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Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve, Morocco

Located in the southwest of Morocco, this biosphere reserve covers a vast intramontane plain of more than 2,560,000 hectares, bordered by the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains and open to the Atlantic in the west. The area is known for its endemic species, the Argan (Argania spinose), which is not only important in terms of conservation, but also for research and socio-economic development. The Argan oil has multiple uses in cooking, medicines and cosmetics. The trees are also used as fuelwood for cooking and heating.

Designation date: 1988


Regional network:  ArabMAB

Ecosystem-based network: Drylands and Mountains




    Surface : 2.499.970 ha

    • Core area(s):  16.620 ha  
    • Buffer zone(s):  582.450 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 1.900.900 ha

    Location: 29°15' / 31°20'N; 8°10' / 10°25'W

    Administrative Authorities

    Région de Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz; Préfecture d'Agadir Ida-Outanane;  Préfecture Inezgane-Aït Melloul;  Province de Chtouka-Aït Baha; Province de Taroudant; Province de Tiznit

    Réserve de Biosphère Arganeraie (RBA)
    Quartier Administratif, BP n° 520, Agadir
    80.000 Agadir

    Tel.: +212 5 28 84 87 57

    Email: N/A

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Arganeraie (the argan tree and its ecological system) is unique in the world, as it has adapted to a particularly arid climate, creating an ecosystem for various species. The region is home to various endemic flora species, some of which are hardly found these days, like the Moroccan lotus (Lotus maroccanus) and the Selaginella balansae. On the other hand, the Biosphere Reserve features species like the lynx (Felis caracal) and the Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia). The latter is considered vulnerable by the IUCN’s Red List.

    Lately, climate changes have translated into long periods of droughts, followed by heavy rain and floods.



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Arganeraie has a population of 3.5 million inhabitants, 60% of which live in the countryside. Most of them make a living of sheep herding and agriculture, including fruit production and the cultivation of the Argan tree and the production of its oil.

    Besides, Agadir and Essaouira, which have a substantial hospitality infrastructure within the limits of the Biosphere Reserve. Along with small historical villages and ruins in the Arganeraire, they attract thousands of tourists every year.





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    Last updated: October 2018