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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   This biosphere reserve is located in the south-eastern part of the Algerian Sahara close to the borders to Niger and Libya. The Tassili plateau (1,500 to 1,800 meters above sea level), forms part of the Ordovician and Devonian sandstone layer surrounding the Precambrian crystalline massif of the Hoggar. The plateau is hyper-arid, but there are sub-arid microclimates suitable for the survival of relict Mediterranean fauna and flora. The most notable tree species is the cypress 'tarout' Cupressus dupreziana, wild olive Olea laperrini and myrtle Myrtus nivellei.
The site also hosts a rich inventory of fauna and archaeological, historical, cultural and geologic features - the reason for its designation as national park and world heritage site. Ancient cave paintings and rock engravings of large fauna such as hippopotamus and buffalo are of international importance.
The total population of the plateau was approximately 1,000 to 3,000 in 1986. The area is very sparsely inhabited by sedentary and nomadic Tuaregs who are living from stock rising and agriculture. Tourism has become an important source of income for the local population. However litter and the destruction of archaeological artefacts pose problems to the area.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mountains supporting a relict flora with elements of Mediterranean, Sudano-Deccan and Saharo-Sindien species such as tarout cypress (Cupressus dupreziana), wild olive (Olea laperrini) and myrtle (Myrtus nivellei); wadis; permanent or temporary waterholes after rainfall ("gueltas"); river-bed habitats including Trianthema pentandra, Silene kiliana, Lupinus pilosus and Convolvulus fatmensis; humid valley including riverine species such as Typha spp., Juncus spp., Phragmites spp. and aquatic species such as Chara spp., Myriophyllum spp. and Potamogeton spp.; rocky and sandy habitats including Mesembryanthemum gaussenii, Pseuderucaria clavata and Acacia scorpioides; agroecosystems; pasture land
  Location   23°00' to 26°50'N; 05°20' to 12°00'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   7,200,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,150 to +2,158
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Parc national de Tassili
  Brief description   Study of Duprey cypress
Natural resource inventories
Conservation of the rock-art
Re-introduction of the "tarout" cypress (Cupressus dupreziana)
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Air quality, climate.
  Biodiversity   Arid/Semi-arid, natural resources, plants, reintroduction.
  Socio-economic   Cultural aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Houria KHELIFI
Commission Nationale Algérienne pour l'UNESCO
14, Avenue Boudjatit Mahmoud, Kouba
  Telephone   (213) 21 23 28 05 / 62
(213) 21 23 22 78
  Fax   (213) 21 23 28 05
(213) 21 23 28 62
  Web site

Last updated: 11/03/2005

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