otter is a species native to much of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Iraq. While it is rarer in Iraq, it faces increasing threats such as wetland pollution, illegal hunting for wildlife trade, and habitat loss, resulting in its vulnerable status. It is primarily found around Basra, with only a small population in Iraq, and is predominantly resident in India and East Asia.

These otters typically gather in groups of up to 11 individuals and inhabit sandy riverbanks. They primarily feed on fish but also consume insects and crustaceans.

animals in iraq
animals in iraq

 Caracal: Wildlife of Iraq

This animal is also found in Arabia. The caracal is a medium-sized species of wild cat native to the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Africa. It has long, sharp teeth and a reddish-brown fur coat.

The caracal is nocturnal and highly secretive. As a result, spotting it is challenging, but we know it lives either alone or in pairs. This adept climber, swimmer, and jumper hunts birds in the air and also preys on small mammals and rodents.

Syrian brown bear: animals in iraq

The Syrian brown bear is a subspecies of the brown bear native to the Caucasus and the Middle East. It has a very light brown fur coat and is the only bear in the world with white claws. While its range once extended from Turkey to Turkmenistan, it is now locally extinct in Jordan and Israel, and can only be found in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.

This bear is mentioned in the Bible, and its main threats include habitat destruction, harassment and persecution for raiding crops and (illegal) hunting for its fat.

animals in iraq
animals in iraq

In the Bible, it is said that meeting a bear whose cubs have been taken away is better than meeting a foolish person. A bear whose cubs have been separated is very dangerous, but in this sentence, it is stated that meeting a fool is even more dangerous.

 Kurdish mastiff: animals in iraq

This is a strong and large dog that belongs to the Mastiff breed, hence it is also called Kurdish Mastiff. Mastiffs are powerful, large, and brave dogs, yet they are also gentle and loyal. They have been used as herd dogs. The Kurdish Mastiff, which is native to Kurdistan, has been depicted in ancient tablets. Some Kurdish Mastiffs are very large, sometimes reaching up to 90 kilograms. However, this powerful animal is very gentle towards its owner and even sacrifices its life to protect its owner.

Wildlife of Iraq
Wildlife of Iraq

 Caucasian badger: iraq fauna

The Caucasian badger is a species of badger that lives in Western Asia and some islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Previously known as a subspecies of the European badger, genetic studies have shown that these two species are distinct from each other and are considered separate species. The Caucasian badger is smaller than the European badger and has a gray fur with brown spots. This species is found in areas from Anatolia to the Caucasus, Lebanon, Central Iran, and the Tian Shan mountains. It resembles the common badger (European badger) but is smaller in size.

Wildlife of Iraq
Wildlife of Iraq

 Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis): animals in iraq

In addition, there is another type of badger in Iraq known as the Honey Badger or “Ghreer al-Asal” in Arabic, which is also found in Iran and Iraq. The Honey Badger is smaller than the European badger. This species of badger is very harmful to agricultural setups, as it intrudes and preys on them more than necessary. Additionally, dogs cannot fight them due to their tough skin and powerful claws.

animals in iraq
animals in iraq

 read also: wildlife of Saudi Arabia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need help in planning your Travel?

Let us get in touch with you!