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HomeInspirationWild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Interested in learning more about Morocco’s wildlife?

In this article, learn about 18 exotic animals that can be found in Morocco as well as fun information about them.

Learn All About Moroccan Animals

Ready to learn all about Moroccan animals?

Animals have always captivated me, especially the way that they can vary so much from one nation to another. The numerous animals that can be found in Morocco on land, in the air, and underwater will be the main topic of this guide.

I divided the guide into the following 6 groups:

  1. Native animals from Morocco
  2. Endangered animals of Morocco
  3. What is the Morocco national animal?
  4. How many animals native to Morocco?
  5. What animal is Morocco known for?
  6. Does Morocco have wildlife?

Let’s dive in right away with our first category

Native Animals from Morocco

Morocco is an African country located in the northwestern part of the continent, right next to Spain. It has access to both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has 2 official languages (Arabic and Berber), and, because of its strategic location, it used to be a French colony. It is bordered by Algeria and the disputed territory of Western Sahara, and although its largest city is Casablanca, its capital city is Rabat, which counts more than 580,000 inhabitants (but more than 1,200,000 if you include the metropolitan area), and which is only the country’s seventh largest city

An interesting part of the country that I wanted to tackle is its wildlife. In light of that, I have listed the best of it, and I hope you will love learning what animals live in Morocco.

Here’s the Morocco animals list.

 

1. Cuvier’s gazelle

cuvier’s gazelle is in the endangered animals in morocco
Cuvier’s gazelle
  • Name: Cuvier’s gazelle
  • Scientific name: Gazella cuvieri
  • Conservation statusVulnerable

Cuvier’s gazelle, also known as the edmi, is a species of gazelle native to North Africa, namely Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara, and Tunisia. Most likely due to its adaptation to its main habitat, woodlands, this gazelle is one of the darkest.

This mammal is not protected in Morocco and Algeria, opposite to Tunisia, and it suffers from competition for food with domestic livestock. Because of this and habitat loss, it is considered vulnerable to extinction.

 

2. Barbary macaque

barbary macaque is one of the most common moroccan animals
Barbary macaque
  • Name: Barbary macaque
  • Scientific name: Macaca sylvanus
  • Conservation statusEndangered

The Barbary macaque, also known as the Barbary ape or the magot, is surely the most iconic and well-known animal from Morocco. One of its populations is located in Gibraltar, on the European side of the Europe-Africa border, and these are the only wild monkeys on the continent.

This macaque is native to the Rif Mountains and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and is seriously threatened by deforestation and hunting.

3. Northern bald ibis

northern bald ibis is part of the morocco wildlife
Northern bald ibis
  • Name: Northern bald ibis
  • Scientific name: Geronticus eremita
  • Conservation statusEndangered

The northern bald ibis, also known as the waldrapp or the hermit ibis, is the only species of bird endemic to Morocco. It can be found in a very small area, south of Agadir, in the southern half of the country, and inhabits semi-desert, barren and rocky habitats, usually next to running water.

This ibis used to be widespread across many regions such as North Africa, Central, and South Europe, and the Middle East, but it disappeared from almost its entire range; to combat this phenomenon, reintroduction programs are underway.

 

4. Egyptian vulture

egyptian vulture is one of the endangered species in morocco
Egyptian vulture
  • Name: Egyptian vulture
  • Scientific name: Neophron percnopterus
  • Conservation statusEndangered

The Egyptian vulture, also known as the white scavenger vulture or the pharaoh’s chicken, is a small species of Old World vulture native to northwestern Africa, southwestern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula.

In Morocco, its colonies are mostly made of immature individuals, and they can often be found on large, dead pines. As its name suggests, the Egyptian vulture was of particular importance in Ancient Egypt and had its own hieroglyph.

 

5. Berber toad

berber toad is among the animals of morocco
Berber toad
  • Name: Berber toad
  • Scientific name: Sclerophrys mauritanica
  • Conservation statusLeast concern

The Berber toad, also known as the Moorish toad, the Mauritanian toad, the Moroccan toad, or the pantherine toad, is a species of toad endemic to northwestern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) and southern Spain, where it was introduced.

This toad inhabits subtropical and tropical dry cork oak forests, as well as freshwater marshes, rivers, arable land, plantations, and even urban areas, at elevations up to 2,650 m / 8,694 ft above sea level.

6. Crested porcupine

crested porcupine is among the wild animals morocco has on its land
Crested porcupine
  • Name: Crested porcupine
  • Scientific name: Hystrix cristata
  • Conservation statusLeast concern

The crested porcupine, also known as the African crested porcupine, is a species of rodent native to sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and Italy. The Moroccan population is one of the few Mediterranean ones, alongside Algeria, Sicily, and Tunisia.

