Below you can find a complete list of Nigerian animals. We currently track 137 animals in Nigeria and are adding more every day!
Nigeria is a land of diverse ecosystems, including deserts, plains, swamps, mountains, and jungles. The third-largest river delta in the world is within its boundaries. Therefore, you can find many different forms of wildlife in Nigeria. There are over 22,000 vertebrate and invertebrate species, about 20,000 insect species, 1,000 bird species, 1,000 fish species, 247 mammals, and 123 reptile species in Nigeria. Yet, there are many threats to wildlife in Nigeria. At least 21 bird species may become extinct because workers cut down the forest to make more room for crops.
The Official National Animal of Nigeria
The official national animal of Nigeria is the eagle. You can see a red one on their national flag. The people of Nigeria believe that the eagle is a sign of great strength.
Some sources cite the black-crowned crane as the national animal. It is the national bird. Nigerians see these birds as signs of prosperity. There are two bird species of black-crowned cranes that live in Nigeria, with the subspecies on the western end being significantly threatened by loss of habitat.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Nigeria
There are many types of wild animals in Nigeria. Therefore, you may want to spend some time exploring the different ecosystems to see where they live before they become extinct. Additionally, there are many unique animals and birds that you can see in very few other places in the world. Consider:
- Cross River gorillas– Head to Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mbe Mountains, or the Okwangwo Division of Cross River National Park to see Cross River gorillas in their natural habitat.
- Forest elephants – These elephants live at five different sites in Southern Nigeria, including the Omo Forests in Ogun State, the Okomu National Park, the Cross River National Park, Idanre Forests and Osse River Park, and on Andoni Island.
- Savannah Elephants – See savannah elephants at Yankari National Park and the Yankari Game Reserve, but there are less than 500 remaining in the wild, so you might want to hurry.
- Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees – These are the most threatened and least distributed of all chimpanzees, and you can see these unique animals at Gashaka-Gumti National Park and Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve.
- African lions – Hear the roar of African lions at Yankari and Kainji-lake national parks before they go extinct.
- Niger Delta red colobus monkeys – There may be only about 200 of these monkeys left in the world. A conservatory opened in October 2020 at Apoi Creek Forest to protect the largest troop of Niger Delta red colobus monkeys from going extinct.
- Preuss’s red colobus monkeys – See these monkeys in Cross River National Park.
- Leopards – It can be challenging to see a leopard in Nigeria because they are very threatened, but cameras have spotted them in Kainji Lake National Park, Gashaka-Gumti National Park, and Yankari Game Reserve.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Nigeria Today
Most wild animals in Nigeria are perfectly safe. Those that are the most dangerous are often in remote areas where you may never encounter them as their numbers are often extremely threatened. Therefore, the most dangerous animals in Nigeria today include:
- Puff adder – This unique snake is the deadliest across Africa, with approximately 32,000 people dying across the continent yearly from its bite.
- Mosquitoes – Across Africa, approximately 1 million people die annually from a mosquito bite, and another 70 million get sick with malaria or yellow fever.
- Dogs – Rabies is a huge problem in Nigeria.
- Hippopotamuses – These mighty animals are very territorial. Across Africa, about 3,000 people are killed by them annually.
Endangered Animals in Nigeria
There are many endangered animals in Nigeria. Some are threatened everywhere in the world while others are more locally threatened. Across the country, important work is being done to protect animals. Some important endangered animals in Nigeria include:
- Northwestern African cheetah
- West African lion
- Dama gazelle
- Western gorilla
- Preuss’s monkey
- Pygmy hippopotamus
- Common chimpanzee
- West African wild dog
Nigerian Animals List
- African Bush Elephant
- African Civet
- African Clawed Frog
- African Palm Civet
- African Tree Toad
- African Wild Dog
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Cross River Gorilla
- Desert Locust
- Dwarf Crocodile
- Elephant Shrew
- Fruit Bat
- Giant African Land Snail
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Guinea Fowl
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Monitor Lizard
- Patas Monkey
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Rock Hyrax
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Nigeria FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are There Tigers in Nigeria?
No, there are no tigers in Nigeria. There have never been any tigers in Nigeria.
What is the most common animal in Nigeria?
The most common animal in Nigeria is domestic dogs. Domestic dogs who are native to Nigeria are called local dogs. Those that people have imported into the country are called foreign dogs. Some of the most common breeds in Nigeria include Rottweilers, German shepherds, Boerboels, and Caucasian shepherds. Often, those who are looking for a smaller domestic dog get a Lhasa apso.
What animals live in Nigeria?
Over 44,000 different types of animals live in Nigeria. Of those, about 50% are insects. Mammals, including great apes, hippopotamuses, and West African wild dogs are all found there. There are plenty of mammals to see, but many live in remote areas.
Are there lions in Nigeria?
While you could find lions across Northern Nigeria in the past, they have lost over 90% of their territory. Today, they live in Kainji Lake National Park and the Yankari Game Reserve. The decline in the number of natural prey by poaching is the primary cause. Agricultural expansion has also led more farmers to shoot or poison lions. There may be less than 100 lions between the two populations. Important work is going on there to try to protect these prides.