MAMMALS ii. Species List: Mammals of Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia



ii. Species List: Mammals of Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

With few exceptions, the taxonomy of this list follows that in Karami et al., 2008 and Wilson and Reeder, 1993, with modifications based on subsequent revisions of particular taxa. English common names follow Wilson and Cole, 2003 and Firouz, 2005 (q.v. for Persian common names). Countries listed are only those within the area of Iran, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian republics and do not represent complete distributions. Details of distribution, habitat, and conservation status can be found In the IUCN/ SSC (International Union for Conservation of Nature/ Species Survival Commission) Red Book, at

The list is in the following sequence: 

Order Erinaceomorpha: hedgehogs

Order Soricomorpha: moles and shrews

Order Chiroptera: bats

Order Primates: monkeys, apes, and humans

Order Lagomorpha: hares, rabbits, and pikas

Order Rodentia: rodents

Order Carnivora

Order Perissodactyla: odd-toed ungulates

Order Artiodactyla: even-toed ungulates

Order Sirenia: dugongs and seacows

Order Cetacea: whales 


Order Erinaceomorpha: hedgehogs (formerly a part of the paraphyletic Order Insectivora), see Hutterer (2005).


Family Erinaceidae hedgehogs

Erinaceus concolor Martin, 1838. Southern White-breasted hedgehog (Iran)

Hemiechinus auritus auritus (Gmelin, 1770). Long-eared hedgehog (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan )

Hemiechinus auritus megalotis (Blyth, 1845) Afgan hedgehog (Afghanistan)

Paraechinus hypomelas (Brandt, 1836) Brandt’s hedgehog (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Paraechinus aethiopicus (Ehrenberg, 1832). Desert hedgehog (Iran)


Order Soricomorpha: moles and shrews (formerly a part of the paraphyletic Order Insectivora [q.v.]); see Hutterer (2005).


Family Talpidae moles

Talpa levantis Thomas, 1906 Levant mole (Iran)

Talpa davidiana (Milne-Edwards, 1884). Persian mole (Iran)

Talpa caucasica Satunin, 1908. Caucasian mole (Iran).


Family Soricidae shrews

Sorex buchariensis Ognev, 1921 Pamir Shrew (Tajikistan)

Sorex minutus Eurasian Pygmy Shrew (Afghanistan, Tajikistan)

Sorex volnuchini Ognev, 1922. Caucasian pygmy shrew (Iran).

Neomys anomalus Cabrera, 1907. Southern water shrew (Iran)

Neomys schelkovnikovi Satunin, 1913. Transcaucasian water shrew (?Iran).

Neomys teres Miller. 1908. Transcaucasian Water Shrew (Iran)

Crocidura caspica Thomas, 1907. Caspian Shrew (Iran)

Crocidura gmelini (Pallas, 1811). Gmelin’s White-toothed Shrew (Afghaistan, Iran)

Crocidura katinka Bate, 1937. Katinka’s Shrew (Iran)

Crocidura pullata Miller, 1911. Dusky shrew (Afghanistan)

Crocidura leucodon (Hermann,1780). Bicolored white-toothed shrew (Iran)

Crocidura russula (Hermann, 1780) Common white-toothed shrew (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Crocidura serezkyensis Laptev, 1929. Serezkaya shrew (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,Tajikistan)

Crocidura suaveolens (Pallas, 1811). Lesser bicolored white-toothed shrew (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan))

Crocidura susiana Redding and Lay, 1978. Iranian shrew (Iran)

Crocidura zarudnyi zarudnyi Ognev, 1928. East Persian white-toothed shrew; Zarudny’s shrew (Afghanistan, Iran)

Crocidura zarudnyi streetorum Hassinger, 1973. Streets’s white-toothed shrew (Afghanistan)

Diplomesodon pulchellum (Lichtenstein, 1823). Piebald shrew (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Suncus murinus Linnaeus, 1766 Asian house shrew (Afghanistan, Iran?)

Suncus etruscus (Savi, 1822). Pygmy white-toothed shrew (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)


Order Chiroptera: bats


Family Pteropodidae fruit bats

Rousettus aegyptiacus (E. Geoffroy, 1810). Egyptian fruit bat (Iran)


Family Rhinopomatidae Rat-tailed bats

Rhinopoma hardwickei (Gray, 1831). Lesser mouse-tailed bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Rhinopoma microphyllum (Brünnich, 1782). Greater mouse-tailed bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Rhinopoma muscatellum  Thomas, 1903. Muscat mouse-tailed bat. (Iran, Afghanistan).


