Plant increase and Animals

Vegetation And Animals Of Morocco

Vegetation And Animals Of Morocco

Morocco’s vegetation and animals are the most important parts of the country’s ecosystem. Home to the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, Morocco has some of the most interesting flora and fauna, which is a must for every visitor.

The country of Morocco has a huge variety, not just in the landscape but also in its climate and even its vegetation. The climate in the north is Mediterranean, the 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 throughout the year and more than 8 hours per day, which helps a variety of vegetation 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 in large numbers in the northern parts of this country.

The coastal 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 where plants such as fennel are commonly found.

There is a substantial part of the Middle Atlas that is a 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 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 2500 m and mostly supports Vicia canescens in huge quantities. The hundred or so species of plants found here are exclusive and found nowhere else. Vicia canescens is 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 forests have high-value argan trees that are useful in cosmetics and the 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 the capability to adjust to environmental changes. These have to be saved with the 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 the north and halophytes in sandy areas. Overall, the sandy desert does not support much vegetation.

The vegetation is precious, and efforts are being made 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 a government that is equally conscious of wildlife conservation. Let's 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, though surely in lesser numbers.

The fauna is an interesting mix of species from the Palaearctische Region and the African region. There are some species of small Dorcas gazelles that can survive on the water they get from plants they eat.

The only monkey found in Morocco is the magot, which is rare as deforestation is taking a toll on it. The smallest fox, the fennec fox, is also found near the Sahara desert and survives on insects, lizards, and fruits.

Another one from the canine family is the Sloughi, also known as the Arabian sighthound, which comes from the same family as greyhounds and salukis.

There is a wide range of lizards and skinks found in the deserts of the Sahara. You may find lizards like the Atlas Dwarf Lizard, which is endemic to Morocco, as they have a natural habitat with temperate shrublands and rocky areas.

Manuel’s and 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, pelicans, 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 great northern diver, all found in Morocco. Grebes, which are freshwater diving birds, can also be found. The lammergeyer, dark-chanting goshawk, and tawny eagle are also nearly extinct in Morocco.

The Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas are home to some rich ocean wildlife. Though affected by fish poaching as well as overfishing and contamination of waters, there has been a reduction in the number of fish like mullets, sea bass, 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, trout, barbell, eel, and roach. However, with the number of fish on the 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.