Yes, but "a" will also work for an individual of the species.
Student or Learner
Do we use ''the'' when we refer to the whole of an animal?
The dog is a faithful animal.
The cow gives milk.
"You can use the definitive article with some singular count nouns to make a generalization. (....) This pattern is often used when talking about species of animals and birds. "The red squirrel is steadily dying out." (From Collins Cobuild - English Guides /3/ Articles by Roger Berry.)
I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.