Below you can find a complete list of Mauritanian animals. We currently track 235 animals in Mauritania and are adding more every day!
Mauritania is a country located in western Africa. This country is 75 percent desert with plains and sand dunes making up the remaining 25 percent. Also, Mauritania is bordered by the northern Atlantic Ocean. Some of the animals in Mauritania are plentiful while others are endangered or even on the verge of becoming extinct. A few of the most well-known animals native to Africa and living in the country of Mauritania include gazelles, panthers, hyenas, sand cats, cheetahs, and warthogs. There are 573 species of birds, over 260 species of mammals, 86 species of reptiles, 30 species of amphibians, and 676 species of fish.
The Official National Animal of Mauritania
The official national animal of Mauritania is the African wild cat Felis lybica Incidently, the European wild cat is a subspecies of the African wild cat. These cats are native to Africa. This mammal is hardy and built to endure the harsh elements of a desert and scrubland habitat. So, it makes for a strong national symbol for this country. They symbolize wisdom and endurance in addition to strength.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Mauritania
The majority of Mauritania has an arid desert environment. So, the unique wildlife living in this country must be well-equipped to live in such a harsh habitat. Discover where to find some of the top wild animals in Mauritania.
- Cheetah – The cheetah, also known as the fastest mammal on earth, lives in bushy regions and the plains of Mauritania.
- Warthog – These mammals are cousins to pigs and live in a semi-arid region. They go into abandoned aardvark dens to keep cool in the heat of the day.
- Addra gazelle – The Addra is the biggest type of gazelle and lives in the Saharan desert in Mauritania. In the wet season, these gazelles live in the desert while in the dry season they migrate to scrublands.
- Hyena – This dog-like native of Africa lives in the open plains and scrublands in the northern part of Mauritania. This animal is a scavenger that depends on eating the leftovers of wildlife killed by cheetahs and other larger mammals.
- African lions – This familiar native of Africa lives in savannas and grasslands as well as the semi-arid areas of Mauritania.
- North African ostrich – This unique animal is the largest living bird in the world. These birds live in the dry scrublands of Mauritania among other habitats in Africa.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Mauritania Today
Africa has many of the world’s most dangerous animals. The country of Mauritania is home to a few of those animals. The most dangerous animals in Mauritania include:
- Scorpion Buthus occitanus – have a body measuring about three inches with a long, sharp stinger. The stinger of a scorpion contains enough venom to kill a young child or elderly person. They stay hidden most of the time so when a person is stung it’s usually because they reach into the animal’s hiding place. There are an estimated 5,000 deaths from scorpion stings each year.
- Snake – This 40-inch-long snake is responsible for the most snakebite deaths throughout Africa. These snakes can remain still for hours at a time on branches or in the bushes, so people are often bitten before they even see the reptile. Their bite can cause hemorrhaging, swelling, muscle damage, and death. The question of whether an adder bite is deadly depends on how much venom the person received and the time it takes to get treatment for the bite.
- Sahara sand viper – This venomous snake gets its name from its habit of hiding in the sand watching for prey. They are known to bite humans especially if someone is walking in the desert and doesn’t see the snake. Though their venom is relatively weak compared to other venomous snakes, they do have a painful (though not deadly) bite.
- Black-necked spitting cobra – Some of these snakes can reach a length of 7 feet. They live up to their name with the ability to spit venom up to 23 feet! Though their venom is not known to be deadly to humans, it does do other types of damage. A person hit in the eye with this snake’s venom can go blind if their eyes are not rinsed very quickly.
Endangered Animals in Mauritania
Unfortunately, some of the unique wildlife in Mauritania is considered Endangered and at risk of going extinct. However, in some cases, specific conservation efforts in the form of laws and education are being introduced to keep certain species from becoming extinct. Some examples of endangered animals in Mauritania include:
- Mediterranean monk seal
- African straw-colored fruit bat
- West African manatee
- Atlantic humpbacked dolphin
- Barbary sheep
The Flag of Mauritania
The flag of Mauritania symbolizes the country’s cultural and political significance. The current flag design was approved by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on November 28, 2017 and is mostly green with two red bands, one at the top and one at the bottom of the flag. At the center of the flag is the shape of a crescent with a gold star, representing Islam.
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws
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!
African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles
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!
More aoudad sheep live in the United States than in their original North African habitat.
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
Can survive without water for 10 months!
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.
May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.
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
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 fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.
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!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
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!
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
One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
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 lesser jacana is nomadic, often moving in search of temporary wetland habitats.
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!
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!
Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
Unlike other reptiles, the male Nile crocodile will stay with a female to guard their nest of eggs.
The Nile monitor is the world's fourth-largest lizard!
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
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.
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!
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.
They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
Sand vipers are nuisance snakes in some areas.
Some of the largest moths in the world
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.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The skate with the biggest spines!
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
The volcano snail lives comfortably in temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
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!
Mauritanian Animals List
Animals in Mauritania FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Mauritania?
Some of the unique mammals that live in the desert habitat of Mauritania include cheetahs, warthogs, hyenas, ostriches, African wildcats, lions, and gazelles.
Some examples of reptiles dangerous and not-so-dangerous living in this western African country include puff adders, Sahara sand vipers, African chameleons, Black-necked spitting cobras, and the West African crocodile. A scorpion is an Arthropod that lives in Mauritania.
Birds living in this west African country include the ostrich, the Kordofan lark, the Sudan golden sparrow, and the Arabian bustard.
This country is bordered by the northern Atlantic Ocean, so it is also home to some fish and marine life. This includes Atlantic sailfish, Atlantic bluefin tuna, and whale sharks just to name a few.