Animals in Mauritania

Below you can find a complete list of Mauritanian animals. We currently track 149 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

Mauritanian Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

Addax

The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.

African Civet

Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!

American Cockroach

Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Baboon

Can travel more than four miles a day!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

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

Bichir

The bichir species is more than 400 million years old

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Bush Baby

In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

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 House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

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!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

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!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

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!

Guinea Fowl

Found in a vairety of African habitats!

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!

Hippopotamus

Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!

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!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

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!

Nile Crocodile

When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ostrich

The largest bird in the world!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

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.

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.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Senegal Parrot

As a pet, the Senegal parrot is capable of "talking" to its owner

Serval

Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!

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.

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

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.

Sulcata Tortoise

Some cultures in Africa believe the sulcata tortoise is an intermediary between the people and their ancestors and gods.

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!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Warthog

Has two sets of tusks on it's face!

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

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebra

Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

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.