Family Emballonuridae Sheath-tailed bats

Taphozous nudiventris Cretzschmar, 1830. Naked-tailed tomb bat; naked-bellied tomb bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Taphozous perforatus E. Geoffroy, 1818. Egyptian tomb bat (Iran)


Family Rhinolophidae Horseshoe bats, leaf-nosed bats

Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Schreber, 1774). Greater horseshoe bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Rhinolophus blasii Peters, 1866. Blasius’s horseshoe bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Rhinolophus bocharicus Kashchenko et Akimov, 1917. Central Asian Horseshoe Bat. (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Rhinolophus euryale Blasius, 1853. Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (Iran, Turkmenistan)

Rhinolophus hipposideros (Borhausen, 1797). Lesser horseshoe bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Rhinolophus lepidus Blyth, 1844. Blyth’s horseshoe bat (Afghanistan)

Rhinolophus mehelyi Matschie, 1901. Mehely’s horseshoe bat (Iran, Afghanistan)


Family Megadermatidae False vampire bats

Megaderma lyra E. Geoffroy, 1810. Greater false vampire bat (Afghanistan)


Family Hipposideridae Trident bats

Asellia tridens (E. Geoffroy, 1813). Trident bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Hipposideros fulvus Gray, 1838. Fulvus Roundleaf Bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Triaenops persicus Dobson, 1871. Persian trident bat (Iran)


Family Vespertilionidae Typical insect-eating bats

Nyctalus leisleri (Kuhl, 1817). Leisler’s Noctule (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Nyctalus lasiopterus (Schreber, 1780). Giant noctule (Iran, Uzbekistan)

Nyctalus leisleri (Kuhl, 1837). Lesser noctule (Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan)

Nyctalus noctula (Schreber, 1774). Noctule (Iran, Turkmenistan)

Nyctalus montanus (Barrett-Hamilton, 1906). Mountain noctule (Afghanistan)

Myotis aurascens Kusjakin, 1935. Golden Myotis (Iran)

Myotis myotis (Borkhausen, 1797. Large mouse-eared bat (Iran)

Myotis bechsteini (Kuhl, 1817). Bechstein’s bat (Iran)

Myotis blythii (Tomes, 1857). Lesser mouse-eared bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Myotis capaccinii (Bonaparte, 1837). Long-fingered bat (Iran, ?Afghanistan, Uzbekistan)

Myotis emarginatus (E.Geoffroy, 1806). Geoffroy’s bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Myotis formosus (Hodgson, 1835). Hodgson’s bat (Aghanistan)

Myotis frater G.M.Allen, 1923. (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Myotis longipes (Dodson, 1873). Kashmir cave bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Myotis muricola (Gray, 1846). Whiskered myotis (Afghanistan)

Myotis nattereri (Kuhl, 1818) Natterer’s bat (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Myotis mystacinus (Kuhl, 1817).Whiskered bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Myotis nipalensis (Dobson, 1871). Nepalese Myotis (Iran)

Myotis schaubi araxenus Dahl, 1947. Schaub’s myotis (Iran)

Pipistrellus babu Thomas, 1915

Pipistrellus coromandra (Gray, 1838). Indian pipistrelle (Afghanistan)

Pipistrellus javanicus (Gray, 1838). Java Pipistrelle (Afghanistan)

Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schreber, 1774). Common pipistrelle (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Pipistrellus pygmaeus (Leach, 1825). Soprano Pipistrelle (Iran)

Pipistrellus kuhlii (Kuhl, 1817). Kuhl’s pipistrelle (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Pipistrellus mimus Wroughton, 1899. Indian pygmy pipistrelle (Afghanistan)

Pipistrellus tenuis (Temminck, 1840). Least Pipistrelle (Afghanistan)

Hypsugo savii (Bonaparte, 1837). Savi’s pipistrelle (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Hypsugo arabicus (Harrison, 1979). Arabian Pipistrelle (Iran)

Eptesicus serotinus Schreber, 1774. Serotine. (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Eptesicus anatolicus Felten, 1971. Anatolian Serotine (Iran)

