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Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve

It lies in south western Morocco on the edge of the Sahara desert. The reserve covers 2.5million acres of dense Argan forest, foot slopes of the High Atlas Mountains and to the west is the Atlantic Ocean.

The reserve was declared a UNESCO Bio-sphere reserve in 1998 to protect the remaining species through community education programs and research. Actually Souss Massa National Park is the heart of this bio-sphere. The prominent features of the bio-sphere ecology are the sclerophyllous forests and the deserts.

Argan Trees

The dense forest of Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve provides a habitat for the endemic Argan trees (Argania spinosa). This tree species has a variety of uses in Moroccan communities which include pasture for livestock, oil used in cosmetics and medicines among other uses.

Over exploitation of the forest has further increased the danger of desertification of this part of Morocco thus more conservation efforts are undertaken to educate the communities on the preservation of the Argan forests with the help of other countries to which the oil is exported.

Activities

Besides the livestock, the Argan forests are a trekking adventure and many hikers love the scenery. Near the reserve is the town of Essaouira and its sandy beaches to cool you off the desert sun and find overnight accommodation as well as dinner.

Some of the animals in the forests include birds, monkeys, goats

 

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