Terrain shapes and bedrock
Western Sahara has all the types of desert, rock, rock
and sand desert, and all the different dune forms that occur
in other parts of the Sahara. A low coastal region of
varying width is infertile coastal desert. The coastline is
heavily leveled, equipped with beach spurs and longer inland
beach lakes. Inner part of Western Sahara is a high plateau
of 500–800 m altitude. The land surface is torn apart by a
network of former river valleys, wadier.
The bedrock in the inner parts consists in the south of
granites formed during the Precambrian (older than 570
million years) and in the coastal area of young
sedimentary rocks. In the north there is a narrow zone of
rocks, mainly sandstones, formed during the Paleozoic and
Mesozoic periods about 570-65 million years ago.
Western Sahara is completely in the tropical, arid
climate zone with no or very little rainfall, except for
occasional rain showers some years. The average value is
lower than 500 mm of precipitation per year. The average
temperature in July is 30 °C in the eastern parts and 25 °C on the coast, where the air is cooled by the Canary
stream. The average temperature for January is 20 °C in the
south and 15 °C in the north. The cold Canary stream also
causes almost all moisture to precipitate as rain over the
Western Sahara has desert vegetation, which is
characterized by succulent bushes along the Atlantic coast,
including several species of euphorbia. Species such as
Acaʹcia toʹrtilis, Lyʹcium intricaʹtum and
toothbrush trees (Salvadoʹra peʹrsica) are
also scattered in the area. Strikingly, the bushes have a
rich growth of lichens. There are also various genus
amaranth plants, such as Anaʹbasis, Saʹlsola
The hinterland is dominated by dry riverbeds and rocky
and rocky desert plains, where amaranth plants such as the
Haloʹxylon and Cornuʹlaca genera and the
Ariʹstida and Stipagroʹstis grasses are
common features. Along the riverbeds, tamarisk and oleander
can be numerous.
The fauna is poor with only 32 species of mammals, 60
species of nesting birds and 26 species of reptiles. Mammals
include male sheep, dorkas gazelle, pigeon deer gazelle,
common hedgehog, caphare, golden shawl, honey badger, genet
and desert hedgehog (Hemiechiʹnus aethioʹpicus).
The bird fauna is dominated by semi-desert and desert
species, including flying chickens, larch and stone washes.
Some other typical species are rock chickens, desert
runners, desert corpses and Saharan squirrels (Turdoiʹdes
fuʹlvus). In the cultivation areas and gardens there is
a garden bulb. royal tern. Many European migratory birds
pass Western Sahara while moving to and from the winter
quarters, and some waders spend the winter here.
Among crustaceans are found in arid areas including. puff
adder, hornworm and fringe fingers.
In 1996, Western Sahara had no major nature protected