Eptesicus gobiensis Bobrinskoi, 1926. Gobi Big Brown Bat (Afghanistan)

Eptesicus nasutus (Dobson, 1877). Sind bat (Iran, Afghanistan)

Eptesicus nilssonii (Keyserling and Blasius, 1839). Northern bat (Iran, ?Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Eptesicus bottae (Peters, 1869). Botta’s serotine (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Eptesicus bobrinskoi Kuzyakin, 1935. Bobrinsky’s bat (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Scotophilus heathi (Horsfield, 1831). Greater Asiatic yellow bat (Afghanistan)

Vespertilio murinus Linnaeus, 1758. Particolored bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Plecotus austriacus (Fischer, 1829). Grey long-eared bat (Iran, Afghanistan), but see Spitzenberger et al. 2006 for a revised taxonomy.

Plecotus macrobullaris Kuzjakin, 1965. Alpine Long-eared Bat (Iran)

Plecotus auritus (Linnaeus, 1758). Brown Long-eared Bat (Iran)

Plecotus turkmenicus Strelkov, 1988. Turkmen Long-eared Bat (Turkmenistan; ?Iran)

Barbastella barbastellus (Schreber, 1774). Western Barbastelle (Iran)

Barbastella darjelingensis (Hodgson). 1855 Eastern Barbastelle (Iran, Afghanistan)

Barbastella leucomelas Eastern Barbastelle (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Miniopterus schreibersii (Kuhl, 1817). Schreiber’s long-fingered bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikstan)

Otonycteris hemprichii Peters, 1859. Hemprich’s long-eared bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Molossidae Free-tailed bats

Tadarida teniotis (Rafinesque, 1814). European free-tailed bat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan)

Tadarida aegyptiaca (E. Geoffroy, 1818). Egyptian free-tailed bat (Iran, Afghanistan)


Order Primates: monkeys, apes, and humans


Family Cercopithecidae

Macaca mulatta (Zimmerman, 1780). Rhesus macaque (Afghanistan)


Order Lagomorpha: hares, rabbits, and pikas


Family Ochotonidae Pikas

Ochotona macrotis (Günther, 1875) Large-eared pika (Afghanistan, Tajikistan)

Ochotona rufescens rufescens (Gray, 1842) Afghan pika; rufescent pika (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Ochotona rutila (Severtzov, 1873). Turkestan red pika (?Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Leporidae Hares

Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778. European hare (Iran)

Lepus nigricollis F. Cuvier, 1823. Indian hare (Afghanistan)

Lepus tolai Pallas, 1778. Tolai hare (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)


Order Rodentia: rodents: squirrels, hamsters, voles, gerbils, jirds, rats, mice, dormice, jerboas, and porcupines


Family Sciuridae Squirrels

Sciurus anomalus Gmelin, 1778. Persian squirrel (Iran)

Funambulus pennantii Wroughton,1905. Palm squirrel (Iran, ?Afghanistan)

Spermophilopsis leptodactylus (Lichtenstein, 1823) Long-clawed ground squirrel (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Marmota menzbieri (Kashkarov, 1925). Menzbier's Marmot (Uzbekistan)

Marmota caudata (Jacquemont, 1844) Long-tailed marmot (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Spermophilus fulvus (Lichtenstein, 1823) Fulvous ground squirrel; large-toothed souslik (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Spermophilus pygmaeus (Pallas, 1778). Little ground squirrel (Uzbekistan)

Spermophilus xanthoprymnus (Bennett, 1835). Asia Minor Ground Squirrel (Iran)

Hylopetes baberi (Blyth, 1847). Afghan flying squirrel (Afghanistan)

Petaurista petaurista (Pallas, 1766) Common giant flying squirrel (Afghanistan)


Family Muridae Old World rats and mice

Calomyscus bailwardi Thomas, 1905. Zagros Mts. Calomyscus; mouse-like hamster (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan).

Calomyscus baluchi Thomas, 1920. Baluchi mouse-like hamster (Afghanistan)

Calomyscus hotsoni Thomas, 1920. Hotson’s Calomyscus (Iran)

Calomyscus mystax Kashkarov, 1925. Afghan mouse-like hamster (?Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan).

