Endangered animals of Africa

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What does endangered mean?

When discussing animals, "endangered" means that a certain species is at risk of becoming extinct. This risk is typically due to factors such as environmental changes, lack of food and/or water, or human influences. Animals that are endangered typically fall into one of two categories: endangered or critically endangered. A critically endangered animal is one that is facing the highest risk of being extinct if drastic measures are not taken.

What can you do to help?

There are various ways that people can help when it comes to protecting endangered animals. Taking steps to reduce global warming and teaching others about how it affects animals and nature is one of these steps. People can also help raise awareness about the endangerment of animals through conversation. Joining wildlife conservation groups are another method, or people can donate funds to help organizations with their conservation efforts.

Endangered animals

Pigmy hippopotamus

Threats: Polluted waters, deforestation, and hunters have all contributed to the endangered status of the pygmy hippopotamus.

Estimated population: 3,000 in the wild

Location: West Africa

Drill monkey

Threats: Loss of habitat and excessive hunting are the primary threats to drill monkeys.

Estimated population: 3,000 to 8,000

Location: Cameroon, Nigeria



Threats: Hunting and drought are two of the primary threats to the addax. Humans hunt the addax for both their skin and meat.

Estimated population: Fewer than 300

Location: Niger, Chad, Mauritania

African wild ass

Threats: The African wild ass is hunted and killed for medicinal purposes and food.

Estimated population: 600

Location: Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia

African wild dog

Threats: Viral disease, loss of habitat, and human conflict both accidental and intentional are the greatest threats to the African wild dog.

Estimated population: 3,000 to 5,000

Location: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad, Namibia, Senegal, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, Zimbabwe

Black Rhino

Threats: Targeted by poachers for their horns, which are valuable on the black market for medicines. Habitat loss and areas of civil unrest have also contributed to the demise of the black rhino.

Estimated population: 4,880 to 5,055

Location: The Central African Republic, Kenya, Cameroon, Chad, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, Somalia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan


Threats: Threats to the cheetah include loss of habitat, illegal trade, and human conflict.

Estimated population in Africa: 10,000 to 15,000

Location: Namibia

Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur

Threats: Poachers are a threat to lemurs; they are sold as pets. Changes in crops are also negatively affecting the lemurs by changing their diet from one of reed shoots and papyrus stems in favor of fields of rice.

Estimated population: 5,000

Location: Madagascar

Mountain gorilla

Threats: Threats to the mountain gorilla include deforestation, poaching, disease, hunting for meat, and encroachment onto their land.

Estimated population: 680

Location: Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

Madagascar tortoise

Threats: Illegal pet trade and fires threaten the Madagascar tortoise.

Estimated population: 400

Location: Madagascar

According to the National Wildlife Federation, of the world's population of mammals, 21 percent are extinct or threatened. In order to save future species from disappearing, humans must make an effort to save animals that are considered endangered. Many of these endangered animals can be found on the continent of Africa. Because there are numerous factors that can contribute to an animal's endangered status, finding the right solution and implementing it can be complicated. The first step to saving these animals is to understand which of them are at the highest risk and why.


Living on the Brink: Africa's Dying Species
A slide show of endangered animals in Africa. Each slide discusses information about a specific animal species and what threatens it.

African Wild Dogs
The World Wildlife Fund page on the African wild dog. Scroll down the page for in-depth information about this species and its status.

Fact sheet about the rhinoceros. Readers are given information on the different species of rhino, threats, lifespan, and more.

Pygmy Hippotamus
On the San Diego Zoo page for the Pygmy hippo, readers will learn about conservation efforts for this endangered animal as well as facts that are both quick and fun.

About the Cheetah: Race for Survival
The Cheetah Conservation Fund discusses the cheetah's extinction threat.

Florida Panthers
Learn about the Florida panthers by clicking on this link to the Endangered Species Coalition website. This page discusses the current population and efforts made to save the species. Readers can learn about more endangered animals by clicking on any of the categories listed to the right of the article or by clicking on "Endangered Species" on the top menu.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute: Cheetah Conservation
Smithsonian National Zoological Park website. The page reviews the status of cheetahs in terms of research and reproduction.

Bamboo Lemur Conservation
This page from the National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison, is a primate fact sheet that reviews the threats and conservation status of the bamboo lemur.

Mandrillus leucophaeus: Drill
On the Animal Diversity page for the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, readers can learn about the conservation status of the drill as well as information about predation, behavior, habitat, and economic importance both positive and negative.

Black Rhino Information
Read information about the black rhino on the Save the Rhino conservation website. This page includes information on the rhino's status, population, range, and habitat. Readers may also click on links to learn about other rhino species and further information regarding threats and poaching statistics.

Equus africanus: African Wild Ass
Readers interested in learning more about the African wild ass and its status as a critically endangered animal can click on this link to open a page on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. After reading about the African wild ass, readers may also look up other animals on the Red List website.

African Wild Ass: Equus africanus
The IUCN/SSC Equid Specialist Group gives an overview of the African wild ass and provides information on not only the animal's conservation status but also on subspecies, ecology, distribution, and recommendations on methods to save the animal.

Ethiopian Wolves - Distribution and Status
Information regarding Ethiopian wolves is found on the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme website. The page includes information on the animal's distribution, conservation status, and endangering processes. Readers may click on links to the left of the main body of the article for more information regarding the Ethiopian wolf.

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program
The Wildlife Conservation Network briefly discusses Ethiopian wolves, the most endangered canid on earth. The page covers the remaining number of wolves left in this species and why they are endangered. It also provides a link for people to help support the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program.

Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus)
Learn about the Mediterranean monk seal by clicking on this link to the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources website. These seals are at risk of extinction and have populations located in North Africa and near Greece and Turkey in the Aegean and Ionian seas. In addition to a description of this species, readers can also learn about threats and efforts to save it.

Addax Antelope
Get the facts regarding the endangered addax. Additionally, read about addax ecology and conservation.

Slender-Horned Gazelle
The slender-horned gazelle is the focus of this wildlife profile page on the Sahara Conservation Fund website. Habitat, biology, distribution, and threats are all included in the profile. Readers may search for information regarding other wildlife in the Sahara by clicking on the "Wildlife" link at the menu along top of the page.

Northern Bald Ibis - Geronicus eremita
The Bird Life International website's informational page on the Northern bald ibis is an in-depth profile that also includes a small "key facts" section.

Endangered Species International provides information about gorillas. On this page, the website discusses conservation and saving gorillas. Readers may also click on links regarding diseases and threats, social structure, and additional information about the species and its habitat.

Top Ten Most Endangered Species in the World
The world's most endangered animals, including mountain gorillas, are listed on this page. Readers can learn about tigers, monarch butterflies, polar bears, and more.

A World of Endangered Species
A map of of the world, click on each continent for an example of its endangered animals.