Unlike the flora, Šar Planina’s fauna is little-explored, despite its exceptional values.


There are 167 day-flying butterflies on Šar Planina, which represents 80% of the total number of day-flying butterflies in Macedonia. There aren’t endemic species of day-flying butterflies on Šar Planina. The rare species of the daily-flying butterflies are mainly significant for the biodiversity preservation: Pyrgus andromedae, Euphydryas maturna, Erebia gorge, Erebia alberganus, Erebia rhodopensis, Erebia pandrose, Plebeius (Vacciniina) optilete, Plebeius (Agriades) pyrenaica, Maculinea arion, Zerynthia polyxena

Carabus intricatus / Cerambyx cerdo / Dorcadion ljubetense
Maculinea arion / Morimus funereus / Parnassius apollo

The ground beetles (Carabidae) represent the most frequent group of organisms - се претставници на најбројната група организми – the beetles (Coleoptera). There are around 140 species of ground beetles. According to the number of ground beetle species, Šar Planina is one of the richest mountains in Macedonia, whereas according to the number of endemic species and relicts, Šar Planina is one of the most important mountains on the Balkans, together with Prokletije, Pirin and Rila. The grasshoppers on Šar Planina are scarcely explored.
Until know, 40 species are identified, which is less than a half of the actual number. There are no local endemics, but there are seven sub endemic species indentified (Pholidoptera aptera gjorgjevici, Oropodisma macedonica, Psorodonotus fiberi macedonicus, Metrioptera oblongicollis, Platycleis ebneri, Anterastes serbicus and Chorthippus biguttulus euhedickei). 

Internationally significant insect species: Maculinea arion, Parnassius apollo, Euphydryas maturna, Zerynthia polyxena, Carabus intricatus, Lucanus cervus (stag beetle), Cerambyx cerdo (great capricorn beetle), Morimus funereus, as well as Dorcadion ljubetensis, which is Balkan endemic species.

There are 49 species of  terrestrial snails on Šar Planina. Five species are Šar Planina’s local endemic species (Balea nordsiecki, Carinigera pellucida, Helicigona haberhaueri ljubetenensis, Orculawagneri ljubetenensis i Triloba thaumasia talevi), and eleven of them are Balkan endemic species.

Coronella austriaca / Ichthyosaura alpestris
Lacerta agilis / Vipera ursinii


Šar Planina’s fishes are little-explored. So far, the Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), the Mediterranean Barbel (Barbus meridionalis petenyi) and the Gobio gobio have been identified in the mountain streams and rivers.
Fauna of amphibians (batrachofauna) is exceptionally rich. There are 12 out of 15 species in total in Macedonia: Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), Alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris), Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex), Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), Yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata), European green toad (Bufo viridis), Common toad (Bufo bufo), European tree frog (Hyla arborea), Agile frog (Rana dalmatina), Greek stream frog (Rana graeca), Common frog (Rana temporaria) and Marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus). 
Šar Planina is also rich with reptiles (herpetofauna). Seventeen reptile species have been identified, which is more than a half of the total number of reptiles in Macedonia. The following reptile species can be found on Šar Planina: Spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca), Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni), Slow worm (Anguis fragilis), Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis), Balkan Green Lizard (Lacerta trilineata), European green lizard (Lacerta viridis), Viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara), Erhard's wall lizard (Podarcis erhardii), Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis), Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius), Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), Aesculapian Snake (Elaphe longissimus), Grass snake (Natrix natrix), Dice snake (Natrix tessellata), Horned viper (Vipera ammodytes), European adder (Vipera berus) и Ursini's viper (Vipera ursinii). The Ursini’s viper is globaly endangered species, currently on the European endangered species list. This species holds a status of strictly protected species.

Mecka -Ursus arctos / Buteo buteo - Gluvcar / Lisica -Vulpes vulpes /
Balkanski ris - Lynx lynx balcanicus / Kuna belka - Martes foina / Balkanski ris - Lynx lynx balcanicus

Šar Planina’s ornitofauna is relatively scarce, taking into account its richness on habitats. At least 130 bird species can be found on Šar Planina. Among them, the most frequent are the nesting birds, whereas most interesting are the birds that can be found on the high-mountain open terrains due to the alpine species, such as Red-billed Chough and Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax и Pyrrhocorax graculus), Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris), the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and White-winged Snowfinch (Montifringillla nivalis). The most interesting of all forest species are those that can be found in the coniferous forests, such as Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), Red Crossbill (Loxia curivrostra), Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatis) and other. Few duck species can be found during migration period on the biggest glacial lake, Bogovinsko Ezero.
From the vultures there is the Griffon Vulture that doesn’t nestle and can be seen during the summer period, in search for food. The number of the other raptors is also in decline; thus the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) can be seen with only few pairs. The Corn Crake (Crex crex – considered an endangered species in Europe) is one of the most interesting species that can be found in wet meadows and in high mountain vegetation by mountain streams.

Srna-Capreolus capreolus / Diva koza-Rupicapra rupicapra / Diva svinja-Sus scrofa /
Diva macka-Felis silvestris / Volk-Canis lupus / Zlaten orel-Aquila chrysaetos

There are 45 mammal species identified on Šar Planina, out of 78 in Macedonia. Five of them are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, three of which are classified as endangered. The most endangered species is the Balkan snow vole (Dinaromys bogdanovi), classified as vulnerable species that lives in the high-mountain rocky sides, whereas the Balkan lynx is the most endangered sub species that can be found in Macedonia, with an estimated population of 60 adult specimens on the Balkans. The southern parts of Šara are still stronghold for this critically endangered animal. The Brown bear (Urus arctos) and the Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) are of great conservation importance. Most important for preservation from the Ungulate is the Balkan chamois.


Agricultural biodiversity

Šar Planina is characterized by considerable wild plant species, fungus and animal diversity. Furthermore, this mountain is famous for domestic plants and animals, with the local  dog race - Šarplaninec and the Šar Planina sheep as her most famous symbol.
The Šarplaninec is a shepherd dog with a perfect instinct for protecting the sheep herds.

This race was first mentioned in the 30’s, and in 1957 was for the first time registered as Šarplaninec in the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Organization). From 1939 to 1957 the dog was called illyrian shepherd.