Calomyscus urartensis Vorontsov and Kartavseva, 1979. Persian hamster, Urartsk mouse-like hamster (Iran)

Calomyscus elburzensis Goodwin, 1938. Goodwin’s Calomyscus (Iran)

Calomyscus grandis Schlitter et Setzer, 1973. Noble Calomyscus (Iran)

Mesocricetus brandti (Nehring, 1898). Golden hamster (Iran)

Cricetulus migratorius (Pallas, 1773) Gray Hamster (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia)


Subfamily Arvicolinae Voles.

Arvicola amphibius (Linnaeus, 1758). Eurasian Water Vole (Iran, Central Asia)

Alticola roylei (Gray, 1842) Royle’s high mountain vole (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Blanfordimys afghanus Thomas, 1912 Afghan vole (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan).

Blanfordimys bucharicus (Vinogradov, 1930). Bucharian vole (?Afghanistan, Tajikistan).

Chionomys nivalis (Martins, 1842). Snow vole (Iran).

Microtus afghanus (Thomas, 1912). Afghan vole (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Microtus arvalis (Pallas, 1779) Common vole (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia)

Microtus irani Thomas, 1921. Persian vole (Iran, Turkmenistan).

Microtus levis Miller, 1908. East European Vole (Iran)

Microtus majori (Thomas, 1906). Major’s Pine Vole (Iran)

Microtus transcaspicus Satunin, 1905. Transcaspian vole (Afghanista, Iran, Central Asia: Turkmenistan)

Microtus kirgisorum (Ognev, 1950). Tien Shan vole (?Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan).

Microtus juldaschi (Severtzov, 1879) Pamir vole (Afghanistan, Tajikistan).

Microtus obscurus (Eversman, 1841). Altai vole (Iran, Central Asia).

Microtus paradoxus (Ognev et Heptner, 1928). Paradox Vole (Iran, Turkmenistan)

Microtus qazvinensis Golenishchev, Malikov, Nazari, Vaziri, Sablina et Polyakov, 2002. Qazvin Vole (Iran)

Microtus schelkovnikovi (Satunin, 1907). Schelkovnikov’s pine vole (Iran).

Microtus socialis (Pallas, 1773). Social vole (Iran, Afghanistan,:Turkmenistan)

Ellobius fuscocapillus (Blyth, 1842) Afghan mole-vole, southern mole-vole (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan).

Ellobius lutescens Thomas, 1897. Kordestan mole-vole (Iran)

Ellobius talpinus (Pallas, 1770) Northern mole-vole (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan).

Ellobius tancrei Blasius, 1884. Zaisan mole-vole (Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).


Subfamily Gerbillinae Gerbils and jirds

Gerbillus cheesmani Thomas, 1919. Cheesman’s gerbil (Afghanistan, Iran).

Gerbillus aquilus Schlitter and Setzer, 1973. East Persian gerbil (Afghanistan, Iran).

Gerbillus nanus Blanford, 1875. Baluchistan gerbil (Afghanistan, Iran)

Gerbillus mesopotamiae Harrison, 1956. Mesopotamian gerbil (Iran)

Gerbillus henleyi (de Winton, 1903). Pygmy gerbil (?Iran)

Tatera indica (Hardwicke, 1807). Indian gerbil (Afghanistan, Iran)

Meriones crassus Sundevall, 1842 Sundevall’s jird (Afghanistan, Iran)

Meriones hurrianae (Jerdon, 1867) Indian Desert jird (Afghanistan, Iran)

Meriones libycus Lichtenstein, 1823 North African jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Meriones meridianus (Pallas, 1773) Mid-day jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Meriones persicus (Blanford, 1875) Persian jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan).

Meriones tamariscinus Pallas, 1773. Tamarisk Jird (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Meriones zarudnyi Heptner, 1937 Zarudny’s jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).

Meriones tristrami Thomas, 1892. Tristram’s jird (Iran)

Meriones vinogradovi Heptner, 1931. Vinogradov’s jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Rhombomys opimus (Lichtenstein, 1823) Great jird (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan).


