Below you can find a complete list of Somali animals. We currently track 226 animals in Somalia and are adding more every day!
Somalia straddles both the temperate and tropical zones of the Horn of Africa and has nearly 2,000 miles of coastline fronting the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. This highly varied climate and topography have made the country home to an abundant and diverse population of wildlife that includes lions, reticulated giraffes, cheetahs, baboons, elephants, and gazelles. Somalia’s most famous reptile is probably the Nile crocodile but other reptiles unique to Somalia include the Somali sand boa and the saw-scaled viper.
All told, Somalia boasts 177 species of mammals, 235 reptile species, and 727 bird species. Seven mammals, including the Somali elephant shrew and the silver dik-dik are endemic. War and poaching have taken a tremendous toll on Somali wildlife populations. Since the start of the Somali civil war in the 1990s, many animals have fled to safety across the border into Kenya.
The Official National Animal of Somalia
Somalia’s official national animal is the leopard ( Panthera pardus), a big cat species with a distinctive spotted coat. Leopards are not unique to Somalia; they’re found throughout many parts of the world from sub-Saharan Africa to India and China. Though they’re large animals that can weigh up to 200 pounds, leopards are actually the smallest of the big cats.
Somalian leopards are markedly smaller than leopards found in other locales. It’s not known how many leopards still survive in Somalia; they are poached for their bones and their internal organs as well as for their beautiful fur.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Somalia
Somali wildlife was once distributed throughout every region of the country but poaching and wholesale destruction of animal habitats in the north has decimated the populations of giraffes, zebras, oryx, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, and elephants that used to live there. A few national parks were established in the 1980s but since the collapse of a unified national government in 1991, these preserves have been neglected. They still exist, however, and animals that have become extinct in other parts of Somalia may still be sighted there.
- Daallo Mountain: Daallo Mountain National Park lies in the mountainous region overlooking the Gulf of Aden. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the area has been affected by a serious drought. Among the animals to be found in this park are kudu, warthogs, antelopes, and Somali sheep. You’ll also find lions and leopards in this park although these big cat populations are threatened by poachers.
- Lag Badana National Park: Lag Badana National Park lies along Somalia’s Indian Ocean coastline. Animals such as monkeys, foxes, and hyenas, and birds such as the dik-dik speke and the endemic obbia lark can be found in this park.
- Kismayo National Park: Unfortunately, Kismayo National Park on Somalia’s southern coast, lies close to the center of some of the worst fighting in Somalia, which makes wildlife management problematic. The Somali Blackhead, a sheep with a unique appearance that’s native to Somalia, roams wild throughout the park. Lions, zebras, and wild boars can also be found there.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Somalia Today
The list of dangerous animals living in Somalia is long. Though lions don’t typically attack human beings, they do go after humans upon occasion, particularly as a means of protecting and defending their territory. Nile crocodiles have vice-like jaws, which they use to attack fisherman or humans collecting food by the shores of the river.
Male elephants can be very aggressive, and since they can weigh more than 1,500 pounds, an elephant kick can be fatal. Hippopotamuses are also very aggressive though they spend up to 16 hours a day, resting peacefully underwater.
The most dangerous animals living in Somalia today, though, are undoubtedly human beings. Whether they’re militia members battling for ascendency in the southern regions of Kismayo and the Juba Valley, or poachers stalking elephants and endangered hippos for ivory, human beings present the greatest threat to the wellbeing of Somali animals as well as to other human beings.
Endangered Animals In Somalia
Many Somalian mammals are at risk for becoming extinct. The list of Somalia’s endangered animals can be divided into three categories. Critically endangered species (CR) are at high risk of becoming extinct while endangered animals (EN) may face extinction in the near future. Vulnerable animals (VU) are animals whose populations have seen a reduction of at least 20 percent within the last 10 years.
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws
The African bullfrog is one of only three species of frog that have “teeth.”
Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!
African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles
The males raise the young
Also known as the painted dog!
The agama forms small social groups that contain both dominant and subordinate males.
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!
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!
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
Black mambas are the longest venomous snake in Africa, and second longest in the world.
They typically prey on insects!
The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.
Females glue egg cases to furniture
Can live its entire life indoors
Has no real natural predators!
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
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.
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.
A dik-dik is named after a sound it makes when it is frightened
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!
A duck species that resembles a goose when flying
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!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
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!
There are around 7,000 different species!
Among the largest bats in the world
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!
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
Male grey herons are picky about their mates. They'll reject a female that they don't fancy.
Found in a vairety of African habitats!
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!
Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!
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
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
A popular pet snake that comes in dozens of morphs!
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!
It's easily identified by its crest, large size, and wingspan
Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!
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
Spends much of the time high in the trees!
The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!
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!
The marabou stork does not have a voice box.
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!
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!
Naked mole rats don’t get cancer
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.
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.
The largest bird in the world!
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.
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 50 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
Is the most populous bird in the world
Scientists believe that the red spitting cobra evolved from injecting venom to spitting it in response to the constant threat of early humans
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!
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.
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
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 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
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
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!
Because of their unique venom delivery system, stiletto snakes are almost impossible to hold safely in the usual way (with fingers behind the head) without being bitten.
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.
Some cultures in Africa believe the sulcata tortoise is an intermediary between the people and their ancestors and gods.
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.
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!
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!
Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
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!
Somali Animals List
Animals in Somalia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals are native to Somalia?
Animals that are native to Somalia include lions, giraffes, cheetahs, baboons, and several different species of gazelles. Though many of the mammals and birds that live in Somalia can also be found elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, a few species are endemic to Somalia. This list includes the Somali hedgehog, two species of antelopes called dik-diks, and several species of gerbil.
Are there hyenas in Somalia?
Hyenas can be found in the southern regions of Somalia.
Are there hippos in Somalia?
Hippos can still be found in Somalia though their numbers have declined rapidly due to habitat loss and ivory poaching.
Do cheetahs live in Somalia?
The Northeast African cheetah could be found in Somalia as recently as 2007, but it’s not known how many of these animals survive there today.