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Animals & Species


Socotra's fauna is just fascinating. Among the land birds, Socotra island is a home to 180 species of birds 6 species are endemic, ((Socotra sparrow – Socotra Cisticola – Socotra Starling – Socotra Sun bird –Socotra Warbler – and the rarest Socotra Bunting (estimated with 1000 specimens alive)).  as well as 14 sub-species, are restricted to Socotra. And also it’s a host point for many immigrated/breeding birds of over 45 species such as Flamingos, Kettle Egrets, Reef Hearns, Gulls, etc. And the highest density in the world for Egyptian Vulture has registered on the island.

More work is still needed to clarify the status of other species.


There are 190 species of butterfly and with a large number of endemics. The reptilian and insects fauna is also very rich 600 species of insects with 90% with high proportion of endemic. The reptilian fauna is also very rich with 19 out of a total of 22 species regarded as endemics.

 Goats, shapes, caws, donkeys, and camels are common to come across. Bats and civil cat is the only mammals native to the island.


In the marine world Socotra has taken a spectacular place as it has mixture of species from different biogeography regions- the western Indian Ocean, the Red sea, East Africa and the wider Indo-Pacific. Despite of the small archipelago, Socotra Island is home to more than 680 Species of fishes are comparable to those of the Red Sea. And about 230 species of hard corals (five are endemics) and 30 species of soft corals. In addition to 300 species of crustacean (nine are endemics), 490 species of mollusks, and 230 species of algae. Sea-turtles also nest on the north of the island but there is a need for more work on these (as with almost all Socotra's wildlife). An endemic fresh-water crab, Potamon socotrensis, is common in the temporary water-courses. In general the fresh-water habitats of the island have been little studied and it is still not clear whether there are endemic freshwater fish living there. Among the insects it is not surprising to find many forms with reduced wings, lessening the likelihood that they are blown off the island.

From a biogeographic perspective, Socotra is more closely linked with Africa than Arabia but there are also interesting affinities with other island groups such as the granitic Seychelles and even some remote islands of the Atlantic Ocean. There remains a great need for further studies of individual species and of main habitats on Socotra. To date, for example, there has been very little work done on the southern and western plateau, the more isolated granitic pinnacles, as well as the major part of the islands' coastal waters.

Its unique character makes Socotra a natural World Heritage site. In practice however what matters is the effect on the ground. There is little doubt that potential revenue sources for the local population must be developed and these may include small-scale tourism, the cultivation and export of native plants, or the collection and storage of seeds and cuttings for propagation as part of international programs.

Given the social and developmental pressures which are now a fact of life on Socotra the continued survival of many endemic species, and of unique habitats is at risk. Socotra provides both an opportunity and a challenge for mankind. Fortunately the concept and value of conservation is still high on the agenda of the island's people. It is to be hoped that local and national efforts to protect Socotra's unique wildlife are supported by international assistance and that the island's uniqueness is maintained for the benefit and pleasure of future generations.












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