North African Ostrich

2023 CECameroon, Chad, Central African Republic and Senegal

"The North African ostrich is the largest bird on Earth. Historically, it was distributed across the entire Sahara desert, spreading across 18 countries. Today, they’re only found in Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic and Senegal. This flightless bird has been heavily targeted over the past 50 years; their feathers, meat and egg are deemed valuable in the wildlife trading market. Much like most of the animals on this list, the ostrich has suffered from habitat loss from human expansion and desertification – a process by which lands become infertile – causing increased food competition with other livestock and larger animals. Since being identified in the IUCN red list, a number of conservation efforts have been underway to help restore the species, from introducing more ostriches to Senegal and habitat rehabilitation to improving livestock fencing and management."

Olivia Lai, "10 of the Most Endangered Species in Africa,", June 27, 2022.

Image: Lip Kee via Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)