Below you can find a complete list of Moroccan animals. We currently track 219 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:
The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.
This dog has a thick coat of fur despite its origins in Morocco, a country known for its hot temperatures.
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!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
These birds eat a diet of bones
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
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!
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 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.
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
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.
A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.
There are nearly 1.5 million 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!
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators
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
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!
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 shy eurasian bullfinch prefers to forage very close to cover.
The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds
They can eat up to 250 bees per day!
They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.
Its fur changes color in the winter!
Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
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!
There are 12 different species in the world!
Freshwater eels are actually catadromous, meaning they migrate to saltwater to spawn
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!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 40 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!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
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
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!
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!
Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.
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!
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!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
There are more than 5,000 species.
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!
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.
Caterpillars squirt formic acid!
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 50 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
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!
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!
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
Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!
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!
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 3,000 known species worldwide
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!
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!
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.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
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!
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!
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.
There are around 75 different species!
The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!
Moroccan Animals List
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.