animals of Morocco Sahara desert

Animals of Morocco Sahara desert

2 days Sahara desert tour

The Animal’s life in Morocco is varied as the scenery, climate, and landscape. In the Moroccan Sahara desert, there are plants and trees. Animals that are adapted to this unique environment of the harsh terrains, of less rain (annual 100mm or even less), over 50° degrees of summer, and very cold nights in Winter. This unique wild Morocco created an exception for Animals Unique to Sahara desert Environment. Some of these desert Moroccan animals are totally wild and on the way to extinction animals. It’s not always possible to observe this unique Moroccan desert Fauna.

In addition to the Camels dromedaries that are everywhere in the Sahara dunes, Probably it’s an opportunity to ride one during The Sahara desert tours in Morocco, there is surprisingly rich Sahara desert Fauna that you can’t always see but still live around the dunes of the Moroccan Sahara desert such as in Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga dunes.

We think the best way to observe the wild animals in the Sahara desert is by walking or Sahara camel trekking. If you have decided to spend more time in the Sahara desert during your green travel vacation in Morocco, sharpen your eyes and don’t hesitate to ask your guide to stop for you if there is an animal around.

Animals commonly easy to observe during the  Morocco desert tour:

Camel Dromedary:  Probably it is the national animal of Morocco, Known also as the camel with one hump, This amazing animal used to be the main animal used for transportation in the Desert for centuries, they are an amazing animal that can stay without water for a few days, making it the best animal that can serve the hash of the desert. Nowadays during Morocco desert tours, Riding camels is one of the activities offered.

Beetles:  Have you Seen a track in the sand? it’s mostly to be the track of this small animal that wanders everywhere around the sand dunes. Beetles exist in huge numbers in the Sahara wildlife. Whatever the desert trip you took to Erg Chebbi, beetles are commonly observed in Moroccan dunes. 

Barbary ground squirrel: The only species that live in North Africa, its habitat is the rocky grounds, so you can find it in the Anti Atlas mountain and small rocky oasis in the Sahara. the major diet for this type of squirrel is seeds and fruits especially almonds and Argan

Moroccan spiny-tailed lizard desert: known also as Uromastyx, this type of Lizard lives in big numbers in the southeast of Morocco, they are primarily herbivorous, but occasionally eat insects and other small animals. Uromastyx is easy to observe in the Sahara region as they tend to establish themselves in a hilly, rocky area basking in the sun during spring and summertime.

Like Many reptiles, this lizard’s color change according to the temperature, during cool weather they appear dull and dark, but the color becomes lighter( green and orange sometimes) in warm weather.

Animals are rare to observe yet they live in the Sahara desert:

Fennec/ desert fox:  Qrchan in Amazigh language, Desert fox Moves only during the night, this cute Animal lives in several parts of the Sahara desert of Morocco, they tend to move more during the night which makes them hard to be seen. The desert fox in Morocco has a cream-colored coat that deflects solar rays. The fennec lives underground, feeding on bugs, reptiles, and small mammals.

However, often in Erg Chebbi, kids keep them as pets which can be an opportunity to see them during your Sahara desert tour.

Saharan striped polecat: Known also as the Saharan striped weasel, Locals in the Moroccan desert call it Tadghagha. It’s hard to believe that this animal can live in such a desertic environment, but is on the top list of animals in danger of extinction their number is decreasing. Striped polecats are one of the African Nocturna that become rare to observe. 

The Saharan striped polecat lives on the margins of deserts, especially in mountains, in arid, stony terrain and sandy semi-deserts, rarely in woodlands, and prefers steppe-like habitat.

The Berber skink (Sandfish): known also as sandfish Due to its amazing ability to move inside the sand dunes, in a swimming-like fashion, most of the locals in the desert call it Tashershmant. This Desert small animal is easy to observe once you are walking in the sand for a few hours.

Saharan Horned viper Snake: One of the most venomous snakes in the Sahara, they are short ( 30-60cm) and tend to bury themselves in the sand, to protect themselves from the heat and ambush their prey of lizards and small mammals. They typically move to sidewind, when it’s threatened they may produce a sound just by making their coils together. Like most snakes, The desert horned snake tends to have the same color as where it’s found. They tend to Move at night during Spring and summer.

Desert Mice /known locally as Idwi or Jerboa:  One of the most spreading Mice in the Sand dunes of Morocco, looks like Miniature kangaroos, they have long tile, short front legs, and long hind legs. These are not the only similarities that Jarboas and Kangaroos share, they also move the same way, hopping and Saltation. During the day they shelter in the burrows, while they are mostly active at night. These are kinds of animals that are very common to observe while trekking in Chegaga Dunes in the south of Morocco as well as in Erg Chebbi.

Desert Hedgehog:  One of the mammals of the Sahara desert of Morocco, Known as the smallest among hedgehogs, it is around 140-280 Cm (5,5 to 11 inches). They are globally not threatened animals, although road traffic is believed to decrease the number of hedgehogs in some regions.

The female hedgehog gives birth to up to 6 young, they are born deaf and bling, their quills under their skin to prevent damage to the female during the birth. The quills emerged within a few hours of the birth, while their eyes take around 20 days to be opened. Saharan Hedgehog is an animal that moves only at night, rare to observe in the Sahara desert.

Desert monitor lizard: One of the unique wild animals in the Sahara desert region, one of the most endangered animals in the Sahara of Morocco. They are an average of 1-2 Meters in length, with a coloration of grey to brightly colored orange.

Sand Cat ( Felis Margarita):

A unique species of cat found in Morocco’s dry regions, especially the Sahara Desert, is the Sand Cat (Felis margarita). This small and elusive cat has evolved specially to withstand the harsh circumstances of the desert.

This is a nocturnal animal that leads a solitary and nomadic life, going out in the dark to hunt insects, small mammals, and birds. The Sand Cat’s furry paws have two functions: they shield its feet from the scorching desert sand and act as insulation from the chilly weather. Morocco is working to conserve the Sand Cat’s natural habitat in order to preserve this distinctive and significant part of the nation’s biodiversity. An optimistic outlook for the survival of this amazing desert-adapted feline in Morocco and abroad is fostered by research and activities aimed at better understanding the ecology and behavior of the Sand Cat.

List of  other Endangered animals in Morocco:

We have mentioned above some of our favorite animals that live in the Sahara desert of Morocco. Some of them are really Endangered. However, we can not mention all of the rich fauna of the Sahara, but we want to give travelers to Morocco a list of Endangered animals in Morocco and help them to be aware of how the wildlife in Morocco. This last really needs to be saved and protected. Due to the climate change that affected the global, overgrazing and overhunting Certainly, the wildlife Animals of the Morocco Sahara desert as well as in the Atlas mountains decreasing year after another. Here are some other Animals that mostly are Endangered.

  • Desert cat Endangered Morocco Animals
  • African golden wolf
  • Gazelles
  • Palm rats
  • Rabbits
  • Barbary Apes
  • Genets ( they live mostly in the Atlas mountains )
  • Elephant shrew
  • Golden Jackal
  • Berber toad
  • Chameleon


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