Animals in Morocco

Below you can find a complete list of Moroccan animals. We currently track 127 animals in Morocco and are adding more every day!

Morocco has a variety of native and introduced animals, although it lacks many large mammals. The Mediterranean climate of the coast and Rif mountains contrasts with the forested Atlas mountains and the arid climate of the Western Sahara. 490 recorded species of birds, over 90 species of reptiles, over 20 species of bats, a dozen species of whales and dolphins, and 105 species of mammals are just some of the fauna within its range of terrain and climate types boasting 40 ecosystems.

The Official National Animal of Morocco

The Barbary lion is the official national animal of Morocco, and it represents the Moroccan. It is commonly depicted in clothing featuring the Moroccan flag colors, while the Moroccan coat-of-arms has two lions supporting the shield. The Barbary lion is also called the Atlas or Nubian lion and is native to the Atlas and Rif mountains and the forests of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Unfortunately, since the killing of the last Barbary lion in 1922, this species is extinct in the wild.

Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Morocco

The top wild fauna in Morocco are those native to the country or to North Africa itself and are mostly terrestrial, forest and desert-dwelling. Due to the harsh climate, the government protects its many ecosystems with national parks, national reserves, sanctuaries, lakes, and other nature and wildlife areas that are open to the public. Toubkal National Park near Marrakesh is the oldest and most visited, while Parc Zoologique National in Rabat has a breeding program for the almost-extinct Barbary lion. You can see Nile crocodiles at the Crocodile Park. People taking desert tours are likely to see the Fennec fox, Dorcas gazelle, golden jackals, addax, gerbils, rodents, snakes, and lizards.

Generally, however, the top 10 wild fauna in Morocco are:

  • Fennec fox, a fox noted for its huge ears and native to the Sahara desert
  • Common gundi, a small rodent that lives in rocks
  • Barbary ground squirrel, a small rodent that lives in burrows
  • Sand cat, also called sand dune cat, a species that resembles the domestic cat but with a desert habitat
  • Moorish wall gecko, also called European common gecko, crocodile gecko, Salamanquesa, and common gecko, found in urban areas
  • Barbary sheep, a subspecies of the wild sheep
  • Crested porcupine, a terrestrial animal
  • Egyptian mongoose, a mongoose species that live in forests, scrubs and savannahs
  • Barbary macaque, also called Barbary ape, an Old World true monkey with a variety of habitats
  • North African hedgehog, also called the Algerian hedgehog, closely resembles the European hedgehog and lives in mixed-forest habitats

The Most Dangerous Wildlife In Morocco Today

Although there aren’t very many dangerous animals in Morocco, it doesn’t mean you should overturn rocks and logs with abandon. There is some dangerous wildlife you are more likely to encounter while hiking or traveling in the desert or mountains:

  • Scorpions: 30,000 scorpion bite victims are reported every year with a death rate of 3.8%, predominantly in Marrakesh. Out of 50 species, 22 are venomous.
  • Snakes: The puff adder, Indian cobra, Egyptian cobra, and horned viper are the most venomous of the 200 venomous species from the more than 3,000 snake species in the country, with their bites causing paralysis and death; hundreds of snakebites are reported every year.
  • Flic-flac spider: This is a species of huntsman spider that lives in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes and although it’s not deadly, its bite causes infection.
  • Palm rats: Also called black rats or roof rats, they live in and around palm trees, carry diseases, and can attack people.
  • African golden wolf: Established as a new canine species, this wolf lives in the Atlas Mountains and eats large mammals.
  • Striped hyena: Also called Barbary hyena, it eats the leftovers from hunts as well as fruits and vegetables.

Unusual Wildlife in Morocco

Tree-climbing goats eat the fruit of the Argan tree, the nuts from which Argan oil is made. Since the fruit is inaccessible from below, the goats have learned to climb the tree branches. You can spot them in the Sous Valley of southwestern Morocco.

The Berber skink or sandfish is another unusual animal. This yellow and black-striped species of lizard appear to swim through the sand of the Sahara desert.

Extinct Wildlife in Morocco

The Barbary lion has been extinct in the wild since the 1920s. The West African crocodile, also called the desert crocodile or sacred crocodile once lived in Morocco and several other African countries but is now extinct in Morocco. This species of crocodile is related to and often confused with the Nile crocodile, but smaller in size. Finally, the West African giraffe became extinct in 600 CE.

Endangered Wildlife In Morocco

Morocco has 11 threatened bird species and 18 threatened mammal species. Common threats are overhunting, poaching, and global warming. Some of the mammal species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List are:

Moroccan Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Moroccan Animals List

Animals in Morocco FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Morocco?

Several species of birds, reptiles, insects, rodents, cats, dogs, working and farm animals (horses, sheep, goats, camels), as well as marine wildlife, live in Morocco.

What is the most dangerous animal in Morocco?

The most dangerous animal in Morocco is either of 4 of the most venomous snake species: Puff adder, Indian cobra, the Egyptian cobra, and the horned viper.

Do giraffes live in Morocco?

No. West African giraffes went extinct in the country in 600 CE due to the harsh Saharan climate.

Are there elephants in Morocco?

Yes, although there are only 3 in the country, Morocco has been listed as a habitat range state for West African elephants.

What wildlife live in the desert in Morocco?

The Fennec fox, single-humped camel (also called Arabian camel or dromedary), Dorcas gazelle, jerboa, desert hedgehog, Dab lizard and Berber skink are the most well-known desert fauna in Morocco.