Abu Galum National Park

1st Nov 2014
Photo of Abu Galum National Park by atefweb

Abu Galum (or Ras Abu Galum) is among the most picturesque Protected areas in Egypt. Its spectacular granite mountains ending abruptly on a narrow coastal plain, fronted by rich coral reefs. The area also encloses narrow sinuous valleys, fresh water springs, coastal sand dunes, gravel alluvial fans, raised fossil reefs and low-lying semi sabkha.

The South Sinai reserves in general and Abu Galum in particular, contain varied ecosystems and habitat types. Management of these areas is based on the premise that all contained habitats are linked by physical and biological processes. High altitude deserts and connecting wadi systems form catchment watersheds, providing fresh water to habitats at lower elevations. The highlands provide for a multitude of micro-habitats supporting flora and fauna that are well adapted to this environment.

During infrequent winter rains, flash floods will wash through wadis transporting seeds and organic materials to lowland areas. Gravels and sands are also transported. These will be deposited in downstream areas often establishing new areas for plant growth. Small, shaded indentations on hillsides will retain water for extended periods and serve as water reservoirs for local fauna. When water and forage is scarce these animals move to lowland areas.

Abu Galum houses 167 plant species, 44 of these species are seen only in this area. It is a floristic frontier falling under the influence of a tropical climate but having predominantly Mediterranean conditions.

Abu Galum contains the largest number of Nubian Ibex, Hyrax, Red Fox and Striped Hyena. Ten species of lizards and snakes have been identified in the area where three of them are very dangerous namely the Black Cobra, the Horned Viper and Burton's Carpet Viper. Fringe reef is near the coast.

Abu Galum Protected Area is managed to ensure that its natural resources are safeguarded from all destructiveactivities. As a result, diving sites and shore access points are being prepared, nature trails through mountain areas have been identified, the area is being kept clean, Bedouin fishing activities are regulated, and a visitor center is under construction.

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