Animals in Morocco

Updated: July 11, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Moroccan animals. We currently track 236 animals in Morocco and are adding more every day!

Morocco has a variety of native and introduced animals, although it lacks many large mammals. The Mediterranean climate of the coast and Rif mountains contrasts with the forested Atlas mountains and the arid climate of the Sahara Desert. 490 recorded species of birds, over 90 species of reptiles, over 20 species of bats, a dozen species of whales and dolphins, and 105 species of mammals are just some of the fauna within its range of terrain and climate types boasting 40 ecosystems.

The Official National Animal of Morocco

Barbary or Atlas Lion

©Dennis W Donohue/

The Barbary lion is the official national animal of Morocco. It is commonly depicted in clothing featuring the Moroccan flag colors, while the Moroccan coat-of-arms has two lions supporting the shield.

The Barbary lion is also called the Atlas or Nubian lion and is native to the Atlas and Rif mountains and the forests of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Unfortunately, since the killing of the last Barbary lion in 1922, this species has been extinct in the wild.

Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Morocco

fennec fox

Fennec foxes are native to Morocco.

©hagit berkovich/

The top wild fauna in Morocco are those native to the country or to North Africa itself and are mostly terrestrial, forest, and desert-dwelling. Due to the harsh climate, the government protects its many ecosystems with national parks, national reserves, sanctuaries, lakes, and other nature and wildlife areas that are open to the public.

Toubkal National Park near Marrakesh is the oldest and most visited, while Parc Zoologique National in Rabat has a breeding program for the almost-extinct Barbary lion. You can see Nile crocodiles at Crocodile Park. People taking desert tours are likely to see the Fennec fox, Dorcas gazelle, golden jackals, addax, gerbils, rodents, snakes, and lizards.

Top 10 Animals of Morocco

A young barbary macaques walking along a tree branch

Barbary macaques are found in Morocco.

©Natalia Paklina/

Morocco is home to many species of animals, both wild and domesticated. The most common species include camels, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, and mules. Other native species found in the country are hyenas, jackals, foxes, and a variety of birds, such as eagles and storks.

Many of these animals can be seen living in large herds throughout the countryside or in smaller groups near villages and towns. In addition to these land-dwelling creatures, several marine animal species inhabit Morocco’s coastal waters, such as tuna fish, sea turtles, and dolphins. There have even been cases where whales have been spotted off the coast!

Generally, however, the top 10 wild fauna in Morocco are:

  1. Fennec fox, a fox noted for its huge ears and native to the Sahara desert
  2. Common gundi, a small rodent that lives in rocks
  3. Barbary ground squirrel, a small rodent that lives in burrows
  4. Sand cat, also called sand dune cat, is a species that resembles the domestic cat but with a desert habitat
  5. The Moorish wall gecko, also called the European common gecko, crocodile gecko, Salamanquesa, and the common gecko, is found in urban areas.
  6. Barbary sheep, a subspecies of the wild sheep
  7. Crested porcupine, a terrestrial animal
  8. Egyptian mongoose, a mongoose species that live in forests, scrubs, and savannahs
  9. The Barbary macaque, also called the Barbary ape, is an Old World true monkey with a variety of habitats.
  10. North African hedgehog, also called the Algerian hedgehog, closely resembles the European hedgehog and lives in mixed-forest habitats.

The Most Dangerous Wildlife In Morocco Today

African golden wolf

African golden wolves are on the list of dangerous animals in Morocco.

© Newrcha

Although there aren’t very many dangerous animals in Morocco, it doesn’t mean you should overturn rocks and logs with abandon. There is some dangerous wildlife you are more likely to encounter while hiking or traveling in the desert or mountains:

  • Scorpions: 30,000 scorpion bite victims are reported every year, with a death rate of 3.8%, predominantly in Marrakesh. Out of 50 species, 22 are venomous.
  • Snakes: The puff adder, Indian cobra, Egyptian cobra, and horned viper are the most venomous of the 200 venomous species from the more than 3,000 snake species in the country, with their bites causing paralysis and death; hundreds of snakebites are reported every year.
  • Flic-flac spider: This is a species of huntsman spider that lives in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, and although it’s not deadly, its bite causes infection.
  • Palm rats: Also called black rats or roof rats, they live in and around palm trees, carry diseases, and can attack people.
  • African golden wolf: Established as a new canine species, this wolf lives in the Atlas Mountains and eats large mammals.
  • Striped hyena: Also called Barbary hyena, it eats the leftovers from hunts as well as fruits and vegetables.

