Below you can find a complete list of Eritrean animals. We currently track 225 animals in Eritrea and are adding more every day!
Eritrea is in eastern Africa in a region known as the Horn of Africa. It borders Sudan to the west and Ethiopia to the south. It has an extensive coastline on the Red Sea and includes the Dahlak Archipelago.
Eritrea’s landscape includes three distinct regions. It has the green highlands, the hot, dry western lowlands, and a long coastal plain. These areas are home to many unique animal and bird species.
Wildlife in Eritrea
Like other African countries, Eritrea has buffalos, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and leopards. It is home to several rare species only found in this region, including the Nubian ibex and the African golden wolf.
Eritrea has a healthy population of northern African elephants. It is also home to the world’s only population of free-ranging African wild donkeys.
The African wild ass or African wild donkey (Equus africanus) is a wild member of the horse family. It is related to both zebras and domestic donkeys. This adorable animal looks like a donkey with gray fur and zebra-striped legs. African wild donkeys are endemic to Eritrea and other eastern African countries.
Zoo Basel in Switzerland has created a successful captive breeding program for African wild donkeys. The zoo manages the wild donkey studbook for the world’s captive breeding programs.
Deforestation, the war for independence, and border disputes with Ethiopia have led to diminished numbers of the country’s native animals. The Eritrean government has passed laws to protect the country’s native flora and fauna.
The coastal waters are home to whales, dolphins, dugongs, and five species of sea turtle, including the green turtle and hawksbill turtle.
What Animals Are Endangered or Extinct in Eritrea?
Erirea’s endangered animals include the Dorcas gazelle and Soemmering gazelle.
Eritrea has two native animals who “came back” from extinction.
The Eritrean Gazelle (Eudorcas tilonura) or Heuglin’s Gazelle: This rare gazelle was listed as extinct until a conservationist came across a small herd of them 90 years later. Biologists confirmed they were Eritrean gazelles. The Eritrean government has set aside land to conserve these rare, beautiful gazelles.
Eritrea side-neck turtle (Pelomedusa gehafie): Like the Eritrean gazelle, this turtle was declared extinct. Scientists had not seen one for almost 100 years. In 2016, conservationists discovered a small population of the turtles.
The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana): This wild goat lives in the mountain regions and deserts of Africa and the Middle East. It stands about two feet tall and has long curving horns.
These goats were hunted almost to extinction for their meat, but conservation laws have allowed Nubian ibexes to rebound. Today, they are listed as “vulnerable” because their population is declining.
The government of Eritrea has taken several important steps to address wildlife conservation. The country was one of the first in the world to ban the production, sale, and distribution of plastic bags. It has outlawed the hunting and trapping of wild animals and banned the cutting of live trees. It has also set aside areas as wildlife preserves, national parks, and marine reserves. Eritrea instituted a tree planting program to reverse the effects of deforestation.
Where to See the Top Wild Animals in Eritrea
There are many places to see wildlife in Eritrea. Visitors can spot lions and greater kudus in the mountain regions. In the Denkalia region, elephants and gazelles roam. In the Nakfa and Gash-Setit wildlife parks, you’ll see bushbucks, duikers, greater kudus, klipspringers, leopards, oryxes, and crocodiles.
Eritrea has more than 500 native bird species. The country is on a widely used migratory bird path that links the Middle East and Africa. You can see many of these unique birds at reserves like Semnawi Bahri National Park, the Dahlak Islands and along the coast of the Red Sea.
Yob Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Northern Red Sea and Anseba regions of northern Eritrea. It was established in 1959 to protect populations of Nubian ibex.
The Flag of Eritrea
The flag of Eritrea was adopted in 1995 and displays triangles in red, green and blue. The red triangle is a reminder of the bloodshed endured during the country’s fight for freedom. The green triangle represents Eritrea’s agricultural sector and the blue triangle, the sea’s abundance. The vertical olive branch surrounded by a golden olive wreath inside the red triangle symbolizes their independence.
