World Facts

Animals in Nigeria

A list of some of the most notable animals that live in Nigeria.

Like in any other country in the world, there are animals in Nigeria including mammals, reptiles, and other kinds. In the case of mammals in the nation, one of them is critically endangered while 13 of them are classified as endangered. Another 16 species are vulnerable, one species is extinct, while mammal species that are near threatened are ten. Some of the endangered animals include white-throated guenon, West African lion, and few others.

10. Aardvark

The aardvark is a medium-sized burrowing mammal that is native to Africa. The nocturnal mammal is an insectivore with a long snout for sniffing out insects such as termites and ants. Aside from using its sharp claws to dig out food, it also uses them to dig out burrows for living. The animal has an average weight of between 130 and 180 pounds and has a length of between 3.44 and 4.27 feet although the length can get to seven feet and three inches. Including the tails, then the animals can have a length of up to 29 inches. The girth is about 3.3 feet and has a shoulder height of about 24 inches.

9. Forest Elephant

The forest elephant, as the name suggests lives in forests. Of the three elephant species still alive today, this elephant is the smallest, but it is still among the biggest land animals in the world. The population of these animals has reduced to about 100,000 in 2015 from the massive estimate of two million during the colonial era. On average, the height does not go beyond 8.2 feet while the weight averages about 5,950 pounds. As a herbivore, the animal feeds on vegetation such as leaves, bark, fruit, and other things.

8. White-Throated Guenon

Also known as the red-bellied guenon or the red-bellied monkey, this monkey species prefers tropical or rainforest forests. On average, the males weigh between 7.7 and 9.9 pounds while the females average between 4.4 and 8.8 pounds. Due to their low rate of production and excessive hunting, their numbers are steadily decreasing hence their classification as vulnerable. This monkey’s primary diet is fruit although insects, crops, and leaves are occasionally included in the diet. This arboreal monkey lives in small groups of around four although groups of thirty have also been observed.

7. Preuss Monkey

Also known as Preuss's guenon, this monkey is a diurnal primate that lives on mountains that have a height of about 8,200 feet. Similar to the guenon above, this monkey’s numbers are steadily decreasing due to excessive hunting and loss of habitat, which have contributed to its classification as an endangered species. Only two species are alive today namely the Cameroon Preuss's monkey and the Bioko Preuss's monkey. The animal feeds on fruits, insects, leaves, and human crops. On average, they weigh around 22 pounds and live in groups of around 17.

6. Lion

The West African lion is one of the critically endangered species on this list with a population of less than 250 mature lions. In 2004, the number stood at around 1,800 individuals. In terms of appearance, it is not that different from the other lions in Asia and Africa. They have an average body length of between 8.1 and 9.3 feet and an average weight ranging from 327 to 421 pounds. The males are generally heavier than females. The groups they live in range between one and eight in the park while the numbers are smaller outside the parks.

5. Flamingo

This bird is a wading bird with six different species. Their diet usually includes blue-green algae and brine shrimp that is usually obtained by filtering murky waters using their beaks. On average, they can have a height ranging from 3.9 and 4.7 feet and have a weight of up to 7.7 pounds. The bird also has a massive wingspan that can be anywhere between 37 and 59 inches. Their pink-reddish hue is not present at birth but it develops as they grow older because of certain bacteria in their diet.

4. Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee

This primate is a subspecies of the common chimpanzee and, as the name indicates, lives in Cameroon and Nigeria. On average, the animals can weigh around 154 pounds, have a length of about 3.9 feet, and a height is about 5.2 feet. The males are heavier than the females. Unfortunately, this species is the most threatened among the subspecies of the common chimpanzee due to human activity. For this reason, their conservation status is set to endangered. Studies have shown that it exists in a few forests such as the Oluwa Forest Reserve, Okomu National Park, Idanre Forest Reserve, Ise Forest Reserve, and a few other reserves.

3. Senegal Bushbaby

The Senegal bushbaby is a diminutive nocturnal animal that has a length of only five inches and an average weight of between 3.4 and 11 ounces. Other names for the animal include the lesser galago, the lesser bushbaby, or the Senegal galago. The large eyes give them impeccable night vision for escaping from predators and sourcing for their food, which includes bird, insects, flowers, eggs, and other things. Interestingly, studies have shown that the Western chimpanzee hunts these animals using equipment that resembles spears. Their high rate of reproduction, twice a year, ensures that their classification is that of least concern.

2. Dama Gazelle

This critically endangered animal is classified as a critically endangered species due to loss of habitat and excessive hunting. The animal has an average length of around 14 inches, height of between 35 and 47 inches, and weighs between 77 and 165 pounds. Their diet is dominated by vegetation. Among gazelles, these are some of the largest. Should they feel threatened, these animals use their hind legs to propel themselves away from predators at high speed.

1. Red Eared Guenon

This monkey is small and colorful with some distinctive blue marks around the eyes. The males, which have an average length of 16.5 inches, are bigger and longer than the females, which have an average length of 15.1 inches. Unfortunately, this unobtrusive species is also classified as vulnerable. The monkey is omnivorous with its diet comprising of things such as fruit, insects, shoots, and other things. For pregnant and lactating females, insects are an important part of the diet. Despite being territorial, the animals generally avoid confrontations with other groups.

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