Working for birds in Africa

Algerian forest reinstated as National Park after turbulent history

Date posted: 
Friday, June 21, 2019

Djebel Babor forest in Northern Algeria was a National Park for 60 years.

The Barbary Macaque clings to just a few forests in North Africa © Kamil Laghjichi

Djebel Babor forest in Northern Algeria was a National Park for 60 years before being stripped of its status. Now, despite political upheaval, the hard work of conservationists has paid off once again.

The lush greenery of the forest carpets the edge of the Atlas Mountain range. As you walk among endemic trees like the Algerian Fir, you may spot a troop of Barbary Macaques strolling by with babies clinging to their fur. This Endangered monkey is Europe’s only primate and the only macaque found outside of Asia. Despite this accolade, the species now clings to just a handful of fragmented forests across North Africa. Walk a little further, and you may hear the piping call of the Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, also an Endangered species and the country’s only nuthatch. This scurrying songbird is restricted to just five breeding sites, and Djebel Babor Forest is an important one.

You may therefore be shocked to hear that for many years, this precious habitat had no formal protection. Djebel Babor forest was classified as a National Park in 1921, but a decade later the size of the park was significantly reduced. Then in 1985, it was declassified altogether. Read the rest of this good news story here.

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