Explore Belezma National Park
Located in the Batna Province of Algeria, the Belezma National Park is considered to be one of the most important national parks in this vast bio-diverse country. Created in 1984 and covering an area of more than 262 square kilometers, the climate in the Belezma National Park ranges from a dry semi-arid climate to a cool sub-humid climate, creating a variety of habitats for an even greater variety of wildlife.
Belezma National Park is home to more than 440 species of flora and in excess of 300 species of fauna, 59 of which have the status of being protected. The Cuvier’s Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri), for example, is one of the protected species in the Belezma National park. It is believed that there are only approximately 2,000 of these beautiful endangered animals remaining in eight northern African nature reserves, including the Belezma National Park. The Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcus) is particularly suited to life in desert conditions. Although they enjoy a drink of water when they can get it, these graceful animals are able to survive their entire lives without drinking water, by getting all the moisture they need from the plants they eat. The Dorcas Gazelle is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is protected in the Belezma National Park.
Atlas Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia) which is a species of goat-antelope (Caprinae) is becoming a rare sight in its native North African habitat, although it has been introduced into parts of the United States. Visitors to the Belezma National Park may spot one of these illusive, solitary animals as they graze among any available plants in the semi-arid areas of the park. As rock dwellers, these sure-footed sheep find food and water in places which other grazing animals cannot reach and this increases their ability to survive in seemingly inhospitable conditions.
Algeria’s most endangered animal is the serval – an attractive medium-sized wild cat. This slender, long-legged feline generally has bold dark spots on tawny colored fur, although variations do occur. The preferred habitat of a Serval is the savanna, with a readily available water supply. Although the Serval is a master of camouflage, visitors to the Belezma National Park stand a good chance of seeing this increasingly rare animal.
With more than 300 species of animals resident in the Belezma National Park, even if visitors don’t manage to catch sight of the more elusive and rare species, there is still plenty to see in this beautiful part of Algeria.