Wildlife in Morocco. Morocco has a wide variety of native and introduced animals, but it doesn’t have any big ones. The coast and the Rif Mountains have a Mediterranean climate, while the Atlas Mountains and Western Sahara have a dry climate. There have been records of 490 species of birds, more than 90 species of reptiles, more than 20 species of bats, 12 species of whales and dolphins, and 105 species of mammals in its 40 ecosystems.
The Barbary lion is Morocco’s official national animal, and it represents the Moroccan. It is often shown wearing clothes in the colors of the Moroccan flag, and the shield on the Moroccan coat of arms is held up by two lions.
The Barbary lion, also known as the Atlas or Nubian lion, is native to Morocco’s Atlas and Rif mountains, as well as the forests of Algeria and Tunisia. Unfortunately, this species has been extinct in the wild since the last Barbary lion was killed in 1922.
Where Can You Find Wildlife in Morocco?
Wildlife in Morocco is comprised of those species native to the country or to North Africa, and they are mostly terrestrial forest and desert dwellers. Because of the harsh climate, the government protects its many ecosystems through public access to national parks, national reserves, sanctuaries, lakes, and other nature and wildlife areas.
Toubkal National Park near Marrakesh is the oldest and most visited park. In Rabat, Parc Zoologique National has a breeding program for the nearly extinct Barbary lion. Crocodile Park is where you can see Nile crocodiles. The Fennec fox, Dorcas gazelle, golden jackals, addax, gerbils, rats, snakes, and lizards are likely to be seen on desert tours.
Morocco’s Top 11 Animals ( Wildlife in Morocco)
Morocco is home to numerous animal species, both wild and domesticated. Camels, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, and mules are the most common species. The country is also home to hyenas, jackals, foxes, and many types of birds, such as eagles and storks.
Many of these animals can be seen roaming the countryside in large herds or in smaller groups near villages and towns. In addition to these land animals, several marine species, including tuna fish, sea turtles, and dolphins, live in Morocco’s coastal waters. Whales have even been spotted off the coast in some cases!
However, the top 11 wild fauna in Morocco are:
1. Fennec fox.
The Fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small fox that only comes out at night. It lives in the Sahara Desert in North Africa. They are easy to spot because of their big ears, which they use to cool off and find food underground. Fennec foxes are the smallest of the fox species, weighing only 2–3 pounds (0.9–1.4 kg) and measuring 8–16 inches (20–40 cm) in length.
Fennec foxes are well-suited to their desert home. They have thick fur on their paws, which lets them walk on hot sand without getting burned. Moreover, they can go for long periods without water. They eat many different things, including insects, small mammals, birds, and plants.
Fennec foxes are popular exotic pets, but due to their specialized needs and the fact that they are wild animals, they are not recommended for most people. They are also protected by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and trading them without proper permits is illegal. The Fennec fox is native to the Sahara Desert of Morocco.
2. Common gundi, a small rodent that lives in rocks
The common gundi, also known as the North African gundi or gundi rat, is a small rodent native to North Africa’s rocky desert areas. They can be found in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, among other places.
The body of the gundi is plump, with short legs and a short tail. They have a unique round head, large ears, and dark eyes. Their fur is typically sandy brown with a white belly. They can reach a length of 25 centimeters (10 inches) and a weight of 300 grams (10 ounces).
The gundi’s teeth are one of their most distinguishing characteristics. They, like other rodents, have four large incisors that are constantly growing. The gundi’s front teeth are not smooth like those of other rodents. This lets it chew on tough, fibrous plants.
Gundis are social animals that frequently live in groups of up to 15 individuals. They are primarily herbivorous, consuming leaves, stems, and seeds. During the day, they are active and spend the majority of their time in and around their rocky burrows, which provide shelter from the hot desert sun.
Gundis are common species in their native range, but they are not often kept as pets. They are hard to keep under control and need special care because of how they eat and where they live. Gundis are also protected by law in some places because they are important to the ecosystem and have cultural meaning.
3. Barbary ground squirrel
The Barbary ground squirrel, also known as Atlantoxerus getulus, is a ground squirrel species native to North Africa. They are small rodents that average 20 to 30 cm in length and 200 to 300 grams in weight.
Barbary ground squirrels have sandy brown fur on their backs and white fur on their bellies. They also have a black stripe that runs down the middle of their backs. They are active during the day and spend much of their time foraging for food, which includes seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects.
These squirrels can live in cities and can also be found in rocky areas, scrublands, and forests, among other places. They are social animals that communicate through vocalizations and body language in groups of up to 20 individuals.
The Barbary ground squirrel is not on the list of endangered species, but its habitat is being destroyed and broken up by people. It is also sometimes kept as a pet, which is usually not a good idea because it can cause problems for the animal’s health.
4. Sand cat (Sand Dune Cat)
The sand cat, also known as the sand dune cat, is a small wild cat found in North Africa and Southwest Asia’s Sahara desert regions. Felis margarita is its scientific name, and it belongs to the Felidae family.
