Based on the first national report of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD, 2006), a total number of 1361 species have been identified in Bahrain. It is said that this number is probably an underestimate since many taxa have not been adequately identified and inventoried yet.

Bahrain offers important wintering grounds for many migratory birds, especially in spring and autumn months. Three areas in Bahrain, namely Hawar Islands, Tubli Bay and Maqaba, have been recognized by Birdlife International as Important Bird Areas in the Middle East (First National Report to the CBD, 2006). Over 330 species of birds have been inventoried in Bahrain; of which 26 species breed on the islands. The breeding colony of the Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) on Hawar Islands is said to be the largest in the world. Similarly, the breeding colony of the Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis) on Hawar Islands is recorded to be the largest in the Middle East (First National Report to the CBD, 2006).

In terms of mammals, three species of dolphins have been recorded in Bahrain along with 18 species of terrestrial mammals whilst small populations of gazelles, desert hares and hedgehogs are said to still be present in the wild. Of particular importance, is the dugong herd present around Hawar Islands which is recorded as part of the second largest aggregation after Australia (First National Report to the CBD, 2006). In a winter aerial survey over the western Arabian Gulf in February 1986, an aggregation composed of over 600 dugongs was reported southeast of Bahrain whilst twenty years later based on another survey in 2006, the total number of recorded dugongs was noted to be 1164.

 For a more comprehensive look at the species in Bahrain please view the Species List.

The number of identified species in Bahrain based on the major morphological groups (Source: First National Report to the CBD, 2006).

Major Group Number of Species
Algae 34
Vascular Plants 357
Corals 24
Annelids 27
Sea Shells (Gastropods and Bivalves) 184
Crustaceans 64
Echinoderms 13
Insects 39
Arachnids 6
Fishes 239
Amphibians 1
Reptiles 20
Birds 331
Mammals 22
Total Number of Species 1361