Animals of the Atlas Mountains

A barbary macaque with baby.
A barbary macaque with baby.

Where Is The Atlas Mountain?

The Atlas Mountains are a series of mountain ranges found in the northwestern region of Africa passing through Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.The mountain ranges stretch for about 1,600 miles from the port of Agadir in Morocco to Tunis the Capital city of Tunisia. The mountains' thick rim rises to form a high peak reaching 13,671 feet that separate the Sahara in the south from the Mediterranean Basin in the north. The Berber people are the primary inhabitants of the Atlas Mountains. The mountain ranges is home to different flora and fauna that are unique to Africa, and some are critically endangered while others are already extinct

What Unique Animals Live In The Atlas Mountains?

Barbary macaque

Barbary macaque (Macau Sylvanus) is also known as magot or Barbary ape, and they are large old world monkey species with a vestigial tail that are mostly found in the Algerian and Moroccan Atlas mountains. Other small populations of the species from North Africa were introduced to the Gibraltar. The Barbary macaque is of a distinct interest since the male play an exceptional role in raising the young ones. Since paternity is uncertain among the Barbary apes, the males mostly raise all the infants. Macaque can be found in some habitats, and their primary diet includes insects and plants. Female Macaque can live up to 30 years whereas the male lives to only around 25 years. The animal is the only non-human primate found in Europe, and despite the 'ape' in their name the Macaque are true monkey species while the name Barbary is derived from the region of Barbary Coast located in Northwest Africa. There are about 230 macaque species in Gibraltar making them the only species outside the Northern Africa region.

Barbary leopard

The Barbary Leopard (Panthera pardus Panthera) also known as the North African leopard is found in the Atlas Mountains region in North Africa hence its name. The Barbary Leopard was originally categorized as a subspecies of the leopard during the late 18th Century. However, after the genetic analysis was done in the late 1990s the population of Barbary leopards is now grouped in the same category as the African leopard. In northern Africa, leopards are rare to find because they only exist in limited populations persisting in the Algerian and Moroccan region of the Atlas Mountains where the climate is slightly mild temperatures.

Barbary sheep

Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) also known as arui, aoudad, arruis, or waddan is a species of the goat-antelope known as caprid. Barbary sheep has six other subspecies are native to the Atlas Mountains in North Africa. Despite the animal being rare to its native region, the species is found in other places outside North Africa such as southern Europe, North America, and elsewhere. The animal's primary diet includes bushes, grasses, and lichens. The sheep can obtain metabolic water from the food they eat but whenever they find liquid water they drink and splash around. The Barbary sheep are active during the late afternoon and early morning but rest during the day when there is heat

Cuvier's gazelle

The Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) is a subspecies of the gazelle which is found in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The animal is also known as the edmi, and because of its woodland habitat, it is among the gazelle's darkest species in body color. Sometimes, Cuvier's gazelle together with rhim gazelles and goitered gazelles are placed in a different genus of Trachelocele from the other gazelles. The Cuvier's gazelle is a very rare species in the wild with approximately 2,000 existing species only.


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