Asian Wildlife

Asia is packed with plenty of things for tourist to see and experience but it is also packed with lots of unique and beautiful wildlife. Most people will see some wildlife when visiting Asia but they will see much more if they get away from the famous tourist sites and get off the beaten path, into nature.

Asia is most noted for its abundance of colorful bird species and the number of primates that live mostly in SE Asia. There are 505 non-human primate species in the world and 119 live in Asia making Asia the second most populous location for primates behind Latin America which has 171 different species.

Visitors to Asia are most likely to see many birds, some primates and some small animals like squirrels but keep an eye out for reptiles, really big reptiles. Asia is home to the three largest lizards on the planet – the Komodo Dragon, the Asian Water Monitor and the Crocodile Monitor.

I have seen lots of unique and beautiful wildlife in Asia but viewing wildlife in Asia is not as easy as in other places where I have visited. Seeing wildlife incidentally while involved in other activities is not likely in Asia. To see the best wildlife that Asia has it requires a concerted effort.

If a person spend most of their time visiting major tourist sites then the amount of wildlife that they see will be limited. To see more wildlife, it take getting out of the cities and into the less populated areas. The best places to see wildlife in Asia is to go to the national parks or wildlife sanctuaries. Even then it might be best to hire a wildlife guide to have the best chance to see more wildlife otherwise you might be disappointed.

Asia is home to about 500 species of mammals, over 1,300 species of birds, over 500 species of reptiles and over 300 amphibian species. Some species are more famous for being Asian Species and are considered as iconic Asian Wildlife. Many of the most famous Asian Wildlife Species are rarely seen in the wild and therefore are not on my list of wildlife to see in Asia. The rarely seen in the wild species are Asian Elephant, Panda Bears, Asian Tigers, Asian Rhinos and King Cobra. For seeing these species the best place to go is to the zoo.

My list of iconic Asian wildlife that are relatively easily seen are:

  • Gibbons
  • Red Shanked Douc
  • Orangutans
  • Komodo Dragons
  • Japanese Macaques
  • Long-tailed Macaques
  • Asian Water Monitor
  • Water Buffalo
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Red-whiskered Bulbul
  • Cambodian Striped Squirrel
  • Hornbill
  • Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
  • White-crested Laughingthrush
  • Indian Peacock
  • Bar-bellied Pitta
  • Malayan Banded Pitta
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork

Note: I have seen 14 out of the 19 of these in my journeys into the Asian outdoors. Hopefully I will be able to complete the list on future trips.

Wildlife Posts 

(Click on the photo below for more information on each topic.)

I will be making more posts on Asian Wildlife, so check back later to see my future posts on Asian Wildlife.