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Iran Desert Animals
Artin Travel > Blog > Iran Desert Animals

Iran Desert Animals (Amazing Diversity)

  Iran desert animals are unique, rare, and occasionally even dangerous! Species of mammals, birds, and reptiles that inhabit these deserted lands are just on the list of amazingly adapted animals. The black fat-tailed Scorpion, the Asiatic Cheetah, and the Caracal are just some of these Iran desert animals. To read on all Iran desert animals need a lifetime and more! That is why we narrowed down the list of these fascinating animals to:

  • The desert animals you will most probably encounter upon venturing any of the deserts of Iran
  • Animals found in two of the most popular and most visited deserts in Iran: The Mesr desert and the Lut desert






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Despite the common belief about the flora and fauna of Iran deserts, these drylands are brimming with various animal species! Nowadays, most of these animals inhabit the protected national parks of Iran, and can only be sighted by those traveling with certified guides on special wildlife tours. This is done so that tourism is developed in a sustainable fashion, and the local life and their natural environments are conserved.

What you should most expect: snakes!

One of the most dangerous, yet alluring creatures that can be found abundantly in most Iran deserts the snake! Snakes’ diversity has always been impressive in these drylands, and poisonous subspecies of these reptiles roam Iran deserts as frequently as the non-venomous ones.

What you should most expect snakes
European cat snake in Iran deserts

Small but Powerful: European Cat Snake

Among the most famous ones of the venomous subtype, is the European cat snake also called the Soosan snake. Although this small and mildly venomous reptile is found in different environments, they seem to have adapted well to the hot and arid climate of deserts.

They have cat-like pupils, and although they are mildly venomous with short, rare fangs, their venom can’t harm humans. Soosan snakes mostly come out at night, as they are nocturnal hunters and prey on smaller animals.

Echis, The Venomous Viper

Echis, or the Saw-Scaled viper is another poisonous and, rather dangerous snake. This reptile is found in the hot lands of Iran, most famously in the beautiful sandy lands of Maranjab desert. Because of its unique nature and the vast night sky, many travelers visit Maranjab yearly and, if they are not traveling with a certified guide, they may be in danger of coming back home with swollen ankles. This patterned snake is also called the Red Carpet viper; this snake has a signature noise it makes as a threat to anyone who dares gets close to him. These species produce this noise by rubbing their oblique scales together and looping their body into an S-shaped pose. Saw-scaled vipers are known for causing numerous snakebites each year, and it is recommended that you steer clear of these cold-blooded creatures.

the viper snake inhabitant of Iran deserts
monitor lizards hunting a goat- Iran desert animals

Beware of The Deadly Monitor Lizard 

The list of Iran desert animals though includes a far greater number of beasts and various creatures aside from snakes. But since we’re on the topic of reptiles, it is worth mentioning that one of the rarest animals on the list is the Monitor lizard. This lizard has a forked, snake-like tongue, a long tail, and a moderately heavy body. Some subspecies of this reptile grow to be as large as 3 meters, and some are no larger than 20 cm. There are different beliefs and stories about them among villagers, among which are tales of this lizard’s venomous skin and its bad omen. 

Chinkara in iran deserts

The Majestic and Sand colored Gazelle: Chinkara

As intimidating as the list slowly but surely got, harmless Iran desert animals are just as frequent as the dangerous ones. The beautiful tan-colored Chinkara is one of these harmless mammals roaming the deserts of Iran. If you ever crossed the drylands of the hottest desert of the world, the Lut desert, you may be lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful gazelles.

Chinkaras are known for their long, agile legs which can carry them as fast as 60 km./h. Chinkaras are native of Iran, Afghanistan, and India. Naybandan and Kharturan National parks are two regions with the most density of Chinkaras population. This nimble gazelle’s natural predator is, no other than the fastest land animal: The Cheetah.

Asiati cheeta and its four cubs in Golestan national park

Fastest Land Animal: The Asiatic Cheetah

Nowadays, the Asiatic Cheetah is only found in central parts of Iran (mostly in Kavir national park) and is gravely endangered even inside these protected lands. To enter this national park, travelers must attain legal permission and be accompanied by a forester, or and any expert tour guide.

These big cats are not very different from their better known African cousins, at least as far as physical appearance goes. Some observers have argued that Asiatic Cheetahs have a slenderer shape and slightly longer legs. And so, they are faster than African Cheetahs. But of course, there has been no instance in which this has been put to test and so, merely a speculation at this point.

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The Dark Maned Wild Goat

Another one of the harmless and, sadly endangered animals on the list of Iran desert animals is the Wild Goat. This tan-colored, horned animal is the wild predecessor of the domestic goat. It usually lives in big hordes and is a frequent inhabitant of the high, hard to access areas of land. The Haftad Gholleh national park in central Iran is home to some of the remaining numbers of this mammal, and visitors get to see these animals each year through environmentally safe tours. Aside from the fact that Wild Goats were hunted down by humans and killed by dogs, wolves, and leopards; goat kids are also often the target of predators like coyotes, wild dogs, and the Golden eagle.

wild goat in Iran national parks
golden eagle flying over Iran deserts

Elegant and Revered: The Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is the majestic resident of Alborz and Zagros mountain chains and almost all deserts in Iran. This great bird, with wings larger than 2 meters at times, soar the skies and preys on smaller mammals. Squirrels, rabbits, and ferrets are the animals that usually appear on this eagle’s diet.

