hosts a variety of habitats
which range from coastal mangroves, shrub lands and dunes along the coastal
plains to the eastern deserts and an array of montane habitats that reach
elevations of up to 3760 m at Jabel Al-NabiShauib, the highest point on the Arabian Peninsula
These habitats harbour a great number of unique species of plants. Rapid
degradation of the environment, a direct result of desertification and
droughts, among the oldest global environmental phenomena, are drastically
reducing the country's vegetation cover and posing severe threats to wildlife,
including many endemic species.
Over the last several decades, the area of
natural habitat has decreased or been degraded, through over-exploitation of
range resources, land conversion, poor agricultural practices and the pressures
of an ever expanding population with a current growth rate of some 3.5% per
annum, one of the highest rate in the region.
Plant populations are thought to have declined considerably, and
agricultural production has undergone dramatic changes due to the expansion of
Qat plantations at the expense of other crops. The centuries old harmonious
relationship of people and environment that has characterized Yemen’s culture and history is
rapidly disappearing. These alarming trends demand urgent conservation
attention, if even representative portions of Yemen’s natural biotic wealth are
to remain for future generations.
The unique geographical position between the
Arabian Peninsula and Africa, and at the junction point of the Red sea and
Arabian Sea has given Yemen
different climatic and topographical features, which are favorable for the
existence of divers ecosystems along with a high level of biodiversity. Broadly,
is divided into 7 physiographic regions. These are: Coastal plains; low
altitude mountains; medium altitude mountains; high altitude mountains;
highland plains, eastern/ northeast mountains; eastern desert and Socotra island. Yemen’s vegetation types, their
habitats, population and distribution are
summarized in table.