The Souss-Massa Region is located in the center of the Kingdom, and is considered as an environment that is both Atlantic and continental. Located in the pre-Saharan zone, the Region covers several distinct areas:
– The mountain ranges: Namely the southern western border of the High Atlas and the north-western border of the Anti-Atlas.
– The Plains: mainly consist of the plain of Souss and that of Chtouka-Massa.
– The Oases: Located in the South of the Region, they make an extension of the oases of the Draa Valley
– The desert zone: mainly enclosing the reliefs of Ouazkziz and Bani, as well as stony plains south of Tata.
Souss-Massa is home to two natural areas bearing the UNESCO label: The Argan Biosphere Reserve and the Souss-Massa National Park.
The Region has several rivers, the most important of which are Oued Souss which has its source in the High Atlas, Oued Massa which has its source in the Anti-Atlas and a section of Oued Drâa.
The climate of Souss-Massa is generally dry, influenced by the ocean and the Sahara. Thus, the north of the Region dominated by the Atlas progressing towards the plain is characterized by a humid, semi-arid climate, the latter which occupies the lower part of the relief of the Atlas as well as the basins of Souss and Massa, knows an arid climate. Finally, the southern and southeastern part of the region that makes up the northern side of the Sahara is covered by a desert climate.
Precipitation is irregular in space and time and varies between 70 and 350mm per year, and the winds are either from the east with a desert influence, or from the west with the freshness of the ocean.
The regional flora consists mainly of argan, jujube, cedar, olive, almond, thuja, carob, euphorbia, holm oak and medicinal plants. Several fruit trees grow in the Souss valley: the palm tree, the orange tree, the pomegranate tree, the fig tree, as well as the prickly ash. The forest in the Souss-Massa region constitutes a natural barrier against desertification, water and wind erosion and sandstorms.
The fauna is made up of:
– Small mammals: Maggot monkeys, hares, porcupines, squirrels…
– Large mammals: Barbary sheep, Cuvier and Dorcas gazelles, wild boar…
– Several species of turtles and reptiles
– Sedentary birds: bustards, partridges and red partridges…
– Migratory birds: white storks, doves, quails, wood pigeons, ducks…
The Souss-Massa National Park’s bird reserve is one of the largest parks in Africa with an area of 33,800 ha.