Wildlife, Nature, Flora and Fauna
The varied vegetation of Algeria includes coastal, mountainous and grassy desert-like regions that all support a diverse selection of wildlife, with many of these creatures living in close proximity to civilization. The most commonly seen wildlife in Algeria are wild boars, jackals and gazelles - although it is not uncommon to spot fennecs (foxes) and jerboas. Algeria also has a few small panther, leopard and cheetah populations but these are seldom seen.
The abundance of bird species make the country a haven for bird watchers. For those who prefer other critters, snakes, monitor lizards and a variety of other reptiles can be found living along with an array of rodents throughout the semi-arid regions of Algeria. Algeria is also home a number of endangered species that are currently protected under Algerian law.
The country’s most endangered animal is the serval; a beautiful, wild feline that is larger than a domestic cat but smaller than a leopard. Its head may be considered to be somewhat disproportionate to its body as it is small and round with long, elegant ears. The serval also has the longest legs in the cat family and its coat is characterized by leopard-like spots. A few of these elegant creatures are thought to still exist in the northern parts of Algeria.
Another fascinating creature that is endangered in Algeria is the Mediterranean monk seal. These seals live in caves and upon rocky outcrops along the coast of Algeria and their numbers have been made scarce by over-fishing and pollution. Monk seals do not give birth often and usually have only one pup. This means that attempts to increase the seal population are slow and difficult. Besides the serval and seals, Algerian wild dogs and a number of bat species are also considered to be endangered.
Algerian wildlife protection programs are still being properly established, although there are a few that have been in existence for some time now. Some protection programs in Algeria do not necessarily deal only with Algerian wildlife. The Preservation Station in Algeria, for example, is dedicated to the captive breeding of tamed captive felines and the reintroduction of their wild into the young. Their main focus is currently on the Barbary Lion, which is native to the region but has not been seen in the wild since 1922. Unfortunately, such attempts come too late for some Algerian creatures and animals such as the scimitar oryx and the dama gazelle have not been seen in the country for ten years or longer.