A desert rose anchors itself on the Maalah cliffs, Yemen

Isolated Socotra, 220 miles from mainland Yemen, is home to a panoply of strange plants and animals uniquely adapted to the hot, harsh, windswept island.   Above: A desert rose anchors itself on the Maalah cliffs, in the company of more than 300 other rare plant species on Socotra. In the distance lies Qulansiyah, one of the island’s largest towns.  Image ©Mark W. Moffet / National Geographic

Botanical icon of Socotra, Yemen
Image ©Michael Melford / National Geographic



Botanical icon of Socotra, the dragon’s blood tree uses its upraised branches to grab moisture from highland mists. Conservationists fear that poor reproduction threatens the species’ future.

National Geographic June 2012
The images are from the June edition of National Geographic magazine for iPad, available on the App Store.

Dragon's blood forests, Yemen
Image ©Mark W. Moffet / National Geographic

Dragon’s blood forests are nearly devoid of seedlings and young trees. Some scientists blame a lack of water caused by a decrease in seasonal cloud cover—and predict that many stands could disappear within a century.



White sand dunes  along Socotra's southern coastline, Yemen
Image ©Michael Melford / National Geographic

Dazzling white sand dunes stretch for miles in places along Socotra’s southern coastline, here at Aomak beach. Extremely high winds during the monsoon season constantly reshape the dunes.

seabirds breed on Socotra, Yemen
Image ©Michael Melford / National Geographic

A brown booby lands on the western coast. At least ten kinds of seabirds breed on Socotra or the small islands around it, making the archipelago a regionally significant home for them.



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