Below you can find a complete list of Nigerien animals. We currently track 127 animals in Niger and are adding more every day!
Niger is a landlocked country in the middle of Western Africa, surrounded by Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali. More than 80% of the country is covered by the Sahel and the Sahara Desert, where the temperature can easily exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Other important landmarks include the Air Mountains in the center of the country and the lush Niger River in the southwest. Despite the relative inhospitality of the desert, Niger is home to some of the most recognizable wildlife on the planet.
The Official National (State) Animal of Niger
Niger does not have an official national animal. The dama gazelle is the closest thing it has to a national animal symbol.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Niger
Niger is home to several national parks and reserves that teem with interesting and unique wildlife. Here’s a list of them.
- The W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is a transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site that traces a path along the Niger River through the borders of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The W National Park, which covers Niger specifically, is home to a rich array of animals, including common hippos, leopards, lions, warthogs, cheetahs, caracals, baboons, buffalos, and aardvarks.
- The Tamou Reserve adjoins the W National Park in the southwest. Its primary purpose is to protect African elephants that wander through the region.
- The Gadabedji Reserve, located near the center of the country in the transition zone between the Sahara and the Sahel, contains a vast region of savannas, pits, and sand dunes. Some of the notable animals you can find here include gazelles, pale foxes, ostriches, and golden jackals.
- The Aïr and Ténéré National Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the northwest of Niger. Encompassing the Air Mountains and Ténéré Desert, it is one of the largest nature reserves in the world and an important refuge for birds.
- Finally, the Termit Massif Reserve, located in the southeast, is the single largest protected area in all of Africa. It is home to around 30 species of mammals, including antelopes, cheetahs, foxes, cats, and wolves, plus another 150 species of birds. Some of these species are rare and completely unique to the region.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Niger Today
Niger is home to several dangerous predators, venomous snakes, and other large animals that may pose a risk to human life. Here’s a small list of them.
- Nile Crocodile – As the largest freshwater reptile in the world, the Nile crocodile is responsible for hundreds of attacks on people every year. However, this dangerous animal can only be found in the far south of the country.
- African Lions – If given the choice, a healthy lion would rarely attack people. Only a small number are responsible for the vast majority of attacks. Experts speculate that lions attack people because their normal prey animals are depleted or because the oldest and sickest members of the species are too weak to catch anything else.
- Common Hippopotamus – Despite being herbivorous, the common hippopotamus is a 3,000-pound behemoth with an aggressive attitude. It will attack anyone who wanders into its territory. In one incident, the hippo capsized a Niger boat, killing several people.
- Puff Adder – While the puff adder does not have the strongest venom, it does cause more deaths per year than any other snakes in Africa, mostly because of its tendency to sit camouflaged on footpaths, where people can accidentally step on it. The venom itself can cause pain, bleeding, swelling, weakness, vomiting, and hemorrhaging. Death can result from poor treatment.
Endangered Animals in Niger
This region of Africa contains some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. But without stronger efforts to curb the rampant poaching and habitat destruction, many of these species are in danger of becoming extinct.
- Northwest African Cheetah – This endangered subspecies of the cheetah is currently threatened by habitat loss from agriculture and industry. It can be identified by the smaller body and a shorter, whiter coat compared to most other cheetah subspecies.
- Addax – Also known as the white antelope or the screwhorn antelope, the addax is a hoofed antelope that’s native to the Saharan Desert. Their numbers have fallen drastically since the 19th century from overhunting and poaching. Fewer than a hundred remain in the wild.
- West African Giraffe – This subspecies of the giraffe is in danger of becoming extinct. Only about 400 to 600 of them remain in the wild, up from a low of about 50 in the 1990s. The last self-sustaining herd currently occupies the southwest area of Niger.
- African Manatee – A native of the Niger River, the African manatee is currently classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List. It is threatened by hunting, poaching, and accidental entanglement in fishing nets. The Niger River will also sometimes dry up at certain times of the year, causing the manatee to starve.
- Egyptian Vulture – These large endangered birds have a wide distribution across parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia. But the combined effect of hunting, intentional poisoning, pesticide use, and collisions with power lines has decimated numbers in many areas, nearly causing it to become extinct.
Nigerien Animals List
- African Civet
- African Wild Dog
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Desert Locust
- Elephant Shrew
- Fennec Fox
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Guinea Fowl
- Honey Bee
- Monitor Lizard
- Patas Monkey
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Rock Hyrax
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Niger FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Niger?
What is the national animal of Niger?
Niger does not have an official national animal.
Are there lions in Niger?
Yes, the lion is native to the southern part of Niger.
Are there tigers in Niger?
No, tigers are only found in Asia.
Are there giraffes in Niger?
Yes, Niger has a small population of the West African giraffe subspecies in the southwest of the country. It is characterized by lighter-colored spots.