Animals in Danger of Extinction in Africa


Of all the animals that we can find in danger of extinction in Africa, undoubtedly, the longest part of the list is that occupied by mammals.

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This is because they are large animal species, which means that, after centuries of hunting and persecution, their populations have been savagely reduced. In addition, although many of these animals are now protected, poaching is still one of the most dangerous threats they face.

White rhinoceros

Despite its name, it is a grayish or pale rhinoceros that occupies the southern part of Africa and some Central African regions located in southern Sudan. It is an animal that has been persecuted as a trophy by hunters for centuries. In addition, we must add the high value that has been paid for their horns, which, according to some superstitions, were credited with magical healing powers.

African elephant

This animal has the privilege of being the largest living terrestrial animal. It differs from the Asian elephant in that it is larger and in that it has bigger ears and fangs. Precisely, hunters have persecuted them for centuries for their fangs, which, once they are plucked from the corpse of the elephant, are traded as ivory, a very expensive material and, nowadays, illegal unless they are pieces prior to most of current legislation on artistic heritage. However, despite this, there is still a black market that trades with the tusks of elephants and that is the main threat that these magnificent animals have to face.

Wild donkey

Although it is not one of the most known animals like many other animals that live in the African savanna, it is one of the most endangered. In fact, it is a species cataloged in critical danger, since the number of copies is very small and its reproduction complicated. Currently, it can only be found in a small region of Ethiopia and Eritrea, east of the African continent.

Pygmy Hippopotamus

It is a species of hippopotamus that is located in the regions near the Gulf of Guinea. However, although the habitat was quite large, at present, the number of specimens does not exceed 3,000, which means that it is classified as an endangered species.


This feline has the record of being the fastest land animal that exists. Its distribution can be found both in regions of Africa and in some areas of the Asian continent. However, due to the hunting and destruction of its habitat, the cheetah is currently listed as an endangered species.


There are four different species of chimpanzees and all four are threatened. The main cause of this situation is due to the destruction of their habitat, the jungle, which is burned to become fields of cultivation. The last populations are found both in central Africa and in the westernmost part of the Gulf of Guinea.


In this case, we find a species that is threatened by the same causes as chimpanzees, since they share many of their spaces, as well as the threats they face. Currently, gorillas can only be found in the wild in some regions of central Africa, especially in the Congo area.


This is the animal that has recently joined this sad list. The reason is that in 30 years its population has decreased by more than 40% and the experts, seeing that their tendency for years is that the population decreases more, they have cataloged it as an endangered species.

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African reptiles in danger of extinction

Although mammals are the most numerous animals at the time of occupying the lists of animals in danger of extinction, there are several cases of other types of animals, for example as is the case of reptiles, who also share this sad situation . These are some of the reptiles that are endangered in Africa:

Blind snake

It is a reptile that can be found in different places on the planet, including the African continent. However, it is one of the reptiles that is in danger of extinction, although it is classified as in a situation of lesser danger.

Giant lizard from El Hierro

This reptile is native to the Isla del Hierro (Canary Islands), so although it is politically Spain and therefore Europe, its habitat is on the African continent as these islands are at the level of Morocco and Western Sahara. This species is in critical danger due to the persecution to which it has been subjected over the centuries. Currently, it is expected that protection programs will help guarantee the future of the species.

Leatherback turtle

This sea turtle is distributed in the tropical seas of the entire planet, including also the African coasts near the Gulf of Guinea and the southern coasts of the continent. It is one of the most threatened reptiles, because, despite its protection, its hunting continues to take place in certain regions of the planet due to the demand of its shell and its flesh in some Asian countries.

What can we do to protect endangered species in Africa?

The actions necessary to protect animals in danger of extinction in Africa must come from two areas, one political and one citizen. In the case of political aspects, it is essential that governments and supranational bodies take concrete measures that prohibit and pursue hunting and trade in this type of animal. Likewise, it is also essential to carry out protection programs that promote the conservation of the habitats of threatened species, as well as programs aimed at favoring their reproduction, as well as awareness and education programs on the subject.

On the other hand, ordinary citizens can protect these species by exerting pressure in the different administrations so that the aforementioned measures are carried out, as well as collaborating with entities that carry out this process.

In addition, another of the most important aspects that should not be overlooked is to adapt our consumption to products that guarantee that, for its manufacture, the habitat of these species has not been destroyed. We can achieve this by consuming local products and respecting the environment, avoiding the consumption of products that have been made with raw materials of dubious origin. A good example is found in wood or palm oil, which are two of the products obtained from the destruction of African forests and other places, which affects some of these species, such as, for example, the case of chimpanzees.

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