Small but Lethal: The Red Back Spider

The Red Back spider, more commonly called the Black Widow spider is a frequently sighted Arthropod in Iran. Make no mistake, as its great number is by no means a sign of its domesticity. This spider is venomous and, on occasions, can gravely harm the human body if it bites.

The Deadly Hemiscorpius

Going back to the list of dangerous Iran desert animals, Hemiscorpius is one of the most dangerous scorpions from a scorpion family with a similar name. They are usually seen in the south and southwest of Iran, namely the Kavir desert, and may even prove to be deadly!

Hemiscorpius-found-in-Iran-desert-

Snake-eyed Skink 

The Four Legged Snake is another reptile inhabiting the deserts of Iran. This lizard’s similarity to snakes does not end in its name, as the physical characteristics of Skink resemble snakes closely. They have transparent scales covering their eyes, and have a great variety of colors!

snake skink

The Deadly Hemiscorpius

Going back to the list of dangerous Iran desert animals, Hemiscorpius is one of the most dangerous scorpions from a scorpion family with a similar name. They are usually seen in the south and southwest of Iran, namely the Kavir desert, and may even prove to be deadly!

fattail scorpion in Iran deserts

 

 

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Desert animals in Kavir-Mesr
Unique fox in the Lut Desert
Kavir national park and hyenas

Desert Animals of Mesr: Iran’s Golden Den

Not very far from the grand city of art and culture, Isfahan city is the beautiful Mesr desert. This dryland’s raw beauty and inherent natural charm has made it very popular with tourists, as well as locals. Aside from the gorgeous sand dunes and golden, seemingly endless landscape, collections of wonderful animal species live in the Mesr desert.

Jerboa, the Adorable dweller of Mesr

Jerboa is an important member of the Mesr wildlife family. These small rodents are amazingly adapted to harsh environments and arid climates. They are sandy colored and very small and resemble a cute but hybrid mouse.

Red Gerra

Red Gerra, known as Dr. Fish or Nibbler fish is found in a lake near the Mesr Desert, and is one of the popular habitats of this lake near Mesr! Curious tourists and travelers who have heard tales of this incredible fish’s skincare reputation visit this lake yearly.

jerboa in lut desert- Iran desert animals- travelartin.com
Dr_Fisا-or-red-gerra-inhabitant-of-Iran-deserts.j

Tips on dealing with risks

Since forewarned is forearmed, here are some tips you may find useful if you are planning on visiting any of the Iran desert animals mentioned above and traveling the deserts of Iran.

  • Dressing appropriately is very important for any desert traveler. Remember that the weather will most probably be extremely hot during the day and bone-chillingly cold at night. Wear light clothes but don’t forget to bring a couple of extra jackets if you are planning on camping in Iran deserts.
  • Check out the weather in advance, so you can be prepared for any sudden changes. It is important to plan ahead before starting out on your Iran desert tour and know exactly when and where you are headed.
  • Common Iran desert insects are: spiders, stink bugs, Mosquitos, velvet ants, red ants, and desert termites. To avoid these desert bugs, you may want to try wearing clothes treated with Permethrin. Wearing these clothes is much easier than spraying insect repellent on your skin!

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Responsible Tourism

Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and requires constant monitoring of impact. We must be very careful while traveling to any Iran desert destinations, where not only animals but plant species are also endangered. Even breaking a small branch or burning a tussock or a straw influences the fragile ecosystem of deserts. With help from the educated nature tour guides and the local people, the natural heritage and biodiversity of most natural places in Iran are conserved.

Which animals are found in Iran?

Wild species like Cheetah, gazelle, Fox, Caracal, and bears to domestic species like horse, cattle, camel, and buffalos are found in Iran. This country is a vast land with different types of the ecosystems and is thus home to a great number of animals.

Where are the best places to see Iran wildlife?

Iran deserts, forests, and mountains are all essential habitats for a rich variety of wildlife, but the best place to see Iran animals are the protected areas and national parks of this country. Adventure tours are also designed to take you on a tour to Iran’s wildlife highlights without damaging the ecosystem.

Is Iran a desert country?

Only about %20 of Iran’s land is covered with deserts like the great Lut desert and Kavir desert, which are habitats of a great variety of desert animals. However, Iran is not a desert country as mountains, lakes, forests and beaches make up a great part of the country.

Are Iran desert animals dangerous?

Some Iran desert animals are among the most dangerous animals in the middle-east, and some are as harmless as a dove. Snakes, Scorpions, Wolves, and the Monitor Lizard are among the most dangerous Iran desert animals.

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