3 Rarest Animals in Morocco

Arabian Tahr (Arabitragus jayakari) male walking on rocks rocks in the middle east mountains on Jebal Hafeet.

The Arabian tahr is a species of wild goat native to the Middle East and North Africa, including Morocco.

©kingma photos/

Three of the rarest animals found in Morocco are the Barbary leopard, Arabian tahr, and Cuvier’s gazelle. The Barbary leopard is an endangered species that is endemic to the Atlas Mountains in Northern Africa. It typically inhabits mountainous areas with dense vegetation and rocky outcroppings at altitudes between 5,000 to 10,000 feet.

The Arabian tahr can be found in areas of rugged terrain and steep slopes with sparse vegetation at high elevations, including the High Atlas Mountains. The Arabian Tahr is a species of wild goat native to the Middle East and North Africa, including Morocco. It has a thick brown coat with lighter underparts, short horns, and bearded cheeks. They have hooves adapted for climbing steep terrain, allowing them to inhabit rocky areas of their environment.

Finally, Cuvier’s gazelle live mainly on semi-arid plains or steppes near water sources such as springs or rivers. They tend to inhabit habitats characterized by sandy soils with low shrub cover and scattered trees for shade during hot summers.

3 Largest Animals in Morocco

Aoudad ram sheep has large thick curved horns and lives in Morocco. They are also called Barbary sheep.


The three largest animals in Morocco are the Atlas lion, the Barbary leopard, and the Barbary sheep.

The Atlas lion is one of the biggest cats in Africa and can weigh up to 550 pounds. It once roamed throughout North Africa, but today, it only exists in captivity.

The Barbary leopard is also a large cat that can reach weights of up to 154 pounds. This species has become critically endangered due to loss of habitat as well as hunting for its fur.

Lastly, there’s the Barbary sheep which is natively found on rocky mountain slopes across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. These animals can grow quite large, with some males reaching up to 440 pounds.

Unusual Wildlife in Morocco

Moroccan goat

Moroccan goats are well known for their tree-climbing skills.


Tree-climbing goats eat the fruit of the Argan tree, the nuts from which Argan oil is made. Since the fruit is inaccessible from below, the goats have learned to climb the tree branches. You can spot them in the Sous Valley of southwestern Morocco.

The Berber skink or sandfish is another unusual animal. This yellow and black-striped species of lizard appear to swim through the sand of the Sahara desert.

Endangered Wildlife In Morocco

Loudest Animals: Sperm Whale

Sperm Whales are world-class divers. The mammals have been recorded descending to depths of over 3,280 feet and can go 90 minutes between breaths.


Animals in Morocco are threatened due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, overhunting, and climate change.

Habitat loss is the result of agricultural expansion and urbanization. As these activities continue to increase in Morocco’s cities and rural areas, natural habitats shrink or become fragmented. This leaves animals with less space to roam freely while also making it more difficult for them to find food or mates.

Poaching is an illegal activity that involves hunting animals for their fur or other body parts. This has had a devastating effect on many animal populations in Morocco. Over-hunting is another problem. When there is too much demand for certain species, such as antelope or gazelle, their numbers can quickly be diminished if their population isn’t managed properly.

Finally, climate change has caused shifts in weather patterns which can drastically affect some species’ ability to survive in certain climates — some animals may not have the capacity to adapt fast enough before they face extinction.

Morocco has 11 threatened bird species and 18 threatened mammal species. Common threats are overhunting, poaching, and global warming. Some of the mammal species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List are:

Extinct Wildlife in Morocco

The Barbary lion has been extinct in the wild since the 1920s. The West African crocodile, also called the desert crocodile or sacred crocodile, once lived in Morocco and several other African countries but is now extinct in Morocco. This species of crocodile is related to and often confused with the Nile crocodile but is smaller in size. Finally, the West African giraffe became extinct in 600 CE.

