Flora & Fauna of Libya

Flora & Fauna of Libya Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

Libyan vegetation is mostly extremely sparse, particularly in the desert areas. Oases support the growth of date palms, olive trees and orange trees, and the Jabal Nafusah Plateau is covered with shrubs such as asphodel and wild pistachio.

Other natural vegetation includes tamarind, fig tree, acacia arabica, and, in the desert regions, sparse scatterings of salt bush and grasses such as alfalfa and esparto.

The only forested area is the Jabal al-Akhdar, where juniper and mastic trees can be found, but this covers only about 1% of Libya's total land area.

Fauna include desert rodents, hyena, wildcat, porcupine and gazelle. Bird life consists of carrion-eaters such as the vulture, and birds of prey such as the eagle and hawk. Many other migrant birds are often blown into the Sahara en route for less harsh destinations. Snakes and scorpions are also present in desert areas.

Libya's chief animal inhabitant was once the dromedary camel, but this is now in decline.

The area is thought to have been home to a much richer variety of wildlife in past ages. This is borne out by many wall- and cave-paintings, which show elephants, leopards and wolves, none of which can be found in Libya today.

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