Sand cats are used to living in dry places and are known for being able to stay alive in hot weather. They have a thick, sandy-colored fur coat that helps them blend in with their desert surroundings. Cats are also easy to spot because of their big ears, which help them find prey and get around.
Sand cats are mostly nocturnal hunters that eat small animals, birds, and insects, among other things. Aside from when it’s time to mate, they live alone and spend the day in burrows or other underground shelters to stay cool.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that sand cats are almost extinct because they are losing and degrading their habitats and are being killed for their fur and because they are pests. Conservation efforts to protect sand cat populations and their habitat are ongoing.
5. The Moorish wall gecko (the European common gecko, the crocodile gecko, and Salamanquesa).
Tarentola mauritanica is a type of gecko that lives in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. It is also called the Moorish wall gecko. It is common in Morocco and other countries in the region, including Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
The Moorish wall gecko is a nocturnal lizard that lives on rocky terrain such as cliffs, walls, and buildings. It has a flat body and wide, sticky-padbed toes, which make it easy for it to climb up walls. The gecko is usually gray or brown with a mottled pattern and can grow to be up to 15 centimeters long.
This gecko eats a wide range of things, from fruits and nectar to insects, spiders, and other small bugs. It is also a popular prey item for birds of prey and snakes.
But populations of these geckos have been going down in some places because their habitats have been destroyed or broken up and because non-native species have been introduced. It is a species of the least concern, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
6. Barbary sheep
Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), also known as aoudad, is a type of wild sheep found in North Africa, including Morocco. They are good at living in dry and mountainous places, and their climbing skills are well known.
Barbary sheep have a unique look, with a shaggy, reddish-brown coat and long, curved horns that can reach 30 inches in length on males. They are herbivorous, feeding on plants such as grasses, shrubs, and cacti.
Barbary sheep can be found in several mountainous regions of Morocco, including the High Atlas, Middle Atlas, and Anti-Atlas. They can also be found in other parts of North Africa, as well as in Texas and New Mexico in the United States, where they were introduced as game animals.
Barbary sheep are hunted for sport or for their meat on occasion, but they are also protected in many areas. In Morocco, they are listed as a species that is in danger of going extinct, and people are working to protect their populations.
7. Crested porcupine, a terrestrial animal
The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a large rodent found in Morocco and other parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe. It is the largest porcupine species, reaching lengths of up to 90 cm (35 inches) and weighing up to 30 kg (66 pounds).
In Morocco, you can find crested porcupines in places like forests, scrublands, and rocky areas. They are primarily nocturnal and spend their days in burrows that they dig or that other animals take over. They venture out at night to feed on a variety of plant materials, such as roots, fruits, and leaves.
Crested porcupines get their name from the large, crest-like quill mane that runs down their back. These quills are actually hairs that have been changed and grown into the animal’s skin. When the animal feels threatened, it can raise these hairs. In addition to their quills, crested porcupines also have very strong front teeth that they use to dig burrows and defend themselves against predators.
Although crested porcupines are usually solitary creatures, they can form family groups of a male, a female, and their offspring. Females give birth to one or two babies after about 100 days of pregnancy, and mating can happen at any time of the year.
Even though they are sometimes hunted for their meat and quills, crowned porcupines are not considered endangered in Morocco. They are also sometimes considered pests because they can harm crops and gardens. But they are important to their ecosystems because they spread seeds and feed predators like lions, hyenas, and leopards.
8. Egyptian mongoose
Even though the Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) is not native to Morocco, it was brought there and is now considered an invasive species. The mongooses was brought to Morocco in the early 1900s to control the number of rats, but it quickly spread and can now be found all over the country.
The Egyptian mongoose is a carnivorous mammal that eats insects, birds, reptiles, and small mammals like rodents. It lives alone and is most active during the day. It is known for being agile and having quick reactions.
While the introduction of the mongoose to Morocco was done with good intentions, it has had a negative impact on the country’s native wildlife. The mongoose eats a wide range of small animals, including birds and reptiles. It competes with native predators like foxes and owls for food and other resources. The mongoose has also been linked to the transmission of diseases to other animals.
Because the Egyptian mongoose is so adaptable and lives in many places, it is hard to stop it from spreading in Morocco.
9. The Barbary macaque
The Barbary macaque, also known as the Barbary ape or magot, is a macaque species native to North Africa and the only macaque found outside of Asia. The latter lives most of the time in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria, but it can also be found in Gibraltar. The Moors brought it there when they ruled the Iberian Peninsula.
With a long, furry tail and a darkly furred body surrounding their light-colored face, barbary macaques have a distinctive appearance. They are social animals that live in large groups of up to 100 individuals. Barbary macaques form strong social bonds within these troops and engage in a variety of behaviors such as grooming, play, and social grooming.
