Morocco has a wide range of terrains and climate types and a correspondingly large diversity of plants and animals. The coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate and vegetation while inland the Atlas Mountains are forested. Further south, the borders of the Sahara Desert are increasingly arid. Large mammals are not particularly abundant in Morocco, but rodents, bats and other small mammals are more plentiful. Four hundred and ninety species of birds have been recorded here.
Morocco is a country in northwestern Africa. The land borders include Western Sahara in the southwest and Algeria to the south and east. To the north and west Morocco has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean; to the north it abuts the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea. It encompasses a wide range of terrain types; there is a coastal plain in the north, and many mountain ranges running from east to west across the country, with the Rif Mountains in the northern half and the Atlas Mountains further south. The southern borders are where the Atlas foothills merge into the edges of the Sahara Desert.
One of the best-known mammals of Morocco is the Barbary macaque, the only monkey in Africa to be found north of the Sahara. It is found in the forests and more remote parts of the Rif, Middle and High Atlas, as well as on the Rock of Gibraltar in extreme Southern Europe. Their numbers are declining in Morocco as their habitat is reduced by logging, clearing for crops and overgrazing. Other large mammals include the mouflon, gazelles and wild boar, fennec fox, sand cat, least weasel, Saharan striped polecat, Egyptian mongoose, striped hyena and Mediterranean monk seal. Smaller mammals include cape hares, European rabbits, crested porcupines, ground squirrels, gerbils, jirds, jerboas, rats and mice. Morocco is rich in reptiles, with over ninety species being recorded here. These include small snakes, Moorish wall geckos and the Iberian wall lizards. Amphibians include Berber toads and Mediterranean painted frogs.
A migratory route for birds, linking Western Europe with North Africa, passes across the Strait of Gibraltar and through Morocco. 490 species of bird have been recorded in the country, many of them in passage or winter visitors. A single endemic bird species, the northern bald ibis occurs here, and there are about 12 globally endangered species; the white-headed duck, the Balearic shearwater, the Egyptian vulture, the lappet-faced vulture, the hooded vulture, the white-backed vulture, the Rüppell's vulture, the sociable lapwing, the slender-billed curlew, the great knot and the saker falcon. Other birds with restricted ranges in north Africa include the Levaillant's woodpecker, the Moussier's redstart and the Tristram's warbler.
The butterfly fauna of Morocco is the richest and most diverse of all of North Africa. The number of species gradually increases from Egypt westward along the Mediterranean Sea coast. The Moroccan fauna comprised 5 families, 66 genera and 135 species of butterflies. There are several endemic species here. For most Europeans, Morocco is a perfect link with Africa - in the north landscape and habitats are similar to Andalucia, but in the south Sahara forming the border – Spanish Festoon, Spanish Fritillary, Moroccan Orange-tip, Desert Orange-tip, Sooty Orange-tip, Scarce Green Striped White, Desert Swallowtail, Moroccan Copper, Donzel's Silver-line, Allard's Silver-line, Martin's Blue, Allard's Blue, Black-Eyed Blue, Lorquin's Blue, African Babul Blue, Desert Babul Blue, African Grass Blue, Mediterranean Tiger Blue, Common Tiger Blue, Fatma's Bavius Blue, Spotted Adonis Blue, Moroccan Hairstreak, Moroccan Marbled White, Dark Giant Grayling, African Grayling, Desert Fritillary. Also, the Moroccan dragonfly fauna of 58 species is very interesting, with prevalence of Mediterranean species.

The Butterflies of Morocco

The Butterflies of Morocco

Friday 5th - Wednesday 17th May 2023

COST: 2 550 EUR

Group size: 9 - 12 + leader

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