Top 10 most endangered animal species in Africa

The following listing is based upon IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

1. Addax

Scientific Name: Addax nasomaculatus.

Status: Critically Endangered.

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and harassment. Also drought and the extension of pastoralism.

Population: Less than 300 animals surviving in the wild.

Countries: Chad, Mauritania, Niger.

Also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, the addax lives in the Sahara desert.

2. Ethiopian Wolf

Scientific Name: Canis simensis.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Loss of habitat (agriculture), disease epizootics and hybridization with domestic dogs.

Population: 400-550 individuals.

Countries: Endemic to the Ethiopian highlands.

A canid native to the Ethiopian Highlands. It is similar to the coyote in size and build, and is distinguished by its long and narrow skull, and its red and white fur.

3. Mountain Gorilla

Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Habitat loss, poaching, pet trade and illegal hunting (bushmeat).

Population: Closest estimate is 680 mountain gorillas.

Countries: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The Mountain Gorilla is a subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are only two populations left on Earth.

4. Pygmy Hippopotamus

Scientific Name: Choeropsis liberiensis.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Deforestation for farming and logging + bushmeat hunting.

Population: The latest estimate (1993 survey) is pretty much outdated (2000-3000 pygmy hippos). Since the population trend is on a decrease, fewer than 2000 individuals is probably more accurate (although this stat is clearly approximate).

Countries: Endemic to West Africa; Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia.

Reclusive and nocturnal, the pygmy hippo is semi-aquatic and relies on proximity to water to keep its skin moisturised and its body temperature cool.

5. African Wild Dog

Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Conflict with human activities and infectious disease (e.g. rabies).

Population: 3000-5500.

Countries: Native to Botswana; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Senegal; South Africa; Sudan; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

The African wild dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. Uniquely among social carnivores, it is the females rather than the males that scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature, and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses.

The other five most endangered species in Africa can be found in Part Two

12 Responses to Top 10 most endangered animal species in Africa

  1. Carter April 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    HI! i honestly think all these animals are amazing and i’d love to see more 🙂 i’d like to see rare foxes or more wolves. they are amazing. keep it up guys!

  2. annetteneto March 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Dear Mr. Theys,
    I am writing a childrens magazine article about the 10 most endangered african animals and this post really caught my attention! What advice would you give to young kids living in the UK who are learning about endangered animals?

    • Africafreak March 27, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      Hi there,

      These kids represent the future of our planet and should therefore act accordingly! It is up to us to preserve all living species for present AND future generations!

      Education, awareness and action should be number one on the agenda…

      The only way we can change the world is to start with ourselves… 😉

      All the best,


      • Bertha May 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

        Thanks for the cool info Michael 🙂

  3. love our animals November 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    thanks for this website I am a animal lover an I would like to help our African animals
    I love my animals

  4. emily April 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    thanks but i dont like what you put on the penguin part not cool man not cool

  5. Migration Mark April 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Thanks for showing these endangered animals. Hopefully efforts will be made to conserve these amazing animals. I’m still waiting to view mountain gorillas in the wild!

  6. Alison Nicholls April 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks for the posting. I agree that many people will be surprised to see the lion on the top 10 list. Listing elephants is always contentious because their status depends on which country you look at. Several southern African countries have far too many elephants and their huge numbers are causing serious environmental problems. By the way – there is a great conservation group working in Zimbabwe on behalf of African Wild Dogs – the Painted Dog Conservation project –

    • africafreak April 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Alison,

      I totally agree with you, the elephant's case is somewhat controversial. In some countries, as you said, there are too many of them, and in others their numbers are being depleted at an alarming rate… 🙁

      I was actually thinking of not including them on the list…but then I thought their situation could just not be omitted!

      Take care,


  7. Sandy Salle April 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Thank you for exposing the endangerment of animals in Africa. The more we educate travelers, the more they can do to participate and contribute to eco-tourism efforts and environment projects in Africa.

    I don't think people realize that some of the most world-renowned animals, such as the lion, cheetah, and elephant, are endangered.

    Wonderful and educational post!!

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