Originally Posted by Yanal
--The living desert – the wildlife of Saudi Arabia
Lack of soil and water, combined with wind, shifting sand and heat, make life tough for plants. Where water is present, growth is luxuriant, such as in the cooler, wetter Asir mountains, where juniper forest mixes with olive trees, jasmine, honeysuckle and roses.
Elsewhere, in the hotter regions, date palms flourish where water is more accessible, and in the drier areas, in the open gravel and sandy plains, acacia trees are the most common, specially adapted, with long tap roots that reach down into the ground in search of water.
The wildlife and conservation body in Saudi Arabia:
The Fennec fox is a small, desert fox with very large ears; it lives in the Sahara and in northern Saudi Arabia.
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Plant and animal life
Much of Saudi Arabia's vegetation belongs to the North African–Indian desert region. Plants are xerophytic (requiring little water) and are mostly small herbs and shrubs that are useful as forage.
There are a few small areas of grass and trees in southern Asir. Although the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widespread, about one-third of the date palms grown are in Al-Sharqiyyah province.
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Animal life includes wolves, hyenas, foxes, honey badgers, mongooses, porcupines, baboons, hedgehogs, hares, sand rats, and jerboas.
Larger animals such as gazelles, oryx, leopards, and mountain goats were relatively numerous until about 1950, when hunting from motor vehicles reduced these animals almost to extinction. Birds include falcons (which are caught and trained for hunting), eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, ravens, flamingos, egrets, pelicans, doves, and quail, as well as sand grouse and bulbuls.
There are several species of snakes, many of which are poisonous, and numerous types of lizards. There is a wide variety of marine life in the gulf. Domesticated animals include camels, fat-tailed sheep, long-eared goats, salukis, donkeys, and chickens.