Monday, 15 April 2019

The Serengeti-Mara squeeze -- One of the world's most iconic ecosystems under pressure

Urgent need to rethink how we manage the boundaries of protected areas
Date:  March 28, 2019
Source:  University of York
Increased human activity around one of Africa's most iconic ecosystems is 'squeezing the wildlife in its core', damaging habitation and disrupting the migration routes of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle, an international study has concluded.
The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the largest and most protected ecosystems on Earth, spanning 40,000 square kilometres and taking in the Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve in East Africa.
Every year a million wildebeest, half a million gazelle and 200,000 zebra make the perilous trek from the Serengeti national park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya in their search for water and grazing land.
Now, an international team of scientists have discovered that increased human activity along the boundaries is having a detrimental impact on plants, animals, and soils.
The findings are published in the journal Science.
The study looked at 40 years of data, and revealed that some boundary areas have seen a 400 per cent increase in human population over the past decade, while larger wildlife species in key areas in Kenya have declined by more than 75 per cent.
The study reveals how population growth and an influx of livestock in the buffer zones of the parks has squeezed the area available for migration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles, causing them to spend more time grazing less nutritious grasses than they did in the past. This has reduced the frequency of natural fires, changing the vegetation and altering grazing opportunities for other wildlife in the core areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails