Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 14:59 -- abc_admin
Djibouti_Douda_Palm

Djibouti, Douda Palm

Image Credit: 
Abdi Jama

The Republic of Djibouti, independent since June 27th 1977, covers a total land area of ~ 23.200 km2. The country shares boundaries with Eritrea, Ethiopia and Northern Somalia. The population consists of two main ethnic groups, the “Issa” in the South and the “Afar” in the North. It is estimated that there are about 750,000 inhabitants (Ministry of Health, 2010). About 75 % of the population live in Djibouti city and other smaller cities. A minority group still has to a traditional nomadic lifestyle.

Biogeographically, Djibouti is located in the Great Rift Valley and belongs to the Horn of Africa which is home to a number of endemic and globally threatened species of fauna and flora. It is separated from the Arabian Peninsula by 28 km only. Highest altitudes such as Mount Moussa Ali reach up to about 2,020 m and are an impressive contrast to depressions like Lake Assal, which is 153 m below sea level.

The coastline has a total length of ~370 km with scattered extensive mangroves bordered by large intertidal mudflats exposed at low tide in several areas. The main natural resources consist of livestock and marine fisheries which are exploited traditionally to feed the urban population. Very low and irregular rainfall is part of the semi-desert, monsoon driven climate. Areas with more humidity result in acacia bush land or even patches of Juniperus / Buxus forest. Grass and herb savanna, marshes, palm aggregations or mangroves represent other important biotopes.

More details can be found at CIA Factbook.

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