Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Failing Protection Of Africa's National Parks

Date:
September 6, 2007
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
For years, biologists in Africa have known that large mammals -- including antelopes and their predators -- were disappearing outside reserves. Now a raft of studies show that we have moved beyond this. We are losing species from national parks, bastion of biodiversity conservation. Worryingly, this includes the continent's crown jewels such as Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.

Kob antelope (Kobus kob kob) in the Comoι National Park, Cτte d’Ivoire, are suffering from heavy over-hunting.
Credit: Frauke Fischer

For years, biologists in Africa have known that large mammals – including antelopes and their predators - were disappearing outside reserves.

Now a raft of studies, published in the September 2007 issue of the African Journal of Ecology, show that we have moved beyond this.  We are losing species from national parks, bastion of biodiversity conservation. Worryingly, this includes the continent’s crown jewels such as Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

Tim Caro (University of California, Davis, USA) and Paul Scholte (Leiden University, the Netherlands) review a range of wildlife inventories covering the entire Africa continent. Only recently, long term datasets of extensive areas have been mined using sophisticated statistical methods. In addition, population changes have now been traced within a single reserve across considerable time frames. These studies focus on antelopes that are relatively easy to count. Most are delicious to eat…

Caro and Scholte suspect that the documented declines represent only the tip of the iceberg. “Antelope populations have been poorly surveyed, and with the notable exceptions of the African Journal of Ecology articles, have failed to present quantitative information. What the new data show, is even relatively well-organised protected areas cannot be relied on as long-lasting conservation tools.”

“The causes of the large mammal declines are principally anthropogenic. Many parks are subject to the ravaging impact of illegal hunters. In West-Central Africa, this bushmeat hunting used to cover local consumption only, now it includes tables in far off cities that extend to London and Paris. Then there are reserves in which human encroachment is the driving force, whereas in reserves too small to harbour wildlife populations year-round, natural and anthropogenic causes operate in concert.”

Caro and Scholte are cautious in formulating solutions, most of which impact poor people. “The idea of setting aside large tracts of land is outmoded by land-use change and demographics. Increased patrols, equipment and incentives for park guards, in tandem with community outreach programs, will go some way to stop poaching; whereas opposition to land greedy development schemes may halt encroachment.  But ultimately we may have to get used to faunal relaxation in Africa’s famous reserves leaving a continent containing isolated pockets of large mammal diversity living at low population sizes. Just like Europe.”

Reference: Tim Caro and Paul Scholte (2007). When Protection Falters. African Journal of Ecology 45 (3)  doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00814.x


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Failing Protection Of Africa's National Parks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830105915.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2007, September 6). Failing Protection Of Africa's National Parks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830105915.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Failing Protection Of Africa's National Parks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830105915.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins