Below you can find a complete list of Malian animals. We currently track 141 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:
- Dama gazelle
- Slender-horned gazelle
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.
Malian Animals List
- African Civet
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Bush Baby
- Common Buzzard
- Crab Spider
- Desert Locust
- Elephant Shrew
- Fennec Fox
- Fruit Bat
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Guinea Fowl
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Monitor Lizard
- Nile Crocodile
- No See Ums
- Patas Monkey
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Rock Hyrax
- Senegal Parrot
- Skink Lizard
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Sulcata Tortoise
- Tree Frog
- Tsetse Fly
- Water Buffalo
- Wolf Spider
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.