What are the different kinds of PREDATORS found in Algeria?
These are often the first animals you think of when you imagine visiting Algeria! The exciting, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying carnivores are some of the most fun to learn about. 🙂
In this article, you’ll find interesting facts, photos, and even range maps of these amazing animals!
6 Predators Found in Algeria:
- Acinonyx jubatus
- Adults are 110-150 cm (3.6-5 ft) long.
- They have relatively long legs, small, rounded heads, and short ears.
- Their coloration is yellow, gray, or fawn speckled with a white or light tan underside, small black spots, and dark rings terminating in a white tip on the end of their tail.
Look for these predators in grasslands and deserts in Algeria.
Cheetahs are solitary except during mating. The cubs are cared for solely by their mother. When they’re young, the female will hide the cubs in tall vegetation, rocky outcrops, or marshy areas while she hunts, occasionally carrying them to new hiding spots. Once they are old enough to fend for themselves, the mother goes back to her solitary lifestyle until mating again.
Unlike most other big cats in Algeria, Cheetahs do not stalk their prey. Instead, they use their incredible speed (80-130 kph, or 50-80 mph) to charge. However, they can only maintain this speed for short distances.
When a Cheetah overtakes its prey, it strangles its target by squeezing its neck in its jaw. They feed mostly on gazelles but will also consume impalas, hares, and birds. Interestingly, most Cheetah hunts are unsuccessful, and they work much harder than other big cats to get a meal.
Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Researchers have found that they have little genetic diversity, which leaves them susceptible to disease and environmental changes. Despite this, some countries still allow Cheetahs to be hunted, and they are often persecuted for livestock losses.
#2. African Wolf
- Canis lupaster
- Adults stand about 40 cm (16 in) tall at the shoulder.
- They have relatively long pointed snouts and ears, comparatively short tails, and robust teeth.
- They’re yellowish to silvery gray with reddish legs, black speckling on their tails and shoulders, and some white markings on their faces, throats, and abdomens.
Look for this carnivore during the day in Algeria in grassland areas.
African Wolves have an extensive range, and their appearance and size vary with location. They usually center their territory around a den, often made from a modified aardvark or warthog den, where the female will have her pups.
African Wolves have flexible social structures that are largely dictated by prey availability. Each pack consists of a monogamous breeding pair that remains together constantly. It also includes current offspring and previous generations that help to raise their siblings.
These wolves can be formidable predators in Algeria, sometimes taking prey up to three times their own weight. However, they usually go after much smaller animals.
Pairs of wolves often hunt gazelle fawns and other small mammals like cane rats and ground squirrels. They also consume fruit, snakes, and insects. Interestingly, during the wildebeest calving season, African Wolves feed almost exclusively on wildebeest afterbirth.
#3. Rüppell’s Fox
- Vulpes rueppellii
- Adults are 66 to 74 cm (26 to 29 in) long.
- They have slender bodies and long, bushy tails with white tips.
- Coloration is buff or sandy colored with white hairs in their dense undercoat and gray markings on their faces, but there are some gray morphs in rocky areas.
Rüppell’s Foxes are one of the most resourceful predators in Algeria.
Because Red Foxes often get the best territory, these smaller foxes have become highly adapted to inhospitably dry deserts. They’re nocturnal hunters, and they feed on almost anything that crosses their path. While they’re primarily insectivores, they’ll consume anything they can grab and eat, including small mammals and roots.
Their fur closely matches the substrate where they’re located, camouflaging them from predators such as Steppe Eagles and Eagle Owls. Rüppell’s Foxes also have a fascinating, skunk-like defense mechanism. When threatened, they will hump their back, raise their tail, and spray their attacker with a foul secretion from their anal gland.
Living in such harsh conditions, Rüppell’s Foxes have gained a reputation as incredibly tough survivalists. There’s even a legend that these foxes can drink water from the wind by keeping their head in a breeze. That’s quite a reputation for such a tiny animal!
#4. Fennec Fox
- Vulpes zerda
- Adults are about 39 cm (15 in) long.
- They have massive, conical ears.
- Their coloration is buff on their upper bodies and white on their legs, faces, ear-linings, and undersides.
This predator is the smallest dog in Algeria!
They’re even smaller than most house cats, but don’t let their size fool you. Fennec Foxes are tough animals that live almost exclusively in sandy, arid regions.
Their massive ears help Fennec Foxes locate prey, even when it’s underground. They catch most of their prey by digging it out of the earth.
These omnivores live in a harsh environment and feed on anything they can get, including rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, insects, fruits, leaves, and roots. Plant materials are vital as they comprise 100% of the Fennec Fox’s hydration. Unlike most mammals, these foxes can live indefinitely without a water source.
Fennec Foxes are highly social animals that often live together in clans. Together these clans hold territories and dig burrows, which are used to raise pups and to shelter from the hot desert sun.
#5. Striped Hyena
- Hyaena hyaena
- Adults are 85-130 cm (33-51 in) long.
- They have long hair, large, pointed ears, and noticeably longer front legs that give them a sloping appearance.
- Coloration is straw-colored to gray with black muzzles and black stripes on their bodies, legs, and heads.
Striped Hyenas live in rocky mountainous regions in Algeria and dense grasslands.
They build their dens in rocky hillsides, ravines, and crevices.
Despite their fierce reputation, Striped Hyenas are primarily scavengers that spend their nights feeding on carrion and human refuse. They’ll even eat bones from previously stripped carcasses. Occasionally they also prey on small game, including birds, reptiles, hares, and rodents.
If available, Striped Hyenas will drink water every night. However, they can live in desert conditions and go for long periods without water if necessary. To supplement their water intake, they eat fruits and plants with high water content.
Striped Hyenas are listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. They’re often hunted as pests or out of fear, and some cultures still use them for food and medicine. Attacks on humans are rare but historical reports of attacks on children continue to spread fear. Striped Hyenas will also scavenge human remains, adding to their negative reputation.
#6. African Wildcat
- Felis lybica
- Adults are 46-60 cm (18-24 in) long.
- Coloration varies and may be tawny brown, sandy yellow, reddish, or gray with faint tabby spots and stripes, banded legs, and reddish or rusty-brown on the backs of their ears.
- They have long legs, small ear tufts, and long thin tails with a couple of rings near the end and black tips.
These predators in Algeria are the ancestors of the domestic cat!
While they’re also known as Desert Cats, they can be found in many habitats, including steppes, savannas, and bushlands.
African Wildcats are skillful hunters with incredible hearing. Once they’ve located prey, they slowly and sneakily approach it and pounce once they’re in range. They usually feed on mice, rats, and other small mammals.
African Wildcats are most active at night. During the day, they tend to avoid the heat and rest under bushes or other shelter, although sometimes they can be observed out hunting on cloudy, overcast days. Additionally, when threatened, these cats raise their hair to make themselves seem larger and intimidate their opponents, similar to what we see in domestic cats.
However, they have some distinctly wild traits. For example, when they sit upright, their long front legs raise their bodies almost vertically (more so than domestic cats). This posture can be seen on Egyptian bronze mummy cases and tomb paintings. They also have high shoulder blades that give them a distinctive cheetah-like gait.
Check out these other guides about animals found in Algeria!
Which of these predators have you seen before in Algeria?
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