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Ahaggar Mountains
Range
An oasis in the Ahaggar Mountains
Country Algeria
Highest point Mount Tahat
 - elevation 3,003 m (9,852 ft)
 - coordinates 23°17′0″N 05°31′0″E / 23.283333°N 5.516667°E / 23.283333; 5.516667
Ahaggar National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)

Locator map
Location Tamanrasset Province, Algeria
Nearest city Tamanrasset
Coordinates 22°50′N 5°20′E / 22.833°N 5.333°E / 22.833; 5.333
Area 3,800 km²
Established 1987

The Ahaggar Mountains (Arabic: جبال هقار‎, Tuareg: idurar uhaggar), also known as the Hoggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, or southern Algeria the Tropic of Cancer. They are located about 1,500 km (900 mi) south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset. The region is largely rocky desert with an average altitude of more than 900 metres (2,953 feet) above sea level. The highest peak is at 3,003 meters (Mount Tahat). Assekrem is a famous and often visited point where le Père de Foucauld lived in the summer of 1905. The main city nearby the Ahaggar is Tamanghasset, built in a desert valley or wadi.

Contents

Environment

The Hoggar Mountain range is chiefly volcanic rock and contains a hot summer climate, with a cold winter climate (temperatures fall below 0°C in the winter). The mountains are young--about 2 million years old. Rainfall is rare and sporadic. However, since the climate is less extreme than in most other areas of the Sahara, the Ahaggar Mountains are a major location for biodiversity and host relict species. The Ahaggar Mountains compose the West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecoregion. It is also one of the national parks of the country.

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African Wild Dogs

Slightly to the west of the Ahaggar range, a population of the endangered African Wild Dog ( Lycaon pictus) remained viable into the 20th century, but is now thought to be extirpated within this entire region.[1]

Some natives still report attacks by unidentified canines, possibly lycaon. Camera trapping should confirm whether or not this most elusive of African canines continues to exist in or near the mountain range. A group of field researchers including Koen de Smet and Farid Belbachir have collected information about reported lycaon sightings in Ahaggar and Tassili. Next round of camera trapping is planned for summer 2010, when genetic analysis of recovered carnivore scats will also be undertaken.[2]

The IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group lists the African Wild Dog as most likely extirpated in this area, but also reports that the precise distibution of all populations is unknown and states that further research, including field surveys, are required. This applies to a number of regions on the African continent, including environs of the Ahaggar Mountains of Algeria. [3]

Other Carnivores

In scats collection they records of presence of unidentifed jackals, leopards, saharan cheetahs, gennets, mongoses (include species unresolved), wild cats, fennecs, ruppell's foxes, and some unknown and unrecognize canids (14 samples of canids DNA, extraction from feacal analysis, include "mountain fennec" and many more endangered Canis species).

Cultural significance

Prehistoric settlement is evident from extant rock paintings dating to 6000 BC.[4] The Ahaggar massif is the land of the Tuaregs or Kel Ahaggar. The tomb of Tin Hinan, the god believed to be the ancestor of the Tuareg is located at Abalessa, an oasis near Tamanghasset. According to legend, the origins of Tim Lam are from Tafilalt region in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.

See also

References

  • Peter Haggett. 2001. Encyclopedia of World Geography, Published by Marshall Cavendish, 3456 pages ISBN 0761472894, 9780761472896
  • C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
  • Jeremy Keenan. 1977. "The Tuareg: People of Ahaggar", Published by Allen Lane, Penguin Books Ltd., London, 385 pages, ISBN 0 7139 0636 7

Line notes


Gallery

External links

Coordinates: 23°17′19″N 5°32′03″E / 23.28861°N 5.53417°E / 23.28861; 5.53417


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