Flora and fauna of Todra
A rich and varied flora
With a dense and varied biodiversity, the Todra valley nourishes a multiple ecosystem resulting from geological and geographical particularities specific to this region of the High Atlas.
Todra flora can be divided into two distinct categories
The wild flora: it is present, lined on the surrounding mountains of the valley, scattered along the hamadas and near the palm grove. It is an endemic vegetation in this area that is characterized by rapid renewal and reconstitution following rainy periods, however short they may be.
There are herbaceous plants that are resistant to climate change, with discontinuous forms depending on the type of soil. This flora appears as a few clumps, isolated trees such as the jujubier, the goumier, among ephemeral grass and steppe vegetation such as cauliflower, wild chickpea, Roman chamomile…
The oasis flora
If the wild flora is in general of selected form, herbaceous, shrubs, the oasis as for it with its more humid climate, presents a space with thick and varied ground. Thus the palm grove of Todra is a space with a rich and abundant vegetal carpet where abound date palms and olive trees in particular, robust trees all along the course of the river Todra.
Trees and plants
The date palm is of exceptional food importance for everyone and the quality and variety of dates are known far beyond the Todra valley. We can quote, the dates fagous, assori, noussabssa and ahfsa.
The olive tree within the palm grove is the dominant tree, well known for its nutritional, cosmetic and preventive values. When it is harvested, the majority of the population finds an opportunity to work there. Pomace is useful for both fodder and heating.
The arboriculture is well present and there is a great diversity of fruit trees. The most represented species are fig, apricot, vine, peach, almond, walnut, pomegranate…
The non-fruit-bearing shrubs, present along the banks and growing spontaneously, are rose bushes, oleanders, rosehips and cane bushes, as well as reeds that cushion the impact of certain floods. Poplar and tamarisk are also used for carpentry and dyeing.
In general, the oasis flora includes food and fodder plants such as alfalfa, beans, cereals and other medicinal and toxic plants. Corn, wheat, barley, coriander and celery can be found under the trees and in the neighbourhood. Depending on irrigation possibilities, carrots, melons, watermelons and others can be found.
Wildlife in the air
The palm grove hosts and shelters a large number of nesting species due to the rarity of tree formations in the surrounding arid environments and the heterogeneity of vegetation.
Thus, quail, black-crested quail, hoopoe, chickadee and charcoal nest there regularly. For the other species, whether they are sedentary or simply overwintered, the most remarkable of them are: the herbaceous bustard, the gangas, the Persian bee-eater, the desert swallow, the traquet, the lark…
Finally, the brown raven is sometimes seen. As for the royal eagle, it is so rare that it seems to have disappeared. We must add all the migratory birds that fly over the valley such as the beetle, the partridge, the warbler and the swallow as well as nocturnal birds such as the owl or the flying mammal that is the bat. The low densities and varieties that mark the vegetation cover outside the palm grove also apply to the fauna.
The relativity or scarcity of food forces it to an active search, giving all its erratic character to this same fauna. The invertebrates best adapted to the arid environment are scorpions, spiders, all kinds of arachnids, mites… Reptiles are the most varied and best adapted to the environment. We meet lizards, snakes like vipers, Egyptian cobras. As for the hedgehog of Algeria, it is the only insectivore mammal that characterizes the area.
And in the water…
In the rivers, we count trout, carp and barbels. If the plant cover is dependent on three factors, water, earth and heat, the animal becomes familiar with the environment that provides food and water.
It withstands excessive cold and intense heat. This fauna is exposed to the risk of its slow depletion in the absence of serious protection and conservation measures. Tinghir is known as a region resistant to degradation.