Below you can find a complete list of Malian animals. We currently track 244 animals in Mali and are adding more every day!
The natural wildlife in Mali is comprised of over 100 mammals, though at least 18 species are currently struggling to survive in the area. Most of the wildlife is spread across 33% of the country, due to the severity of the Saharan desert area. Some of the common predators include the lion and the cheetah, though both are only in limited numbers.
The national animal of Mali is influenced by folklore, though it was not featured on the coat of arms of this country until after 1960.
The Official National Animal of Mali
Mali’s national animal is the vulture, which is featured on the nation’s first seal after the Mali Federation was dissolved over 60 years ago. The vulture is depicted as flying over the Djenne mosque, which is above a rising sun. It is detailed in gold (as is the mosque and the sun), meant to be symbolic of the purity and mineral wealth of Mali. The use of the vulture is said to be due to the folklore associated with the vulture in Malian culture, though there is some suggestion that the animal is actually a dove.
The most common vulture in Mali is the lappet-faced vulture, which is sometimes called the Nubian vulture. It dates back to earlier species of vultures, and it doesn’t have nearly as impressive of a sense of smell.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Mali
The government has ruled to protect many of the vegetation areas in Mali, accounting for 2 national parks, multiple faunal reserves, and even several sanctuaries. In total, 4.7% of the country is protected to keep the 1,700 plant species and the 1,000 animal species from losing their homes. Some of the most common animals can be found in the Saharan zone, the Sahelian zone, and the Niger River valley.
- Desert horned viper – This venomous snake can be found throughout northern Africa and in the Middle East. The pattern of their body tends to coordinate with the substrate that they are found in, ranging from yellow to pale gray or even pink.
- African spurred tortoise – This tortoise is rather pleasant, rarely resorting to aggression or becoming territorial. They tend to live along the southern edge of the Saharan zone.
- Hippopotamus – The hippopotamus is often found along the Niger River, where it also resides with many types of crocodiles and lizards.
- Dama gazelle – Often found in the Sahelian zone, this gazelle is one of the largest gazelles in the antelope family. They tend to reside in grasslands and woodlands where they can feed.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Mali Today
Mali is home to many natural predators and carnivores, though the forest lands have been preserved to protect their habitat. This protection is also helpful to locals who need to protect themselves from these predators as well.
If ever in the region, you may want to avoid a few major animals in the region, like the:
- Hippopotamus – This unique animal kills nearly 3,000 humans annually (even though it is not carnivorous). While they do not actively seek out humans, they are very territorial and will do what they need to for the sake of protecting their natural habitat.
- Death Stalker (scorpion) – There are three major species of scorpion in Mali that are incredibly dangerous, including the Death Stalker. These animals are credited with many deaths, though they may also cause pulmonary edema that leads to death. While stings are rare, they can be fatal.
- Boomslang snake – The Boomslang snake’s venom can destroy a human’s red blood cells, ultimately leading to dangerous damage of vital tissues and hormones. While it can cause severe symptoms (like brain hemorrhage), it can also lead to nausea and headaches in less serious cases.
Endangered Animals in Mali
Despite the unique wildlife and environment, Mali still has several endangered species. Out of over 140 mammals, many are either considered vulnerable or endangered in some way. Some of the endangered animals in the area include:
Right now, the African elephant, the barbary sheep, and the cheetah are all vulnerable to meet the same fates unless action is taken to prevent them from becoming extinct. At one time, the Ansongo-Menaka Partial Faunal Reserve hosted a fairly small population of the West African giraffe. However, the species is now extinct within Mali.
Flag of Mali
The flag of Mali was adopted in 1961. It is a tricolor with three equal vertical stripes of green, yellow, and red, the pan-African colors.
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.
Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!
When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.
The males raise the young
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!
Banana cinnamon ball pythons came from combining the banana and cinnamon genes.
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
Can survive without water for 10 months!
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.
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.
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.
Desert ghost ball pythons are even more beautiful when they're bred with another type like enchi ball pythons.
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
Has exceptional eyesight!
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!
The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.
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!
When it feels threatened, it mimics a cobra in an attempt to dissuade a potential attacker.
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
Found in the African Sahara Desert!
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"
Freeway ball pythons come from breeding yellow belly and asphalt ball pythons.
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
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
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!
Unlike other animals that move towards the water source, hartebeests move to more arid locations after rainfall.
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!
Horned vipers sidewind across the desert sands of their home.
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
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten
The first two lavender albino ball pythons were wild-hatched and imported from Africa.
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
Lives in small groups called prides!
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!
Instead of the typically banded or ‘alien head’ patterning of most ball python morphs, the Mojave morph’s patterning is characterized by lots of large, circular splotches with small, dark brown dots in their centers.
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!
When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.
There are more than 5,000 species.
Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other
The "Orange Dream" name came from the idea that the morph would make its first breeder a million dollars.
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
This snake was as long as a school bus!
The panda pied ball python morph is a combination of the piebald and black pastel traits.
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!
The fastest species of primate in the world!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
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
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!
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.
They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.
Some of the largest moths in the world
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!
As a pet, the Senegal parrot is capable of "talking" to its owner
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.
Sunset ball pythons are bred with several other morphs to get designer colors.
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!
Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live in the tropical regions of Africa.
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!
The yellow belly gene is co-dominant and doesn't completely override other genes.
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!
Malian Animals List
Animals in Mali FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Mali?
Mali is filled with a diverse collection of unique animals, which include both herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Some of the most common wild animals that exist in the area include antelopes, gazelles, lions, panthers, hyenas, crocodiles, and monkeys. Mali is even home to the ostrich and many species of snakes.
Are there lions in Mali?
Yes. The lions of Mali are primarily found near the Faleme River, though there have also been sightings of the Guinea baboon and the Mzab gundi around this river.
Does Mali have giraffes?
Though Mali formerly was the home to the West African giraffe, the numbers that formerly were protected by the Ansongo-‐Menaka Partial Faunal Reserve are now extinct. However, this giraffe still exists in other countries.
How many lions are there in Mali?
The population of lions in Mali varies from one area to another. The largest numbers are found in Cameroon and the Senegal-Mali-Guinea border, accounting for about 200 lions per group. There are also several other small populations of lions around the country that only have about 50 each.