Terra Nil: How to Find Animals

Each map in Terra Nil consists of three stages. During the first stage, players must clean the landscape and cover it with greenery and blue ocean tiles. During the second stage, players replace the generic greenery with various biomes based on the local climate.

The third stage is a two-step process. First, players must recycle and reclaim all the buildings they used to restore the map. Second, players must discover three out of six animal species that can populate the area. However, many players have trouble using the Terra Nil animal scanner, which is why this guide will offer step-by-step instructions on how to do so.


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The Animal Observatory

Terra Nil Animal Observatory

The first thing players must do to find animals during stage 3 is place an Animal Observatory. This building is on the tier 3 list of every single map in the game, the cost is a cheap 25 leaves, and players can set it down on any tile surface aside from water.

Once the Observatory exists on the map, players can start to scan for wildlife. However, if something happens to the Observatory, like getting recycled or burned up in a Solar Amplifier fire, players will need to place a new Observatory to continue scanning.

How to Scan for Animals

Terra Nil Animal Deer

To scan for animals, players must click on the orange button in the upper-left corner of the screen, just under the list of animals found. On the new menu that appears, players should click on the scan button, which looks like a big C. This button will be here even if players haven’t placed an Animal Observatory, but it only works if the Observatory is on the map.

After pressing the button, a big radius will appear around the cursor and players can click on a spot to scan it for animals. It’s important to note that players aren’t actually looking for animals in the wild, they’re actually looking for biome tiles. If the scan results meet the conditions needed by an animal, all the circles will turn green and an animal group will appear on the map in the location scanned. There may be other animals on the map already, but these animals appear because of completed optional goals and have nothing to do with scanning.

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Each animal has its own set of conditions players must meet to discover them. Usually they need one or more sets of biome tiles, but a few animals have very specific requirements. Each of the four climates in the game has six animals to discover, but players only need three to complete a map. However, finding all six will help players completely restore the world and get the Global Rejuvenation achievement.

Every animal entry in the menu has a description that hints at the kind of environment players must find to spawn them. The scanner can also provide hints: a completed requirement shows a green circle and specific information, a partially completed requirement shows a yellow circle and general information, and a missed requirement shows a red circle with no information. When players start a new map in the same climate after finding an animal, the scanner will always start the scan list with the specific requirements on display.

Something else to note is that players can use the scanner to spawn multiple animal groups. For instance, since deer in the Temperate zone like greenery, players can use the scanner to spawn a group of deer in every open field on the map. This is useful because some animals will only spawn if there’s another group of animals in the scan area. Animal groups often appear throughout the map after players discover them, but this way players can place a group deliberately.

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Every Requirement for Every Animal






20 Greenery


10 Wetlands, 5 Fynbos

Brown Bear

20 Forest, 1 Beehive, Raised Elevation

The scanner can only check one terrain level at a time, so the beehive and forest must be on the raised area.


A River or Lake with a radius of 4 tiles

Wetland tiles don’t count, but the main river in the River Valley should be wide enough at the corners.


20 River, 10 Forest

Timber Wolf

15 Forest, Deer group

Deer prefer greenery over fynbos, so don’t use beehives around the edge of every forest.






10 Beach, on a small island

The game isn’t consistent with how it checks for islands, so any beach with water on two sides may be good enough.

Manta Ray

3 River, 6 Coral Reef, 8 Ocean


20 Tropical Forest, 0 Buildings

Just do some recycling before hunting for parrots, and try to avoid recycling the Animal Observatory.


10 Beach, 10 Wetlands

Flamingos specifically want wetland tiles rather than mangrove tiles, so build a Hydroponium near a beach and don’t use the Salinator.

Reef Shark

16 Coral Reef, 4 Mangrove, global temp of 20 °C or higher

The last requirement can be tough to discover since the scan won’t mention it until the current temperature is already close.


20 Ocean, 0 land tiles, 10 Deep Ocean

Just scan an empty corner of the map. Players might not see whales immediately, but they’ll count towards the total.






6 Lichen, 20 Snow

Generate snow tiles using the Flash Freezer or by triggering a snowfall.

Snowy Owl

10 Boreal Forest, 10 Tundra

Arctic Fox

10 Snow, 5 Tundra


20 Ocean, 4 Ice Sheets, global temp of -10 °C

-10 °C is as low as the temperature goes in this climate.


16 Ice Sheets, 10 Ocean

Ice sheets are ocean and river tiles affected by the Flash Freezer or snowfall.

Polar Bear

16 Snow, 6 Ocean, Elk group






20 Lagoon


24 Greenery


20 Bamboo, 6 Greenery


6 Derelict Skyscrapers, Boar group

Skyscraper frames also count, but not Bamboo Nurseries. Recycle them before looking for Eagles.


8 Greenery, 12 Deciduous Forest

Combined with the Eagle requirements, players should avoid using every skyscraper as a Bamboo Nursery.

Sea Otter

12 Ocean, 12 Kelp Forest

Kelp Forests appear on continental maps after completing an optional goal. Check the deep ocean tiles after doing so.

Terra Nil is available now on Android, iOS, and PC.

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