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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Thomas Schaaf
  General Description   Omayed Biosphere Reserve is situated close to Alexandria and belongs to the biome of warm deserts and semi-deserts of the Western Mediterranean region. Low calcareous rocky ridges (ancient dunes) altering with depressions characterize the relief. Three major physiographic systems can be distinguished: coastal systems, ridges and depressions, and inland plateau systems.
The Omayed Biosphere Reserve was extended to an area of 70,000 hectares in 1998. The Egyptian authorities wanted to change the objectives of the site from being just an ‘experimental research area’ to encompass all the main objectives of a biosphere reserve and in particular to represent the landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation of the region.
There are many different tribes in the area, which supports some 5,500 people (1997). Being a biosphere reserve, the area is expected to serve as a site for sustainable development of natural resources by rationalizing ecotourism, rangeland management, propagating multipurpose woody species, and promoting local industries. It also has an important function in long-term ecological monitoring.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coastal calcareous dunes consisting of Ammophila arenaria, Euphorbia paralias, Pancratium maritimum etc.; inland ridges with skeletal shallow soils characterized by either Thymellaea spp. and Gymnocarpus decandrum communities or by associations of Plantago albicans and Asphodelus microcarpa; saline marshy depressions dominated by Salicornia fruticosa, Cressa cretica, Atriplex halimus etc.; non-saline depressions and inland plateau including species such as Artemisia monosperma and Hammada elegans associations (calcareous soils), Anabasis articulata and Hammada scorpia (shallow degraded soils) and Suaeda pruinosa and Salsola tetrandra communities (saline soils); pasture land, fig plantations; agroecosystems
  Location   29°00' - 29°18'N; 30°38' - 30°52'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   75,800
  Core area(s)   800
  Buffer zone(s)   5,000
  Transition area(s) when given   70,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +110
  Year designated   1981, extension 1998
  Administrative authorities   Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency (EEAA) Omayed Experimental Research Area

Last updated: 15/10/2001

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