This porcupine can be found at altitudes of up to 2,550 m / 8,370 ft above sea level, in the Moroccan Anti-Atlas, another mountain range of the country.

 

7. Saharan striped polecat

saharan stripped polecat is among the animals that live in morocco
Saharan striped polecat
  1. Name: Saharan striped polecat
  2. Scientific name: Ictonyx libycus
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

The Saharan striped polecat, also known as the Saharan striped weasel, is a species of mustelid native to the surrounding areas of the Sahara, despite its name. It can thus be found from Morocco, Mauritania, and Egypt to Sudan and Djibouti.

This mammal mainly feeds on small birds, lizards, and their eggs, as well as small mammals. It tracks its prey by scent and digs it out of its burrow.

 

8. Striped hyena

striped hyena is part of the animals in morocco list
Striped hyena
  1. Name: Striped hyena
  2. Scientific name: Hyaena hyaena
  3. Conservation statusNear threatened

The striped hyena is the lesser-known species of hyena in Africa, alongside its relative, the spotted hyena, widely known as the laughing hyena. This smaller species is threatened by persecution, depletion of prey, and habitat loss, and fewer than 10,000 mature individuals are left in the wild; because of this, it is considered near threatened.

This hyena is known to attack domestic livestock in Morocco, particularly poultry, sheep, goats, and dogs.

9. Common wall gecko

common wall gecko is part of the morocco animals
Common wall gecko
  1. Name: Common wall gecko
  2. Scientific name: Tarentola mauritanica
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

The common wall gecko, also known as the Moorish gecko, the European common gecko, or the crocodile gecko, is a species of gecko native to the western parts of the Mediterranean Sea and has been introduced to the Balearic Islands and Madeira, as well as to the Americas.

This gecko can be found throughout most of Morocco, and hides in a refuge during the day, before emerging at dusk or at night and hunting for insects. In Morocco, it can easily be seen around light sources such as street lamps.

 

10. Fennec fox

fennec fox
Fennec fox
  • Name: Fennec fox
  • Scientific name: Vulpes zerda
  • Conservation statusLeast concern

The fennec fox is the smallest species of canid in the world. It is native to the deserts of North Africa, from Western Sahara to the Sinai Peninsula, and is characterized by its extremely large ears, which are ideal to dissipate heat.

This fox indeed lives in the desert and digs out burrows to hide in during the day. Its range is slowly decreasing in Morocco, and it is limited to marginal areas, mainly due to the expansion of human settlements.

 

11. Sand cat

sand cat
Sand cat
  1. Name: Sand cat
  2. Scientific name: Felis margarita
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

After the small canid comes the small felid! The sand cat, also known as the sand dune cat, is a small species of wild cat native to several isolated areas, from Morocco and the rest of northwestern Africa to western Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.

This cat spends the day resting in underground dens and emerges at night, hunting for rodents and small birds. It is known for traveling long distances, and moves in fact 5.4 km / 3.4 mi on average per night

12. Mediterranean monk seal

mediterranean monk seal on the beach
Mediterranean monk seal
  1. Name: Mediterranean monk seal
  2. Scientific name: Monachus monachus
  3. Conservation statusEndangered

We haven’t talked about it yet, but not only is Morocco’s coastline absolutely stunning, but it also provides incredible and unique marine wildlife such as the Mediterranean monk seal.

The Mediterranean monk seal is the world’s rarest pinniped species: fewer than 700 individuals remain in the wild, scattered in 3 to 4 populations across the Mediterranean Basin and the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Morocco is one of the four countries (alongside Spain, Portugal, and Mauritania) to have signed an agreement to implement a conservation plan for this endangered seal species.

 

13. Egyptian mongoose

egyptian mongoose
Egyptian mongoose
  1. Name: Egyptian mongoose
  2. Scientific name: Herpestes ichneumon
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

Despite its name, the Egyptian mongoose is absolutely not endemic to Egypt, as it can be found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, and was either introduced or is native to the Iberian Peninsula and northwestern Africa.

Although considered of least concern with its very wide range, the Egyptian mongoose is heavily hunted for use in rituals, and trapped around agricultural areas. In countries such as Israel, it is protected by law and can only be hunted with a permit.

14. Dwarf sperm whale

dwarf sperm whale is among the animals native to morocco
Dwarf sperm whale

shikabane taro / CC BY

  1. Name: Dwarf sperm whale
  2. Scientific name: Kogia sima
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

There are more than 20 species of whales and dolphins off the coast of Morocco, but let’s talk about one of the least famous ones, the dwarf sperm whale.

The dwarf sperm whale is a species of the sperm whale that inhabits temperate and tropical oceans around the world, and particularly loves the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean waters. It is a suction feeder, which means it sucks its prey (mostly squid) into its mouth.