Subfamily Murinae

Apodemus avicennicus Darvish, Javidkar et Siahsarvie, 2005. Avicenna Field Mouse (Iran)

Apodemus flavicollis (Melchior, 1834). Yellow-necked Field Mouse (Iran)

Apodemus fulvipectus Ognev, 1924. Yellow-breasted field mouse (?Iran)

Apodemus hyrcanicus Vorontsov, Boyeskorov and Mezhzherin, 1992. Hyrcanian Field Mouse (Iran)

Apodemus mystacinus (Danford and Alston, 1877. Broad-toothed field mouse (Iran)

Apodemus ponticus Sviridenko, 1936. Black Sea field mouse (Afghanistan, Iran)

Apodemus sylvaticus (Linnaeus, 1758) Field mouse (?Afghanistan, ?Turkmenistan, Tajikistan)

Apodemus uralensis (Pallas, 1811). Herb Field Mouse (Iran)

Apodemus wardi (Wroughton, 1908). Ward’s field mouse (Afghanistan, Iran)

Apodemus witherbyi (Thomas, 1902). Steppe Field Mouse (Iran)

Golunda ellioti Gray, 1837. Indian bush rat (Iran)

Rattus rattoides (Hodgson, 1845) Turkestan rat (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Rattus norvegicus Linnaeus, 1758. Common rat, brown rat (introduced worldwide)

Rattus tanezumi Temminck, 1844. Tanezumi rat (Afghanistan).

Rattus pyctoris (Hodgson, 1845). Himalayan Rat (Afghanistan, Iran)

Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758) House rat, roof rat, or black rat (introduced worldwide [R. rattus povolnyi Niethammer and Martens, 1975 in Afghanistan])

Acomys cahirinus (Desmarest, 1819). Cairo spiny mouse (Iran)

Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758 House mouse (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia; introduced worldwide)

Mus macedonicus Petrov and Ruzic, 1983. Macedonian mouse (Iran)

Nesokia bunnii (Khajuria, 1981). Bunn’s short-tailed bandicoot rat; Marsh bandicoot rat (Iran)

Nesokia indica (Gray and Hardwicke, 1832) Bandicoot rat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Dipodidae Jerboas

Jaculus blanfordi Murray, 1884 Greater three-toed jerboa; Blanford’s jerboa (Afghanistan, Iran)

Jaculus jaculus (Linnaeus, 1758). Egyptian jerboa (Iran) 

Jaculua thaleri Darvishi and Hosseinie, 2005 Khorasan three-toed jerboa (Iran)

Jaculus turkmenicus Vinogradov and Bondar, 1949 Turkmen jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Dipus sagitta (Pallas, 1773). Northern three-toed jerboa (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Eremodipus lichtensteini (Vinogradov, 1927). Lichtenstein's Jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Allactaga elater (Lichtenstein, 1825) Small five-toed jerboa (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Allactaga euphratica Thomas, 1881 Euphrates jerboa (Afghanistan, Iran)

Allactaga hotsoni Thomas, 1920 Hotson’s five-toed jerboa (Afghanistan, Iran)

Allactaga firouzi Womochel, 1978. Firouz’s jerboa; Iranian jerboa (Iran)

Allactaga major (Kerr, 1792). Great jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Allactaga severtzovi Vinogradov, 1925. Svertzov's Jerboa (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Allactaga siberica (Forster, 1778). Mongolian five-toed jerboa (Turkmenistan)

Allactaga vinogradovi Argyropulo, 1941. Vinogradov’s jerboa (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Allactaga williamsi Thomas, 1897. Williams’ Jerboa (Iran)

Allactaga toussi Darvish, Hajjar, Moghadam, Matin, Haddad and Akbaryrad, 2008. Tousi Jerboa (Iran)

Allactodipus bobrinskii Kolesnikov, 1937. Bobrinski’s jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Paradipus ctenodactylus (Vinogradov, 1929). Comb-toed jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Pygeretmus pumilio (Kerr, 1792). Little earth hare (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Salpingotus heptneri Vorontsov and Smirnov, 1969. Heptner’s pygmy jerboa (Uzbekistan)

Salpingotus michaelis FitzGibbon, 1966 Dwarf jerboa (Afghanistan)

Stilodipus telem (Lichtenstein, 1823). Thick-tailed three-toed jerboa (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)


Family Gliridae (or Myoxidae) Dormice

Glis glis (Linnaeus, 1766). Fat dormouse, edible dormouse (Iran, Turkmenistan)

Myomimus personatus Ognev, 1924 Eurasian mouse-like dormouse (Iran, Turkmenistan)

