Fahd S, Mediani M, Ohler A-M, Denys C, Santos X



The River Laou Catchment area lies in the north-western region of Morocco, near to the Mediterranean coast and occupies a surface of about 930 km2. It is situated between two different geographical frames, the coast and the mountain, and is characterised by the presence of a climate ranging from semi-arid to perhumid. This region represents an important interest concerning biogeography, landscape and has an exceptional floristic and faunistic diversity. Nine species of amphibians have been observed in the River Laou Catchment, and this represents over 64 % of all species present in Morocco. This group of vertebrates has been poorly studied in Morocco. The River Laou Catchment is characterised by a large diversity of habitats: the plain of Wadi Laou is the zone with the lowest species richness (2 species). The richest zones are Jbel Kelti, Bouhachem and the south-west of the River Laou Catchment (9 species). These areas are included in the Talassemtane National Park and the project for a new Natural Park at Bouhachem. The rarest species are Pleurodeles waltl and Bufotes boulengeri. The most abundant are Amietrophynus mauritanicus and Pelophylax saharicus. The most threatened species are P. waltl, Salamandra algira and Alytes maurus. Major threats against amphibians of River Laou Catchment are deforestation and water pollution. Conservation measures to be taken are the elaboration of new legal texts that include amphibians in Moroccan legislation, and the consideration of amphibians and their habitat in the zonation of protected areas of the River Laou Catchment.



Journal: Travaux de l’Institut Scientifique, Série Générale