15. Atlantic spotted dolphin

atlantic spotted dolphin is in the native animals in morocco
Atlantic spotted dolphin
  • Name: Atlantic spotted dolphin
  • Scientific name: Stenella frontalis
  • Conservation statusLeast concern

The Atlantic spotted dolphin is a species of dolphin native to warm temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Its color largely varies as it grows older, going from gray-white as a calf to black with a white spot at full maturation.

This dolphin is highly sociable and lives in groups of about 5 to 15 individuals, usually mixed with common bottlenose dolphins.

16. West African crocodile

west african crocodile is part of the wildlife in morocco
West African crocodile
  1. Name: West African crocodile
  2. Scientific name: Crocodylus suchus
  3. Conservation statusData deficient

The West African crocodile, also known as the sacred crocodile or the desert crocodile, is a species of crocodile related to the Nile crocodile, although it is smaller and less aggressive.

This crocodile is the only one that can be found in Morocco, and it inhabits the arid desert environment of the Sahara and the Sahel. During the driest months of the year, it aestivates, which is basically hibernating in the summer

17. Puff adder

puff adder
Puff adder
  1. Name: Puff adder
  2. Scientific name: Bitis arietans
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

The puff adder is a species of venomous snake that can be found across much of sub-Saharan Africa (except for the rainforest and tropical regions), as well as the southwestern Arabian Peninsula and southern Morocco.

In Morocco, it lives in savanna and grasslands and has an ideal color pattern to stay camouflaged in these arid environments. It is the most common and widespread species of snake on the continent and feeds on mammals, amphibians, birds, and lizards.

18. Desert monitor

desert monitor is among the animals from morocco
Rafael Medina / CC BY-NC-ND
  1. Name: Desert monitor
  2. Scientific name: Varanus griseus
  3. Conservation statusLeast concern

The desert monitor is a species of monitor lizard native to North Africa and southern Asia. It is carnivorous and feeds on a wide variety of both invertebrates and vertebrates.

While overall listed as least concern, the desert monitor is a threatened species in Morocco. The main reasons for that are agricultural expansion, human pressure and encroachment, and hunting for the commercial trade, primarily for its skin.

So there you have them, these were my 18 wild animals that live in Morocco. I hope you enjoyed this list and that you learned something new today.

In case you want to learn more about Morocco wildlife, feel free to keep reading, as I still have lots of things to tell you about:

Endangered Animals of Morocco

This is definitely the saddest part of the list, but it is very important to raise awareness. Because of this, let’s go through the list of endangered animals in Morocco.

Here are the animals in danger of extinction in Morocco.

Extinct in the wild

  1. Scimitar-horned oryx
  2. Lake Sidi Ali trout
  3. Barbary lion

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Critically endangered

  1. Addax
  2. Sand tiger shark
  3. Great hammerhead
  4. Hooded vulture
  5. Dama gazelle
  6. and 19 more…

Endangered

  1. Barbary macaque
  2. Mediterranean monk seal
  3. Chafarinas’ skink
  4. African gulper shark
  5. Shortfin mako
  6. and 32 more…

To see the full list of endangered species in Morocco, head over to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

What is the National Animal of Morocco?

The national animal of Morocco is the Barbary lion.

Previously thought to be a separate species, the Barbary lion is actually very similar to other African lions. It is a species of lion that is extinct in the wild and that used to be found in the deserts and mountains of the Barbary Coast, from Morocco to Egypt.

Aside from Morocco, the Barbary lion frequently appears in Egyptian literature and art, as well as sculptures. In Morocco, it is depicted on the country’s coat of arms, commonly represented in clothing, gives its name to the national football team, and is a national symbol of pride, might, and freedom.

 

barbary lion is the national animal of morocco

How Many Animals Native to Morocco?

What is the diversity of native animals in Morocco?

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Let’s look at the total number of species of Chordata (mammals, birds, fishes, and reptiles).

Total number of animal species in Morocco1,677 (2,967 in total in North Africa)

What animal is Morocco known for?

There are lots of iconic animals in Morocco, but the country is particularly known for the Barbary macaque, also known as the magot or the Barbary ape. It is the only monkey in Africa that can be found north of the Sahara, and it inhabits the Rif, Middle, and High Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

This macaque primarily feeds on plants and insects and is adaptable to a wide variety of habitats. It is threatened by habitat loss, human use, and tourism.

Wild Animals in Morocco | Wildlife in Morocco

Does Morocco have wildlife?

With this list, I hope to have persuaded you that Morocco is home to a variety of animals. However, if you’d like more information, there are roughly 210 different bird species in the nation, ranging from more common birds like woodpeckers to more unusual birds like spoonbills, flamingos, and storks.

You have just seen that there are numerous endangered species. Finally, Morocco is home to almost 105 different kinds of mammals.

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