Tazzeka National Park
The National Park Tazekka (PNTZ), created in 1950 on an area of 11,000 ha, is located in the northernmost part of the Middle Atlas, near the town of Taza (34 ° 06'N-04 ° 11 ' O).
This is a mountainous Park at altitudes of between 1400m and 1980m (the summit of Tazekka), created to preserve the cedar forest of jbel Tazekka very isolated and witness the ancient cedar forests of Morocco extending the Park Tazekka only covers area of 680 ha.
The dynamic endogenous to the forest ecosystem generally require the security area of thousand hectares to speak properly, functional ecological unit while settling from the boundaries thereof. In the case of PNTZ, illustration of this principle there appears very clearly with the natural extension of the cedar forest on the north side of the massif, young cedars that are outside the current boundaries of the Park.
It was therefore logical to completely rethink the base of this park boundaries and zoning. To this end, the forest services have proposed an extension of the Park to a total area of 12,700 ha, is making around three key areas: a core of 2,500 ha, a cork oak forest area (Bab Azhar: 6000 ha ) and a zone called "touristy" including forest Chiker (evergreen oak), the Dayat Chiker Friouato the abyss, the site of Bab Bou Idir, the site of Ras el Maa, and Sidi-Mejbar.
The study therefore focuses naturally on this enlarged space, with the aim to further the proposal on the basis of biological, ecological and socio-economic investigations.
The nature of the substrate (limestone to the east, west siliceous) and altitude are the environmental factors determining the vegetation of this set:
To the east, a forest of oak, undeveloped, interspersed with dry crops and bordered by a Dayat intensive cereal (Dayat Chiker) west, a cork oak forest appointed, with high economic importance to the both for its cork production and its pastoral production> at the center, a relatively high mass, the Tazekka, covered by a top cedar forest, and plant associations more varied than in previous zones (oak stands benzene, green oak, cork, mixed). The cedar forest has been protected since 1950.
The PNTZ does not house as many notable species as other Moroccan national parks (eg PN Souss-Massa. Ibises, PN Al-Hoceima: Ospreys), although the observation of the bearded vulture and Salamander will be possible. Its strengths lie primarily in its isolated cedar forest, its forest areas, its varied landscapes and its chasms, its panoramas. Note that in the field of biodiversity next reintroduction of Barbary deer should give it a new dimension.
Its ecological role is vital, the Tazekka the main constituent of natural water purveyor of a region located downstream. His socio-recreational role is also important in the summer. Its economic role held in the products and by-products offered by the forest such as fire wood, cork and fodder units.
The PNTZ not subject (for the moment) from disturbing deterioration, if perhaps not the slope Eastern Tazekka and around the Dayat Chiker that are overgrazed. The small park houses the cedar forest of Tazekka is well respected by the local people, so is almost the same with the entire forest area of the region
But this optimistic observation must be tempered by the damage suffered by the cave-dwelling heritage, especially the famous Friouato abyss.