Being located in the world arid and semi-arid belt on the one hand and having the properties of African, South Asian, Central Asian and European climates on the other hand led to the genesis of various species in wildlife of Iran.
Up to now, more than 197 species of mammals have been identified in Iran which can be classified into 10 orders and 37 families. The order of rodents with 58 species are the most populated species of mammals in wildlife of Iran. A few salient species of Iranian mammals are Tupaia minor, Megabats, Caspian seal, Black bear, Lynx, Caracal, Cheetah, Leopard, Red deer, Persian fallow deer, Roe deer, Persian onager and Porcupines.
Birds are the biggest animal species in Iran and there are approximately 540 species of birds in Iran. The birds are classified into 22 orders and 78 families. As approximately three-quarters of Iran is covered with arid and semi-arid lands, the largest population of Iran’s birds inhabit in these areas and the most significant species of these areas are Cream-colored Courser, Bustard, Pleske’s ground jay, Spotted sandgrouse, Alaemon alaudipes and Trumpeter Finch. Almost half of the Iran’s birds are migratory and use the waterbody of Iran as their winter habitat or temporary resorts while migrating from one place to another. Annually, millions of birds migrate from north to south and from east to west of Iran.
With 225 species (77 species of snakes, 136 species of lizards, 10 species of turtles and crocodiles and amphisbaenia – each having one specie), the reptiles of Iran can be considered as the biggest group of vertebrates. Although Iran constitutes 3% of Asia area, it is the habitat of only 10% of the whole reptiles in this continent. From among them, more than 40 species of reptiles are in Iran. Marsh crocodile and hawksbill sea turtle are the most famous ones.
There are 27 species and subspecies of different amphibians including frogs, toads and salamanders and Kaiser’s spotted newt and Persian brook salamander are the most well-known species.
There are 160 species of fish in internal waters of Iran which can be grouped into 29 families. With respect to area and variety of aquatic ecosystems of Iran, fish are divided into three main categories including the fish of Caspian Sea, fish of internal waters and fish of Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. In the group of internal waters, the Cyprinidae is the dominant family with 31 genera and 74 species.
In this category, about 4 million samples have been collected out of which 25 thousands of them have been identified and named. Butterflies are the most considerable category of the insects in Iran.