Spectacular Birding in Souss Massa National Park
The Souss Massa National Park, also spelled Souss Masa National Park, was established in the year 1991 and is located near the city of Agadir in Morocco. There are many national parks in Morocco, but none provide a more spectacular variety of bird species than the Souss Massa National Park. Although the increase in population numbers does cause concern, the park and the Moroccan authorities have taken various steps to protect the wildlife and the habitat of the park.
What makes the Souss Massa National Park especially beautiful is its diverse habitat that ranges from endless beaches and cultivated fields to intimidating sand dunes, rocky cliffs and dense Argania forests. As with most and around the world, certain habitats attract specific species and the more diverse the habitat selection, the wider the range of inhabiting species becomes.
Because the park is known for its unlimited range of bird species and migrating birds, avid bird watchers flock to the park to catch a glimpse of the sea of color that decorates the landscape and trees. Visitors can look forward to seeing Hoopoes, Marbled Ducks, Peregrines, Barbary Falcons, Booted Eagles, Spoonbills, Great Spotted Cuckoos, Purple Herons, Swallows, Bee-eaters and Ruddy Shelducks, to name a few. Of course the birds share their surroundings with fascinating animals such as the Jackal, Algerian Hedgehog, African Wild Cat, Leopard Lizards, Weasels, the Red Fox and quite a range of different reptiles and rare amphibians. But it is one bird in particular that steals the show and nearly all who come here hope to see it. The Souss Massa National Park is one of two parks that are home to the only remaining Northern Bald Ibis. The species has been reduced in numbers so dramatically over the years that it is believed that only 100 breeding pairs still remain – of which 75 of are located in the Souss Massa National Park. In the year 2000 the park had only thirty-three breeding pairs but due to the park’s devotion to protect and conserve this spectacular species their numbers have almost doubled.
Tourism in Morocco has led to the demise of many beautiful animals as they are killed for souvenirs or used to entertain international visitors. The park appeals to visitors and tries to educate them about the fact that buying these products and encouraging entertainment acts involving animals costs countless wildlife species their lives. Their deaths are often brutal and involve plenty of suffering. The Soussa Massa National Parks proves that seeing animals and birds in their natural environment is much more rewarding.