Native Plants & Animals in Nigeria

Updated April 17, 2017

Nigeria is a country with rich soil, adequate rainfall and year-round temperate temperatures, therefore providing a suitable environment for many of its native flora and fauna to flourish. Nigeria's regions include the coastal mangrove swamps, woodland savannahs, rain forest and northern savannahs which provide a variety of habitats for small and large game, and a number of native trees. The green nature of the Nigerian flag reflects the green and conducive nature of the Nigerian environment.

Afara Tree

The Afara tree is a West African hardwood tree that is native to Nigeria. It is a tall tree and usually cultivated for its timber. The tree has pale-coloured wood. The country also has a sister species, the Black Afara tree, that is native to the region. The tree can reach a height of 150 feet. The wood of the tree is a heartwood yellow brown and can have black markings. Afara wood is slightly lustrous and also produces a mild odour. The dark-coloured trees are recognised as Dark, Black Afara or Dark Limba. Splinters from the tree may cause skin inflammation.

Nigerian Walnut

The Nigerian Walnut Tree is found in Nigeria as well as other parts of Africa. It has several other names including Alona wood, Anamenila, Bibolo, Bombulu, Congowood, Dibetou, Dubin biri, Embero, Eyan, Ghana walnut, Lifaki muindo, Lovoa, Lovoa wood, Mpengwa and Nigerian golden walnut, to name a few. These trees are commonly used for wood-working projects like chairs, stools, tables and wardrobes. This tree can grow to be 130 feet tall and 48 inches in diameter. The smell of the tree can be likened to cedar.

Large Game

Elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards used to be abundant in Nigeria, but because of people's encroachment of habitat, these big game animals are now only found in remote areas or inside major reserves. Hunting wildlife for food is also threatening these animals' existence as well as increased use of land as farmland. Still, hippopotamuses and crocodiles, are quite commonly found in the largest rivers running through Nigeria.

Small Game

Animals that are smaller in size, like antelope, monkeys, jackals, and hyenas, are native and more widespread throughout Nigeria than larger game animals in Nigeria. Nigeria also has a range of birds, including birds migrate between Europe and Asia during specific seasons.

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About the Author

Nikki Fiedler started writing professionally in 2004. She has been published in "The Vegetarian Journal," "Collegebound," "The Sandspur," "Orlando Style Magazine" and "Rollins Alumni Record." Fiedler graduated from Rollins College in 2008 with a double honors Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and studio art.