Myomimus setzeri Rossolimo, 1976. Persian mouse-like dormouse (Iran)

Dryomys nitedula (Pallas, 1779) Forest dormouse (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Hystricidae Old World porcupines

Hystrix indica Kerr, 1792 Indian crested porcupine (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)


Family Capromyidae Nutrias and allied South American rodents (Introduced to Eurasia)

Myocaster coypus (Molina, 1782). Coypu, Nutria (Iran)


Family Castoridae Beaver

Castor fiber Linnaeus, 1758, European beaver (Known from Iran In the Neolithic; reintroduced)


Order Carnivora


Family Canidae Dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals

Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 Gray wolf (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758. Golden jackal; Asiatic jackal (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan)

Vulpes cana Blanford, 1877 Blanford’s fox (Afghanistan,? Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Vulpes corsac (Linnaeus, 1768) Corsac fox (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Vulpes ruppelli (Schinz, 1825) Sand fox (Afghanistan, Iran)

Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) Common fox; red fox (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Cuon alpinus (Pallas, 1811). Dhole  (Tajikistan)


Family Ursidae bears

Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus Blanford, 1877 Baluchistan black bear (Iran, Afghanistan)

Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758 Brown bear (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Mustelidae Weasels, martens, badgers, otters

Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758 Ermine, Stoat (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Mustela eversmannii Lesson, 1827. Steppe Polecat (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766 Weasel (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Vormela peregusna (Güldenstaedt, 1770) Marbled polecat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777 Stone marten; beech marten (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Martes flavigula Boddaert, 1785 Yellow-throated marten (Afghanistan)

Martes martes (Linnaeus, 1758) Pine marten (Iran)

Mellivora capensis (Schreber, 1776) Honey badger; ratel (?Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Meles meles (Linnaeus, 1758) Eurasian badger (Afghanistan?, Iran, Turkmenistan)

Lutra lutra (Linnaeus, 1758) Common otter (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Lutrogale perspicillata (Geoffroy, 1826) Smooth-coated otter (Iran, Afghanistan)


Family Viverridae Civets

Paguma larvata (C. E. H. Smith, 1827). Masked Palm Civet (Afghanistan)

Viverricula indica (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803). Small Indian Civet (Afghanistan)


Family Herpestidae Mongooses 

Herpestes javanicus (E. Geoffroy, 1818) Small Indian mongoose (Afghanistan, Iran)

Herpestes edwardsi (E. Geoffroy, 1818) Gray Indian mongoose (Afghanistan?, Iran)


Family Procyonidae Raccoons, coatis, kinkajous

Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758). Raccoon (Iran, introduced via Caucasian republics)


Family Hyaenidae hyenas

Hyaena hyaena (Linnaeus, 1758) Striped hyena (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)


Family Felidae cats

Felis silvestris Schreber, 1775 Steppe cat; wild cat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758 is the worldwide domesticate from this species).

Felis chaus Schreber, 1777 Jungle cat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)

Felis margarita Loche, 1858 Sand cat (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Felis manul Pallas, 1776. Manul cat; Pallas’s cat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792) Leopard cat (Afghanistan)

Panthera pardus saxicolor (Pocock, 1927) Leopard (q.v.) (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Panthera tigris virgata Illger, 1815 Caspian tiger (q.v.) (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia: Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, believed extinct. Genetic analysis of museum skins indicates a close relationship with the Amur Tiger P. t. altaica).

Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) Persian lion (extinct in Iran and Afghanistan)

Uncia uncia (Schreber, 1776) Snow leopard (Afghanistan, Central Asia: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, doubtful for Iran)

Lynx lynx (Linnaeus, 1758) Eurasian lynx (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Caracal caracal (Schreber, 1776) Caracal (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Acinonyx jubatus venaticus (Griffith, 1821) Cheetah (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, extinct in Afghanistan,)


Family Phocidae Seals

Pusa caspica (Gmelin, 1788). Caspian seal (Iran, Turkmenistan)


Order Perissodactyla: odd-toed ungulates


Family Equidae Horses and asses

Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758. Domestic horse (domestic and feral in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia)

Equus hemionus Pallas, 1775. Persian wild ass; onager (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)


Order Artiodactyla: even-toed ungulates


Family Suidae Pigs

Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758. Wild hog, wild boar (q.v.) (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan)


Family Camelidae

Camelus bactrianus Linnaeus, 1758. Bactrian camel (domesticate, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia)

Camelus dromidarius Linnaeus, 1758. Dromidary camel (domesticate, Afghanistan, Iran)


Family Cervidae Deer

Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758. Red deer; maral (Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Dama dama mesopotamica (Brooke, 1875). Persian fallow deer (Iran)

Capreolus capreolus (Linnaeus, 1758). Roe deer (Iran)


Family Moschidae Musk deer

Moschus chrysogaster (Hodgson, 1839). Musk deer (Afghanistan)


Family Bovidae cattle (q.v.), goats (q.v.), sheep (q.v.), antelope (q.v.)

