Below you can find a complete list of Nigerien animals. We currently track 246 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.
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.
Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!
When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.
The males raise the young
Also known as the painted dog!
Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East
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
Can travel more than four miles a day!
Banana cinnamon ball pythons came from combining the banana and cinnamon genes.
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Detects prey using echolocation!
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
The bichir species is more than 400 million years old
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!
In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.
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.
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 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!
Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
Desert ghost ball pythons are even more beautiful when they're bred with another type like enchi ball pythons.
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
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
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!
The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.
A duck species that resembles a goose when flying
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 fastest creatures on the planet!
When it feels threatened, it mimics a cobra in an attempt to dissuade a potential attacker.
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
Found in the African Sahara Desert!
The fire ball python morph is known for its rich golden and reddish-brown coloration.
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!
Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"
Freeway ball pythons come from breeding yellow belly and asphalt ball pythons.
There are around 7,000 different species!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source
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
Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!
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!
Found in a vairety of African habitats!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
Unlike other animals that move towards the water source, hartebeests move to more arid locations after rainfall.
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!
Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
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.
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
Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten
The first two lavender albino ball pythons were wild-hatched and imported from Africa.
The lesser jacana is nomadic, often moving in search of temporary wetland habitats.
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
Lives in small groups called prides!
There are around 5,000 different species!
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
Will only live in wet areas
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Some species have a poisonous bite!
Instead of the typically banded or ‘alien head’ patterning of most ball python morphs, the Mojave morph’s patterning is characterized by lots of large, circular splotches with small, dark brown dots in their centers.
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
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!
Unlike other reptiles, the male Nile crocodile will stay with a female to guard their nest of eggs.
Nile perch will sometimes eat those within its own species
There are more than 5,000 species.
Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other
The "Orange Dream" name came from the idea that the morph would make its first breeder a million dollars.
Females are about four times the size of males
Males oribis spend most of their time patrolling the borders of their territories; they can do this about 16 times an hour! However, 27% of their day is spent grazing.
They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!
The largest bird in the world!
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
The panda pied ball python morph is a combination of the piebald and black pastel traits.
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!
The fastest species of primate in the world!
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.
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 300 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
Is the most populous bird in the world
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!
Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!
Rock pythons may have crossbred with the escaped Burmese pythons in Florida.
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.
Some of the largest moths in the world
Savannah monitors are one of the most popular lizards in captivity.
Aside from the ocular scales covering each of its eyes, the scaleless ball python's body is completely smooth.
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!
Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!
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 4,000 known species worldwide
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!
Spitting cobras are types of cobras that can spit venom at predators and prey.
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.
It walked on two legs and leaned forward
Sunset ball pythons are bred with several other morphs to get designer colors.
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!
Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live in the tropical regions of Africa.
Their name means “banana-eater,” but they rarely ever eat bananas.
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!
Warblers are so called because of the trills of their song.
Has two sets of tusks on it's face!
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!
The yellow belly gene is co-dominant and doesn't completely override other genes.
Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!
There are around 75 different species!
The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!
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Animals in Niger FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Niger?
Niger is home to a diverse range of different animals, including giraffes, monkeys, gazelles, crocodiles, snakes, spiders, scorpions, hyenas, and many birds.
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.