The Flag of Morocco

The flag of Morocco has a lot of symbolic meaning.

© Brumby

The flag of Morocco is composed of a red field with a black-bordered green pentagram star in the center. It was enacted as the national flag over 100 years ago, on November 17th, 1915.

The flag of Morocco has a lot of symbolic meaning that is deeply rooted in the country’s history and culture. The interconnected green pentagram, which stands for the Seal of Solomon, represents wisdom as well as long life and good health. It also symbolizes the power of God to protect his chosen people from harm.

The red background on the Moroccan flag is meant to represent a strong spiritual connection between God and his followers. This connection binds together all Moroccans regardless of ethnicity or religion, creating unity within the country’s diverse population. Additionally, it signifies courage and bravery in the face of adversity, encapsulating Morocco’s strength throughout its tumultuous past and present.

Moroccan Animals


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

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


The Aidi's cheerful personality and relaxed temperament are just two reasons why this dog is a good choice for families with kids.

American Cockroach

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


The angelshark’s range has contracted by more than 80% in the past century.


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Renew their horns every year!

Aoudad Sheep

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

Banana Spider

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


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!

Bearded Vulture

These birds eat a diet of bones

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species

Beewolf wasp

They hunt bees


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors


The most common species of bee!


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 Ant

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

Carpet Viper

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!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

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

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.


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 Spider

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!


A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle

The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

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!

Dried Fruit Moth

In the event of adverse environmental conditions, dried fruit moth larvae will become dormant and stop developing.


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Dunkleosteus had a bite force strong enough to cut through pirey.


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!

Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.

Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

Eurasian Bullfinch

The shy eurasian bullfinch prefers to forage very close to cover.

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds

European Bee-Eater

They can eat up to 250 bees per day!

European Goldfinch

They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.

European Polecat

Its fur changes color in the winter!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.


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!

Fiddler Crab

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


Sleeps on just one leg!


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"

Freshwater Eel

Freshwater eels are actually catadromous, meaning they migrate to saltwater to spawn


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world


They make many sounds when trying to attract a mate.


Named for the Arabic word for love poems


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

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!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horned Viper

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.


The fly has no teeth


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.


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

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus


Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


While linnets are monogamous during mating season, they do not mate for life. While breeding pairs are together, the males are highly territorial and will defend the nesting site and the surrounding area.


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.


Macaque females will pass on their social rankings to their daughters


Will only live in wet areas


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day


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!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

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!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Northern Pintail

Northern pintails migrate at night with speeds reaching 48 miles per hour!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


Scientists once considered the Ornithocheirus an ancestor to modern birds

Ortolan Bunting

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!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees


This snake was as long as a school bus!


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!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puff Adder

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.

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 300 different species!


Omnivores that eat anything!

Red Deer

A male red deer shows his age in his antlers, which become longer and more branched every year.


They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


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!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Sand Cat

They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Sand Viper

Sand vipers are nuisance snakes in some areas.

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

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!


Sivatherium was a large giraffid and also one of the largest ruminants of all-time.

Skink Lizard

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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide

Song Thrush

A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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


The Spinosaurus is the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever discovered!


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


Some theropods had feathers and may have been ancestors of modern birds.

Thornback Ray

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

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


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!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.


They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.


There are around 75 different species!


The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!


The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Moroccan Animals List

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

Animals in Morocco FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Morocco?

Several species of birds, reptiles, insects, rodents, cats, dogs, working and farm animals (horses, sheep, goats, camels), as well as marine wildlife, live in Morocco.

What is the most dangerous animal in Morocco?

The most dangerous animal in Morocco is either of 4 of the most venomous snake species: Puff adder, Indian cobra, the Egyptian cobra, and the horned viper.

Do giraffes live in Morocco?

No. West African giraffes went extinct in the country in 600 CE due to the harsh Saharan climate.

Are there elephants in Morocco?

Yes, although there are only 3 in the country, Morocco has been listed as a habitat range state for West African elephants.

What wildlife live in the desert in Morocco?

The Fennec fox, single-humped camel (also called Arabian camel or dromedary), Dorcas gazelle, jerboa, desert hedgehog, Dab lizard and Berber skink are the most well-known desert fauna in Morocco.