Gazella subgutturosa (Güldenstaedt, 1780). Goitered gazelle (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Gazella bennettii (Sykes, 1831). Chinkara gazelle; Jebeer gazelle (Iran, Afghanistan)

Saiga tatarica (Linnaeus, 1766). Saiga (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)

Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758. Cattle (Includes B. primigenius, extinct wild ancestor. Domesticated world-wide)

Bubalus bubalus Linnaeus, 1758. Water buffalo (Iran, domesticate and feral)

Capra aegagrus Erxleben, 1777. Persian ibex, Persian wild goat (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan; world-wide domesticate as C. hircus Linnaeus 1758)

Capra falconeri (Wagner, 1839). Markhor (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Capra sibirica (Pallas, 1776) Siberian Ibex (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Nemorhaedus goral (Hardwicke, 1825) Himalayan goral (?Afghanistan)

Ovis ammon (Linnaeus, 1758). Wild sheep (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan)

Ovis orientalis Gmelin, 1774 Mouflon (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan). Subspecies listed for Iran (IUCN Red List; Firouz, 2005) are as follows: 

Ovis orientalis arkali Urial (Iran). Mouflon. 

Ovis orientalis gmelini Western red sheep, Armenian sheep (Iran)

Ovis orientalis isphahanica Esfahan sheep (Iran)

Ovis orientalis laristanica Laristan sheep (Iran)

Ovis orientalis gmelini X Ovis orientalis arkali Alborz red sheep (Iran)

Ovis orientalis laristanica X Ovis orientalis cycloseros Kerman sheep (Iran)

Ovis orientalis cycleros Afghan urial (Afghanistan)

Pseudois nayaur (Hodgson, 1833). Bharal (Tajikistan)


Order Sirenia: dugongs and seacows


Family Dugongidae dugongs

Dugon dugon (Müller, 1776). Dugong (Persian Gulf)


Order Cetacea: whales


Family Balaenopteridae Baleen whales

Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacépède, 1840. Common Mink Whale (Persian Gulf)

Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758). Blue whale (Persian Gulf)

Balaenoptera physalis (Linnaeus, 1758). Finback whale (Persian Gulf)

Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828. Sei whale (Persian Gulf)

Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, 1878. Bryde’s whale (Persian Gulf)

Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781). Hump-back whale (Persian Gulf)


Family Delphinidae Toothed whales, porpoises, and dolphins

Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846). False killer whale (Persian Gulf)

Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1833). Indo- Pacific bottle-nosed dolphin (Persian Gulf)

Grampus griseus (Cuvier, 1812). Risso’s dolphin; Gray dolphin (Persian Gulf)

Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758. Common dolphin (Persian Gulf)

Sousa plumbea (Cuvier, 1829). Indian Ocean hump-backed dolphin (Persian Gulf)


Family Phocoenidae Finless porpoise

Neophocaena phocaenoides (Cuvier, 1829). Finless porpoise (Persian Gulf)




E. Firouz, The Complete Fauna of Iran, London, 2005.

D. E. Wilson and F. R. Cole, Common Names of Mammals of the World, Washington and London, 2000.

D. E. Wilson and D. A. M. Reeder, eds., Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2nd ed., Washington, D.C., 1993.

Idem, eds., Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 3rd ed., vols. 1 and 2, Baltimore, 2005.


For further detail, link to MAMMALS i. Bibliography.

(Steven C. Anderson)

Originally Published: April 30, 2015

Last Updated: April 30, 2015

Cite this entry:

Steven C. Anderson, "MAMMALS ii. SPECIES LIST: MAMMALS OF IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, AND CENTRAL ASIA," Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2015, available at (accessed on 30 April 2015).