Animals and Plants
Plants in Syria
There is a very diverse flora in Syria because the country has different altitudes and climatic zones. Forests can still be discovered in the west, although many forests were cleared by humans during the course of settlement. Only three percent of the land area is now forest. Especially oaks and pines grow here.
A denser flora can be found primarily on the coast. Pine and cypress trees also grow here. Those who go further east will find fewer and fewer plants. There are mostly undemanding grasses and shrubs that can cope with drought. Only during the rainy season in spring can many green and colorful plants bloom here. But then mostly only for a short time.
Golden hamsters belong to the hamster family, which also includes the field hamsters that are native to Europe. The European hamsters are, however, somewhat larger than the golden hamsters. These occur mainly in the Middle East, in the border area between Syria and Turkey. They feed on what is grown in the fields. However, their livelihoods are seriously endangered as the land here has been destroyed many times and the farmers consider the hamster a pest. There are many special breeds of golden hamsters. Maybe you also have a golden hamster at home?
Which animals live in Syria?
The animal world also suffered from human colonization. Originally bears and deer or even animals typical of Africa such as hyenas or antelopes lived in Syria, the animal populations have declined and many animal species have been completely exterminated and no longer live in Syria. 125 species of mammals are native to Syria, 23 of them are bats. The largest predators in the country are the brown bear and the wolf. Badger, fox, caracal, golden jackal and mouse weasel also live here.
Syria is also known for an animal that you probably know: the hamster. When speaking of golden hamsters, the “Syrian golden hamster” is usually meant.
Reptiles still have the best chance of survival in the hot desert regions. Lizards, snakes and chameleons can be discovered here. Scorpions also appreciate the desert climate. There are 127 species of reptiles in Syria. Amphibians, on the other hand, only occur in 16 species.
The bird life in Syria is still diverse, there are native bird species, but also many birds that come into the country as migratory birds. 394 species have been counted. In 2002 the bald ibis, which is critically endangered, was discovered in Syria.
The situation in Syria
When we talk about Syria, we are talking about a country that has been at war for several years and where many things have completely collapsed. We don’t yet know exactly how high the economic damage will be for Syria, but the numbers are probably much higher than we currently think.
Serious damage was done in major cities such as Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Dar’a, Idlib and Latakia. Many houses were destroyed. Hospitals are broken and schools are often used as shelter for the many people who have fled within the country and are still fleeing.
Aleppo was probably the worst that was destroyed.
The consequences of the destruction will not be limited to Syria; the neighboring states will also feel them. Up-to-date data on the current economic situation in Syria are therefore difficult to obtain.
Syria urgently needs economic aid. These would, however – especially for Europe – be linked to a more stable political situation, which does not yet exist.
Past and present
But that was not always so. For a very long period of time, Syria was economically one of the strongest countries in the Mediterranean. Not only goods were transported here, but knowledge was also exchanged. However, the country suffered from the conflicts in the Middle East.
Syria was self-sufficient for a long time, but years of drought had dire consequences for agriculture. Even then, only a third of the country was actually usable for agriculture. The cultivation areas were not distributed fairly and small farmers in particular were almost unable to survive. A land reform introduced by the Assad government did not lead to the desired success. For more information about Syria and Asia, please visit cheeroutdoor.
Even before the war, many people in Syria were poor, even if the government tried to improve the situation through education. At the same time, Syria took in many refugees from Iraq and Palestine.
In particular, the gap between rural areas and cities was great. Many people did not benefit from the government’s economic innovations. This social inequality, the differences between rich and poor Syrians, were one of the reasons for the uprisings in 2011.
For a long time, oil was an important source of income. In addition, natural gas, iron ore and phosphate as well as other mineral resources were extracted. But the oil supplies are exhausted. So they began to invest in the expansion of renewable energies. This is particularly useful in a country where the sun shines long and often. But the war also dealt a severe blow to this branch of the economy.
What else was there and what’s next?
Construction and banking were just as important to the Syrian economy before the war. Exports also textiles and foods were.
Even the tourism had developed slowly. People not only came from Arab countries, but also from Europe to see the country’s important cultural treasures. There has been no tourism since the uprisings and the start of the civil war in 2011. Who wants to go to a country where war is raging and everyone is in constant danger?
How the Syrian economy will recover or develop again, we do not know, it depends on how long the war will last and how much will be destroyed and when reconstruction can begin. To do this, the conflicting parties must first come to an agreement.