Below you can find a complete list of Moroccan animals. We currently track 232 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 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 has been 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 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
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:
- 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, is a species that resembles the domestic cat but with a desert habitat
- The Moorish wall gecko, also called the European common gecko, crocodile gecko, Salamanquesa, and the common gecko, is 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
- The Barbary macaque, also called the Barbary ape, is 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.
3 Rarest Animals in Morocco
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
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
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
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:
- Barbary macaque
- Barbary sheep
- Dorcas gazelle
- Spanish mole
- Western gerbil
- Common bent-wing bat
- Mediterranean monk seal
- Short-beaked common dolphin
- Sperm whale
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 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 List
- Admiral Butterfly
- American Cockroach
- Banana Spider
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Bearded Vulture
- Bed Bugs
- Beewolf wasp
- Biscuit Beetle
- Black Widow Spider
- Brazilian Treehopper
- Brown-banded Cockroach
- Brown Dog Tick
- Carpenter Ant
- Carpet Viper
- Codling Moth
- Common Buzzard
- Common Furniture Beetle
- Common House Spider
- Common Raven
- Crab Spider
- Desert Locust
- Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle
- Dog Tick
- Dung Beetle
- Egyptian Vulture
- Electric Catfish
- Elephant Shrew
- Eurasian Bullfinch
- Eurasian Jay
- European Bee-Eater
- European Goldfinch
- European Polecat
- European Robin
- False Widow Spider
- Fennec Fox
- Fiddler Crab
- Freshwater Eel
- Fruit Fly
- German Cockroach
- Glass Lizard
- Golden Eagle
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Gypsy Moth
- Hawk Moth Caterpillar
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Horned Viper
- Huntsman Spider
- Jack Crevalle
- Jumping Spider
- Mole Cricket
- Monarch Butterfly
- Monitor Lizard
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Ortolan Bunting
- Pantaloon Bee
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pompano Fish
- Praying Mantis
- Puff Adder
- Puss Moth
- Red Deer
- River Turtle
- Sable Ferret
- Sand Cat
- Sand Crab
- Sand Viper
- Scimitar-horned Oryx
- Sea Eagle
- Short-Eared Owl
- Skink Lizard
- Smokybrown Cockroach
- Song Thrush
- Spider Wasp
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Swallowtail Butterfly
- Tarantula Hawk
- Thornback Ray
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- White Ferret / Albino Ferrets
- Wolf Spider
- Woodlouse Spider
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.