Algeria officially Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, republic of western North Africa; bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea; on the east by Tunisia and Libya; on the south by Niger, Mali, and Mauritania; and on the west by Morocco. Its total area is 2,381,741 sq km (919,595 sq mi).
Natural Resources Most of the natural wealth of Algeria lies in its sizable mineral deposits, notably crude petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, and iron ore. Other minerals include coal, lead, and zinc. The arable land comprises only about 3 percent of the total area and is located mainly in the valleys and plains of the coastal region.
Plants and Animals The northern sections of Algeria have suffered from centuries of deforestation and overgrazing. Remnants of forests exist in a few areas of the higher Tell and Saharan Atlas. Trees include pines, Atlas cedar, and various oaks, including cork oak. Lower slopes are bare or covered with a scrub vegetation of juniper and other shrubs. Much of the High Plateau is barren, but tracts of steppe vegetation containing esparto grass and brushwood are present. Plant life in the Sahara is widely scattered and consists of drought-resistant grasses, acacia, and jujube trees.
The relatively sparse vegetation of the country can support only a limited wildlife population. Scavengers, such as jackals, hyenas, and vultures, are found in most regions. Fewer antelope, hares, gazelles, and reptiles are also present.
Soils Rich soils are rare in Algeria. The most fertile lands, located in the Tell region, nearest the coast, are relatively poor in humus and have suffered from overcultivation. The plains have considerable alluvial deposits, but the uplands have poorer soils and can support only grasses suitable for grazing. 55494jpt21lue5v