Top 12 Most Endangered Animals in Africa

Top 12 Most Endangered Animals in Africa

April 21, 2021 0 By Blessius

Most of the animals on this list are also on the list of endangered animals in the world. However the 12 most endangered animals in Africa will be listed here, the reasons why they are under such serious threat, and the places where you can still see them in Africa in case you would like to as many animals in Africa are critically endangered because of the effects of poaching and other manmade factors.

Top 12 Most endangered Animals in Africa

Here are the 12 most endangered animals in Africa:

  1. Northern white rhinos
  2. Addax
  3. African wild ass
  4. Verreaux’s Sifaka
  5. Riverine rabbits
  6. Rothschild’s giraffe
  7. African Mountain Gorillas
  8. Pickersgill’s reed frog
  9. Pangolin
  10. Roloway monkey
  11. Grevy’s Zebra
  12. African Penguins

Northern White Rhinos

The northern white rhinos as one of the endangered animals in Africa have been declared to be functionally extinct as the last known surviving male of this species passed away in March 2018, before his death, there have been several attempts to get him to mate with the only known two surviving females of the species but all attempts proved abortive.

He was euthanized in March because he suffered from a degenerative illness combined with old age complications, but before that scientists extracted some semen from him hoping that one day they will find a way to successfully use it start breeding this animal again.

Weight: 800-1400 kilograms

Diet: They eat leaves from trees, bushes, shrubs, and crops.

Geographical location: Usually found in Central Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.



Locations Where They Can Be Found

  1. The last two known surviving northern white rhinos are both females and can be found at Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya under 24-hours armed protection.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Poaching, due to the increasing demand for rhino horns which are ivory.
  2. Civil wars that occurred in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC)


Addax is one of the endangered animals in Africa and they have been listed as critically endangered animals in Africa, with a population of 30-60 known surviving animals in Africa, their population keep on declining rapidly.

Addax are similar in Physical characteristics but are very different from them in anatomical features. They are usually found roaming in large nomadic herds of 5-20 animals and are adapted to living in desert areas.


Weight: 94 kilograms

Diet: Grasses and leaves of any available crops

Geographical location: Chad and Niger

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Civil Insecurities.
  2. Oil spillage.
  3. Uncontrolled hunting over many years due to the use of more sophisticated hunting equipments.

African Wild Ass

The African wild ass is a unique species of donkey and are among the critically endangered animals in Africa, they are very sociable as they can be found roaming around and grazing for food in herds of up to 50 individuals. Pitifully. there are only 23-200 living individuals of this animal species.

These animals are very adaptive to desert areas as they can survive for long without water can stay alive with huge water loss of up to 30% of their body weight and restore the heavy loss within a few minutes of finding water. They are easily identified by black lines on the skin under their needs.

These animals also have a more sophisticated system of communication than most animals in the world as they communicate with a unique set of vocal sounds that can be picked at a distance of up to 1.9 miles and also by visual signals and physical contacts.


Weight: 230-275 kilograms.

Diet: They forage on grasses and occasionally they eat herbs.

Geographical locations: They can be only in Eritrea, Ethiopia.

Reason Why They Endangered

  1. The main reason why they are endangered is because of the excessive hunting activities of humans and the introduction of sophisticated hunting weapons.

Verreaux’s Sifaka

Verreaux’s Sifaka is also one of the endangered animals in Africa is a very rare species of monkey and can be found in Madagascar. They live in groups of 2-13 individuals and they have a social hierarchy system and usually have more females in their population than males.

They leave in harmony and are not known to quarrel except during the mating season, these animals have a peculiar way of walking as they almost walk sideways, hold their hands up high. The population of these animals is currently unestimated but it is rapidly reducing.

These animals are very strikingly beautiful and a particular aspect of their beauty are the white hairs creatively positioned on their bodies; this makes them a sight to behold and moves more people and groups to walk towards conserving these primates and save them from extinction.


Weight: 3.4-3.6 kilograms.

Diet: They eat flowers, leaves, fruits, barks, and also nuts.

Geographical location: Madagascar.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Deforestation.
  2. Poaching( illegal hunting ).
  3. Drought.
  4. parasite-borne diseases.

Riverine Rabbits

The Riverine rabbit is one of the rarest and most endangered animals in Africa and is on the list of small endangered animals in Africa. These little cute animals have been on the list of critically endangered species since 2003. They are also known as bushman rabbits or bushman hares

These cute but little nearly helpless animals have died off so much that, currently there are only about 250 breeding pairs left in the wild. So many organizations in the world have been organizing seminars to tell people they need not allow these cute animals to go into extinction.


Weight: 1.4-1.9 kilograms.

Diet:  They forage on riparian vegetation

Geographical locations: 

  1. Karoo in South Africa: This rare species of rabbit can be found only along the rivers in Nama and other wetlands of Karoo.
  2. Anysberg Nature Reserve in the west of Cape Town.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Loss of habitat and degradation.
  2. Accidental trapping.
  3. Hunting.

Rothschild’s Giraffe

Rothschild’s giraffes have been on the list of endangered animals in Africa since 2010 with less than 670 of these animals in the wild. These animals are one of the most popular animals in Africa, although these animals can be seen with relative ease on the Safari; the number of these tall beasts is greatly decreasing.

There are nine subspecies of giraffes in Africa; of these, the Nigerian Sub-specie have also been listed among the most endangered animals in Africa along with Rothschild giraffes. the main difference between other species of giraffes and the Rothschilds giraffe is that the white lines all over their bodies are broader.

About 40% of the total number of Rothschild’s Giraffes living are found in game reserves and national parks in Kenya and about 60% of them are found in Uganda.

Weight: 800-1200 kilograms

Diet: They eat leaves from trees, shrubs, and grasses

Geographical locations:

  1.   Lake Nakuru national park Kenya.
  2.  Murchison falls national park in Uganda, Kidepo valley national park Uganda, lake Mburi national park Uganda.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Uncontrolled hunting and introduction of sophisticated weapons used in hunting.

African Mountain Gorillas

The African mountain gorillas are among the critically endangered animals in Africa, but the good news is that their numbers are increasing in recent years, yet still they are the world’s most endangered apes. Despite the size of these animals, they are remarkably gentle and unaggressive animals to behold.

The cross-river gorilla; a sub-species of the African mountain gorillas are the world’s most endangered apes with about 250-300 individuals found in the highlands of Cameroon and Nigeria. The sight and observation of these gentle giants will justify every dollar spent in the process.


Pickersgill’s Reed Frog

Pickersgill’s reed frog was first listed on the list of endangered animals in Africa in 2004 and then put into the list of critically endangered in 2010 as their numbers drastically reduced. In 2016 the number of these animals increased again mainly due to conservatives activities that were promptly introduced to save them from extinction.

These animals are very specific in their choice of habitat as they can only be found on 9 kilometer square of the total world’s surface. This amphibian displays shy and elusive behaviors and can only be found only in a specific wetland habitat with a 16 kilometer stretch across the Kwazulu-natal province coastline in South Africa.

Weight: 0.15-0.18 kilograms

Diet: They prey on insects.

Geographical locations:

  1. Isimalingo wetland park South Africa.
  2. Umlalazi nature reserve South Africa.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Loss of habitat due to agricultural developments, mineral mining, and urban developments.
  2. Desert encroachment as developments draw nearer to their habitat.


Pangolins are scaly slow animals, with their scales made up of keratin which is the same stuff the human nails and hairs are made of. These animals are slow and so are vulnerable; this led to the reduction in their population as they got listed on the list of endangered animals in Africa,

Pangolins hold the record of the world’s most trafficked non-human mammal in the world as their scales are used in traditional medicine in Asia. These animals roll themselves up into balls to defend themselves against offenders but this mode of defense doesn’t work at all against humans as they simply pick them up.

Records have it that at least 200,000 of these animals are taken out of the wild and illegally smuggled to Asia on a yearly basis, these animals are solitary animal and are most active during the night, it may be interesting to know that despite their position in this article, pangolins are the second most endangered animals in Africa.

They look really similar to Armadillos and ant-eat-eaters but surprisingly they are more related to dogs, cats, and bears. Pangolins carry their young ones on their back and feed on insects using their long and sticky tongues.

For many years pangolins of the Asian species have been targeted, poached, smuggled, and killed until their numbers depleted so much that the smugglers had to turn to Africa for business.

  1. pangolins-endangered-animals-in-africa

Weight: 12 kilograms.

Diet: Ants and Termites(including their larvae).

Geographical locations: Tswalu private game reserve in South Arica.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Poaching.
  2. Smuggling.
  3. Killings by some carnivores.

Roloway Monkey

The Roloway Monkey is listed as one of the most endangered animals in Africa, these monkeys are active during the daytime and are sociable as they can be seen in groups of up o 22 individuals.

Every group of these endangered animals are being led by an alpha male as they go in search of food and most times he is being accompanied by females and their offsprings. These monkeys are rapidly going into extinction as humans increase their hunting activities and produce more sophisticated weapons.


Weight: 4.7-7 kilograms.

Diet: They eat insects and occasionally eat leaves, seeds, and fruits.

Geographical locations:  can only be found in different parts of Ghana.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Hunting is on the increase due to increased demand for bushmeat.
  2. Loss of habitat.

Grevy’s Zebra

These long-legged beasts have been listed on the list of endangered animals in Africa as their numbers kept on dwindling. These species of zebra are highly distinguishable from other species because of their size as they are well bigger than the others.

They are the largest known wild equids are close to being in the list of critically endangered animals in Africa, they can be distinguished by their brown foals and reddish-brown stripes that gradually darken until it turns black.

Ther unique stripes are as distinctive as human fingerprints, surprisingly these equids are more related to the wild ass than to the horse while the other zebras are more related to the horse than to the wild ass than to the horse. The Grevy’s are taller than other zebras, have larger eyes than them, and also larger than them.

Weight: 350-450 kilograms.

Diet: Herbivorous.

Geographical location: They can be found in Kenya.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. They are being hunted by predators like lions and leopards.
  2. Introduction of more sophisticated and effective weapons.
  3. Loss of habitat.

African Penguins

The African penguins are also on the list of endangered animals in Africa, these birds have dense waterproof feathers all over their bodies.

These birds also have a perfect camouflage to escape predators; their backs are covered with black black feathers which makes it hard for predators from above to see them as it blends in with the sea floor’s colour while their undersides are covered with white feathers; this also makes it difficult for predators under to see them as the white colour blends in with the sky’s coluor, despite all these they are still among the endangered animals in Africa.

In our world today the number of breeding pairs of the African penguins are less than 21,000; comparing these statistics to that we had a century ago when some single colonies contained up to  one million individuals. Loking at the statistics experts have estimated that in 10 years from now, if nothing is done they will become extinct.


Weight: 3.1 kilograms

Diet: They feed on small fishes like anchioves, sardines, squids and shellfish.

Geographical locations: 

  1. South Africa.
  2. Namibia.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Overfishing: Due to the high consumption of fishes by humans, the penguin are left with very litte to eat.
  2. Hunting by humans.


In this article we have discussed about the endangered and critically endangered animals in Africa, their phyical characteristics and reasons why they are endangered. All statistics are presented according to IUCN rankings and statistics about animals.


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