Plant increase and Animals
Vegetation And Animals Of Morocco
Morocco’s vegetation and animals are the most important part of the country’s ecosystem. Home to world’s largest desert, the Sahara, Morocco has some of the most interesting flora and fauna that is a must for every visitor.
The country of Morocco has a huge variety not just in the landscape but eventually its climate and even its vegetation. The climate in the north is Mediterranean, Atlantic to the west and dry Saharian to the south. The winters are nice and cold though a bit humid, while the summers are hot and arid.
There is ample sunshine through out the years and more than 8 hours per day which helps a variety of vegetation to grow. You can also find a wide variety of animal life though not as rich as the flora.
Vegetation or the Flora of Morocco
The kingdom of Morocco is extremely rich in unique species of plants. The Mediterranean coastal climate is very good and favorable for the healthy growth of great vegetation. You would find Cork Oak is large numbers is northern parts of this country.
The costal vegetation is prominently a large exotic collection of Casuarina, Eucalyptus, Citrus, Loquat, Acacia and many others. In the wetter places there are vast meadows and orchards with plants such as fennel commonly found.
There is a substantial part of the Middle Atlas which is mere remnant of the Cedar forest that existed in this region though it covers an impressive amount of area. Generally in the mountainous steppe regions you will find unique species of shrubs, jujube trees, mastics, poplars, tamarisks and willows.
The overall vegetation is Mediterranean in the mountains with thuya, holm oak, juniper etc. the plains mostly have cork oaks, olive trees and the argan trees. In the interior region it is mostly the esparto plants and the artemisia plants that are found. The Alpine zone is typically above the 2500m and mostly supports Vicia canescens in huge quantity. The hundred odd species of plants found here are exclusive and found nowhere else. The Vicia canescens are not palatable to goats which has saved them from being grazed unlike other plants.
The Argan forest is the last barrier that stands strong between desertification and Morocco. These forest have the high value Argan trees that are useful in cosmetics and creation of medicines. With some dangers from the fishing and farming communities there are national parks that have been planned to conserve these Argan forests.
These trees not only have cosmetic value they also have great resistance to droughts and have capability to adjust to the environmental changes. These have to be saved with assistance of locals to ensure that further desertification is stopped.
Even the Sahara desert is home to some herbs and small shrubs. Where the moisture levels are higher you may find larger shrubs. You would often find the bushes widely spaced. Generally in the steppe areas the scrub vegetation is mostly climax vegetation like Ephemerals in north and halophytes in sandy areas. Overall the sandy desert does not support much vegetation.
The vegetation is precious and efforts are being taken to ensure that it is saved from extinction as it will help slow down desertification.
The Animal Kingdom Of Morocco
Morocco has plenty of wildlife and has a government that is equally conscious about wildlife conservation. Lets take a look at some of Morocco’s wildlife and the efforts involved in their conservation.
The animal kingdom of Morocco is not as rich as the flora. The Lions and a form of red deer that inhabited the country have gradually become extinct. But you would surely find other species like panthers, jackals, foxes and gazelles in most parts of the country. You may also find the North African Cheetah in some parts in small numbers.
Though scientists haven’t been able to spot many cheetahs, local nomads confirm their existence in the country but surely in lesser numbers.
The fauna is an interesting mix of the species from the Palaearctische Region and African region. There are some species of small Dorcas Gazelles that can survive on water it gets from plants it eats.
The only monkey found in Morocco is the Magot, which is rare as deforestation is taking a toll on it. The smallest foxes, the fennec fox are also found near the Sahara desert that survive on insects, lizards and fruits.
Another one from the canine family is the Sloughi called also as Arabian sighthound, which comes from the same family as greyhounds and salukis.
There is a wind range of lizards and skinks found in the deserts of the Sahara. You may find lizards like the Atlas Dwarf Lizard, which are endemic to Morocco, as they have a natural habitat with temperate shrub lands and rocky areas.
Manuel’s skinks, Ebner’s skinks are some of the species that have been largely endangered by some agricultural practices. There are some species of newts like the Iberian Ribbed Newt that can be found here.
You would also be able to catch a glimpse of different species of birds like Flamingos, Pelicants, Falcons, Buttonquails, storm-petrels, sandpipers, small species of bats, mapies, larks, swallows, martins etc. There are three species of Divers – the red throated, black throated and the great northern diver found in Morocco. Grebes, which are the fresh water diving birds can also be found. The lammergeyer, dark chanting goshawk and tawny eagle are also nearly extinct from Morocco.
The Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea are home to some rich ocean wildlife. Though affected by the fish poaching as well as due to over fishing and contamination of waters there has been a reduction in number of fishes like mullets, sea beams, marlin, sea perch, grouper, tuna, barracudas and swordfish.
You may also find fish in the tranquil lakes and rivers. These are home to fish like carp, perch, black bass, trouts, barbell, eel and roach. However, with the number of fishes on a lower side there are many restrictions that are being implemented.
If you have the required permit you may hire fishing vessels to go deep sea fishing from the ports of Mohammedia and Saharan.
The kingdom of Morocco provides animal and adventure lovers great opportunities to explore the flora and fauna in all landscapes of the country and catch a glimpse of some exotic varieties more than any place else.