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws
African clawed frogs were used as pregnancy testers from the 1930s to the early 1960s.
African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles
Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Renew their horns every year!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
Can travel more than four miles a day!
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Detects prey using echolocation!
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
The bichir species is more than 400 million years old
Not all birds are able to fly!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
Females glue egg cases to furniture
Can live its entire life indoors
The most common species of bee!
In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
The larvae of a moth or butterfly!
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
There are about 3,000 documented species!
There are more than 160 different species!
The fastest land mammal in the world!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
There are more than 2 000 known species!
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
The most common raptor in the UK!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.
There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!
There are 93 different crab groups
Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings
Many are critically endangered species!
Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together
Have changed little in 200 million years!
Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.
They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
A duck species that resembles a goose when flying
They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.
The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
Found exclusively on the African continent!
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
The fire ball python morph is known for its rich golden and reddish-brown coloration.
The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world
Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air
There are more than 240,000 different species!
Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"
There are around 7,000 different species!
Among the largest bats in the world
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source
Named for the Arabic word for love poems
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
The most common type of urban roach
The largest fish in its genus
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away
Found in a vairety of African habitats!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.
Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
There are four different species!
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jacana has the ability to swim underwater
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
A popular pet snake that comes in dozens of morphs!
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Spends much of the time high in the trees!
The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
There are around 5,000 different species!
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
Will only live in wet areas
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Some species have a poisonous bite!
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!
There are around 260 known species!
Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!
Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood
There are 250,000 different species!
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
Nile perch will sometimes eat those within its own species
There are more than 5,000 species.
Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other
Females are about four times the size of males
Males oribis spend most of their time patrolling the borders of their territories; they can do this about 16 times an hour! However, 27% of their day is spent grazing.
The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!
The largest bird in the world!
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.
Can live for up to 100 years!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
This large snake is so-named because it will puff up its body to appear bigger than it is when directly threatened by a predator or person.
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 300 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
Is the most populous bird in the world
Scientists believe that the red spitting cobra evolved from injecting venom to spitting it in response to the constant threat of early humans
They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs
It's horns are made from keratin!
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!
Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!
Rock pythons may have crossbred with the escaped Burmese pythons in Florida.
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.
Will mate with the entire flock!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
Savannah monitors are one of the most popular lizards in captivity.
There are around 2,000 known species!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.
The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.
They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce
Has up to 45 eggs per egg case
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 4,000 known species worldwide
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Spitting cobras are types of cobras that can spit venom at predators and prey.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
They can’t sing like other birds.
The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.
Some cultures in Africa believe the sulcata tortoise is an intermediary between the people and their ancestors and gods.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.
They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
Their name means “banana-eater,” but they rarely ever eat bananas.
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most
There are 30 different species worldwide!
Has two sets of tusks on it's face!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.
There are 200 different species!
They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.
Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!
There are around 75 different species!
The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!
Eritrean Animals List
Animals in Eritrea FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Is the National Animal of Eritrea?
The Arabian camel, also known as a dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), is the national animal of this country. Dromedaries inhabit dry areas, including the Sahara Desert, northern Africa, western Asia and northern Africa.
The dromedary has a single hump. A typical dromedary stands about 6 feet tall and weighs between 880 and 1000 pounds. These social animals travel in packs of around 20 camels led by the dominant male. They eat leaves, grass and desert vegetation.
Are There Lions in Eritrea?
Lions are not native to Eritrea, but people have occasionally seen them in the mountain ranges. Eritrea’s native big cats include the Sudan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii), African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), caracal (Caracal caracal) and African wild cat (Felis lybica).
What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in Eritrea?
Eritrea has several animals that can be dangerous to humans, including crocodiles and elephants. The two most dangerous animals, however, are both insects.
Tick: African tick-bite fever causes fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. The disease is not life threatening, but the symptoms can be dangerous.
Mosquito: These stinging bugs can transmit malaria and dengue fever, which can be fatal. They can also pass on a disease called chikungunya, which causes headache, muscle pain and swollen joints.