Gouraya Biosphere Reserve, Algeria
There is rich flora and fauna as well as several historic and picturesque sites with protected species such as the tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides) and prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus). Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) constitutes a “para-climax forest” on the limestone of Mount Gouraya, and the kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) and Ampelodesma mauritanica are the dominant species of the southern side of the massif. The northern side, with its sharp relief and imposing cliffs, has original plant communities unique to the Algerian coast.
The forests and maquis contain troops of barbary apes (Maccaca sylvanus) and other endangered mammals such as the jackal (Canis aureus algeriensis), wild cats (Felis sylvestris) and Algerian hedgehog (Erinaceus algirus).
The Biosphere Reserve/National Park promotes scientific research projects carried out by the local university and participates in regional studies and projects initiated by the regional authority (Wilaya). The Biosphere Reserve is involved in agricultural development related to mountain and hill farming and the distribution of fruit-bearing seedlings and beehives to the local population. The permanent population is of Berber origin and includes 1,655 inhabitants distributed in 13 villages. The main economic activities are administrative, commercial and artisanal activities. Mainly elderly people practise mountain and hill farming (bee keeping and arboriculture).
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