Location: 70 kilometres from Marrakech Map
Area: 380 sq km
Toubkal National Park is situated 70 kilometres from Marrakech in Western Morocco. Toubkal National Park covers an area of 380 sq km. Toubkal National Park is a national park that protects a vast areas in the High Atlas mountain range. It is located 70 kilometers from Marrakesh in Central Western Morocco. Toubkal National Park was established in 1942 to protect an area with exceptional biodiversity dominated by forests of oak and cedar. Today it covers a total area of 380 square kilometers. The highest peak within this biosphere reserve is Jbel Toubkal Mount or simply Toubkal Mount with a total elevation of 4,167 meters above sea level.
The national park is located in the High Atlas and is grouped around the highest mountain in Morocco and all of North Africa, the 4,167 m high Toubkal. The area is inhabited by Berbers, who use the area to a lesser extent for farming, but to a greater extent for grazing.
About 16 species of mammals live on the territory of the national park, including Barbary sheep, Cuvier's gazelle, Barbary macaque, common porcupine, striped hyena and Atlas squirrel. Barbary leopards and Barbary lions used to live here; however, both are considered extinct (in the wild).
The avifauna is dominated by the bird life of the Palearctic region. About 50 species of birds occur; including birds of prey (e.g. bearded vulture, black-shouldered kite, lanner falcon, desert falcon, golden eagle, booted eagle, Bonelli's eagle and short-toed eagle) as well as crested coot, rock partridge, common swift, bank swallow, dipper, wood-headed shrike, horned lark, alpine accented redstart, red-winged bullfinch, house bunting, chough and chough.
Once home to the Barbary lions, this national park could perhaps also become their new home. Descendants of different lions are examined by DNA for their parentage. The most promising candidates should then be fed into a breeding program. The final phase ultimately envisages a release into the wild in a national park in the High Atlas.
The climate in the national park is determined by its altitude, the Atlantic and the Sahara. About 15% of the national park area is covered with forest.
The northern, wetter flanks are covered by macchie or forest. Holm oak, Aleppo pine and juniper can be found here. At higher altitudes, juniper predominates, which transitions into alpine meadows, pseudo-steppe vegetation and finally into scree. The alpine zone takes up about 20% of the national park area, here you can find, among other things, daffodils, bluebells, goose cress, broom, thistle, dwarf eyebright, downy cherry, heron's beak and snail clover. The southern slopes of the massif are drier than the northern ones, so they are less forested. Here the juniper dominates, alternating with artemisia and awl grass. The numerous river valleys allow for a rich flora, which is dominated by oleander, willow, black and white poplar, holm oak, Portuguese oak and common hawthorn.