Below you can find a complete list of Moroccan animals. We currently track 121 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 Western Sahara. 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
The Barbary lion is the official national animal of Morocco, and it represents the Moroccan. 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 is extinct in the wild.
Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Morocco
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 the Crocodile Park. People taking desert tours are likely to see the Fennec fox, Dorcas gazelle, golden jackals, addax, gerbils, rodents, snakes, and lizards.
Generally, however, the top 10 wild fauna in Morocco are:
- Fennec fox, a fox noted for its huge ears and native to the Sahara desert
- Common gundi, a small rodent that lives in rocks
- Barbary ground squirrel, a small rodent that lives in burrows
- Sand cat, also called sand dune cat, a species that resembles the domestic cat but with a desert habitat
- Moorish wall gecko, also called European common gecko, crocodile gecko, Salamanquesa, and common gecko, found in urban areas
- Barbary sheep, a subspecies of the wild sheep
- Crested porcupine, a terrestrial animal
- Egyptian mongoose, a mongoose species that live in forests, scrubs and savannahs
- Barbary macaque, also called Barbary ape, an Old World true monkey with a variety of habitats
- 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
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.
Unusual Wildlife in Morocco
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.
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 smaller in size. Finally, the West African giraffe became extinct in 600 CE.
Endangered Wildlife In Morocco
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:
- Barbary macaque
- Barbary sheep
- Dorcas gazelle
- Spanish mole
- Western gerbil
- Common bent-wing bat
- Mediterranean monk seal
- Short-beaked common dolphin
- Sperm whale
Moroccan Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Desert Locust
- Elephant Shrew
- Fennec Fox
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Monarch Butterfly
- Monitor Lizard
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Puss Moth
- River Turtle
- Scimitar-horned Oryx
- Skink Lizard
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Morocco FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals 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.