UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Gouraya National Park, National Park, Algeria
The Bejaia Province of Algeria is home to the picturesque coastal national park, Gouraya National Park. Its name is derived from the breathtaking Gouraya Mountain that is located in the park and its intimidating six hundred and sixty meter features are not easily missed. In addition to the mountain, the cliffs and clean beaches of Gouraya National Park make it a popular attraction in the province and throughout Algeria. Visitors to the park will be amazed at its biodiversity and magnificent wildlife, of which many are endangered species.
When looking at its coastal location, its marine ecosystem protects a number of significant mammals such as the Harbor Porpoise, the Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Sperm Whale. The forests and mountainous vegetation of the park provide a lifeline to endangered species including the jackal, wild cats, the Algerian hedgehog and Barbary apes, as well as kermes oak, prickly juniper, tree sponge and Aleppo pine which are protected plants. Being able to see the Barbary Macaques in its natural environment is quite an experience, as this primate does not have a wide variety of habitats left to live in, and the Gouraya National Park therefore ensures the survival of this species.
The Gouraya National Park was named a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, but fires and human interference have made conservation efforts more complicated. Trying to maintain the integrity of the park, the Biosphere Reserve has launched research projects by the local university and is working with the local community to promote and educate them on arboriculture, bee keeping and hill farming, to provide them with the education to earn a living, while conserving their natural surroundings.