Egypt is a country rich in diversity with arid deserts of sculpted sand dunes to the lush Nile River Valley where Nile Crocodiles
are starting to make a come back after not being seen for many years. Birds have played an important role in the culture of ancient Egypt especially the Ibis which hasn't been seen for over a hundred years but a very close relative can still be seen, the Amboselli Ibis as well as the Scarlet Ibis
. There are about 150 birds, mostly water and song birds that live and breed in the two main zoogeographical regions, Palaearctic and Ethiopian. Lake Bardawil on the northern coast of the Sinai has been a bird watching place for years. There are hundreds of migratory birds that pass through as well as Little Stints, a lot of Flamingos, Avocets
on the shore.
Egypt has wild animal life that is unique. Of course you can't think of the deserts without thinking of Camels. The Camel has been the choice of transportation for thousands of years. Another animal that can live in the scorching desert is the Sand Cat
. It doesn't have to drink water and has protection from the hot sand with fur on the bottom of its paws. Desert foxes live all over Egypt but mostly in the desert areas. They are very cute and make good pets if they are bred in captivity. The desert also has snakes and scorpions. The Saw-Scaled Viper makes a sound like its distant cousin the rattlesnake when its scales slide over the sand and is just as dangerous. The Sand Boa is a useful stake, not poisonous, and helps keep down the rodent population.
Egypt also has the deadly enemy of the snake, the mongoose that can kill even a cobra. One animal, special to Egypt, lives at the base of the mountains is the Hyrax. It looks like a rodent but is actually related to the elephant. Another animal special to Egyptians since ancient times is the cat. There are six main types of wild cats
including the Wild Cats which resemble domestic cats, Caracal
, mainly in the Eastern Desert, Sand Cat, and Swamp Cat. Cheetah
and Panther are in the Western Desert and very rare. The wild canines include the jackal, found almost all over Egypt and the fox of which there are several varieties.