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Jijel Province: Taza National Park

    The National Park of Taza is a small park in Algeria, located in Jijel Province in a town named Taza, 30 kilometers North-East of Jijel. Compared to other national parks in Algeria, the Taza National Park is one of the smallest; covering an area of 3,807 hectares (9,410 acres).It is one of the oldest protected areas in Algeria. It was established in 1923 by the French colonial administrators in Algeria. It is the largest forest in Algeria of cork. 

  The Taza Biosphere Reserve comprises the whole of Taza National Park. It aims to combine conservation of the environment with the sustainable use of natural resources, allowing the local economy to flourish. Some of the habitats, plants and wildlife are important or unique in North Africa and internationally. About 5,600 people, mostly of Berber origin, live inside the reserve, largely sustaining themselves on small agricultural holdings, cultivating vegetables, fodder crops and tree fruits. Tourism is also important to the local economy. Management of the reserve includes eco-development projects, with beehives and fruit tree seed being distributed to villagers, and forest tracks and electricity supplies being improved for remote communities.

    The park adjoins the Mediterranean Sea in magnificent landscapes between rocky coasts, sandy beaches and moist forests.  The landscape of the Taza National Park consists of fascinating grottoes and caves, long stretches of sandy beaches, beautiful woodlands and breathtaking cliffs, accommodating a wide variety of species that have made the Taza National Park their home.

   Taza’s moderate climate and temperatures has assisted specific tree and plant species to flourish in the park. Cork and oak trees, cedars, Mediterranean willow are found there. Besides to more than 100 plant species are used in medicine and pharmacy. Also, on its soils and in its waters are listed many mammals, birds, marine species. One of the endangered animal species found in the park such as Magot Monkey, the Barbary ape and nuthatch(bird) which is a rare bird and one of the symbols of the park and the region. It is recognizable by her white eyebrow, its gray-blue back and beak and its beige belly. If you visit the park in late spring, you may have the privilege of seeing the nests forming and eggs hatching. Some species are very rare and follow a conservation program in the park that is a chest to lot of species unique to North Africa. It is about twenty species of raptors, reptiles and insects also find refuge in the park of Taza competing for the land covered with oaks, cork and cedars. 

   Even though it does not cover a large area, the Taza National Park is still a diverse park with varied ecosystems and wonderful wildlife for visitors to enjoy. It was even recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, reaffirming the uniqueness of this spectacular national park with a varied flora and fauna.

ARAB Sabrina

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