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Desertification

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Desertification and How we can Prevent it
Causes and Effects of Desertification
The Biome
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The Biome

Plants and Animals in the Desert

The Sahel desert has unique flora and fauna. The animals in the Sahel desert include many different kinds of antelope. Some of these species are dorcas gazelles, dama gazelles, slender-horned gazelles, Cuvier’s gazelles, addax, and scimitar-horned oryx. All of these animals are endangered and limited in population. Some reasons are because of drought and being over-hunted. Other animals in the Sahel region include hyenas, cheetahs, sand cats, small birds, foxes, camels, and red-necked ostrich. Although it is limited in its biodiversity, the Sahel region is an extremely important area for wildlife. Many of the small birds migrate to the Sahel during the winter. Animals in this region are becoming endangered because of drought and desertification. A good example of an animal that is becoming endangered is the red-necked ostrich. It is becoming endangered because it lays the world’s largest egg. Therefore, it makes hunting easy because it is easy to tell that ostriches are in the area. People today are starting organizations to help save the wildlife in the Sahel region. A type of organization is a breeding facility. Also, the government has outlawed hunting in many areas of the Sahel. (Saving the Sahel, 2002)

The Sahel’s vegetation is sparse in some areas but rich in other areas. Sahel’s vegetation is dependent on the amount of rain in the region. There are grasses, trees, and shrubs in the Sahel region. There is also some millet or grain in the Sahel. Sparse areas contain little wildlife, but on the contrary lush areas contain lots of wildlife. (Saving the Sahel, 2002)

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Major Types of Deserts And Their Climates

 Hot and Dry Deserts

 

  • Seasons are generally warm throughout the year and very hot in the summer
  • Winters bring little rainfall
  • Desert surfaces receive a little more than twice the solar radiation received by humid regions and lose almost twice as much heat at night
  • Soils are course-textured, shallow, rocky or gravely with good drainage and have no subsurface water Coarse because there is less chemical weathering (Stephanie Pullen, Kacey Ballard, April 2004)

Semi Arid Deserts

 

  • The summers are moderately long and dry, and like hot deserts
    1. Summer temperatures usually average between 21-27 C. It normally does not go above 38 C
  • The winters normally bring low concentrations of rainfall
    1. Evening temperatures are cool, at around 10 C. Cool nights help both plants and animals by reducing moisture loss from transpiration, sweating and breathing
    1. The soil can range from sandy and fine-textured to loose rock fragments, gravel or sand (Stephanie Pullen, Kacey Ballard, April 2004)

 Coastal Deserts

 

  • The winters are cool
  • The summers are moderately long and warm
  • The soil is fine-textured with a moderate salt content, it is fairly porous with good drainage
  • Are found in areas that are moderately warm to cool, such as the Neotropic and Nearctic realm (Stephanie Pullen, Kacey Ballard, April 2004) ( Desert Biomes January, 2002 )

Cold Deserts

 

  • This kind of desert has snowfall, and rainfall throughout the winter and summer
  • The soil is heavy, silty, and salty, it contains alluvial fans where soil is relatively porous and drainage is good so that most of the salt has been leached out
  • Have short, moist, and moderately warm summers with fairly long, cold winters (Stephanie Pullen, Kacey Ballard, April 2004)

Climate of deserts

 

High-pressure zones in which cold air descends form dry desert climates.

 

The climate in the desert is very dry and hot mostly because the equator locates the biomes. ( Desert Climate, Tami Boden, Tiffany Garboden, and Kim Cummings)

  

What classifies a desert?

 

What classifies a desert is an area of land, usually in very hot climates, that consists only of sand, gravel, or rock with little or no vegetation, no permanent bodies of water, and erratic rainfall. (Encarta, Microsoft 2005 )

 

 

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Desertification