Barbary macaques are omnivores, which means that they eat many different things, like fruits, nuts, seeds, insects, and small animals. They have also been known to steal crops and gardens, which has led to fights with people in some places.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has put barbary macaques on its list of endangered species because their numbers are falling because their habitat is being destroyed, it is being broken up, and people are killing them. Conservation efforts are being made to protect and improve their habitat and stop the population from falling even more.
10. North African hedgehog
The Algerian hedgehog is a type of hedgehog that lives in North Africa, including Morocco. It is also called the North African hedgehog. These hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals that thrive in arid and semi-arid environments.
In Morocco, you can find North African hedgehogs in places like scrublands, grasslands, and forests. They are nocturnal animals that come out of their burrows at night to hunt for food. Insects, small invertebrates, and occasionally small vertebrates make up their diet.
North African hedgehogs are solitary creatures that are most active during the summer months. When threatened, they are known for their ability to roll into a tight ball, which protects them from predators.
Even though the North African hedgehog is not thought to be in danger of going extinct, its habitat is being lost and broken up because of human development and agricultural growth. agricultural growth.
They are also occasionally hunted for their meat or used as a source of traditional medicine. Morocco has conservation efforts in place to protect their habitats and populations. In some parts of Morocco, hedgehogs are considered warriors because people pet them to eat scorpions that would hurt their kids.
11. The African golden wolf
The African golden wolf is a canid species found in several North and East African countries, including Morocco. It is also known as “thaleb” or “adroub” in Arabic and “loup doré” in French in Morocco.
The African golden wolf is a small canid species that lives in savanna and desert areas. It weighs between 7 and 15 kg. They can be found in a variety of habitats in Morocco, including the Atlas Mountains, the Rif Mountains, and the Saharan desert.
In Morocco, the African golden wolf is a threatened species because its habitat is being destroyed. Because people hunt them and hurt them. Hybridization with domestic dogs is also a threat to the species because it can result in genetic contamination and the loss of genetic diversity.
Habitat protection, community education programs, and law enforcement against illegal hunting and trade are all part of Morocco’s conservation efforts for the African golden wolf. To make sure this species will live on in Morocco and the rest of its range for a long time, however, more research and conservation efforts are needed.
Today’s Most Dangerous Wildlife in Morocco
Scorpions: Every year, 30,000 people are bitten by scorpions, and 3.8% of them die, mostly in Marrakesh. 22 of the 50 species are venomous.
Snakes: The puff adder, Indian cobra, Egyptian cobra, and horned viper are the most poisonous of the country’s 200 poisonous snake species. Their bites can cause paralysis or death, and hundreds of snakebites are reported every year.
The flic-Flac spider is a type of huntsman spider that lives in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Its bite is infectious, but it is not lethal.
Palm rats, also known as black rats or roof rats, live in and around palm trees and transmit diseases. It can also attack humans.
The African golden wolf is a new canine species that lives in the Atlas Mountains and feeds on large mammals.
Striped hyena: Also known as the Barbary hyena, it feeds on leftovers as well as fruits and vegetables.
6. Rarest animals in Morocco ( Wildlife in Morocco)
These are just a few of Morocco’s many endangered wildlife species. Conservation efforts, such as habitat protection, anti-poaching measures, and education, are critical to these species’ survival. Some of the endangered or extinct animals,
1. The Saharan cheetah
The Saharan cheetah is a subspecies of the cheetah that lives in Morocco’s Sahara desert. Because of habitat loss and hunting, they are considered critically endangered.
2. The Northern Bald Ibis
The Northern Bald Ibis is a bird that is indigenous to Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Because of habitat loss and hunting, they are considered critically endangered.
3. Atlas Bear.
The Atlas bear was a subspecies of the brown bear that lived in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The Atlas bear is no longer around because it was hunted and its habitat was destroyed.
4. Moroccan spiny-tailed lizard:
4. Moroccan spiny-tailed lizard
Morocco and other parts of North Africa are home to the Moroccan spiny-tailed lizard. Because of habitat loss and hunting, they are considered endangered.
5. Cuvier’s gazelle.
Cuvier’s gazelle, or Gazella Cuvieri, is a small antelope that lives in the dry parts of North Africa, especially in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The Cuvier’s gazelle is found in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and Saharan regions, including Western Sahara.
The number of Cuvier’s gazelles is going down because people destroy their habitat, as well as they hunt them. Moreover, they have to compete with domestic livestock. Morocco is working to protect this species by setting up protected areas and reintroduction programs in the right places for them to live.
The Cuvier’s gazelle is protected in Morocco under both national and international laws, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Moroccan government has also taken steps to protect the environment. For example, it set up the Toubkal National Park, which is a safe place for the Cuvier’s gazelle. There are other species that are in danger of going extinct.
Despite these efforts, the Cuvier’s gazelle is still on the verge of extinction. To make sure this iconic North African species doesn’t go extinct, conservation efforts like restoring habitat, taking steps to stop poaching, and educating and getting the community involved are needed.
The Addax is a critically endangered antelope species found in Morocco, Algeria, and Niger’s Sahara Desert. Significant threats to their survival include habitat loss, hunting, and climate change.