Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Africa's national parks hit by mammal declines

13.07.2010
Parks need urgent support to halt loss of key species

AFRICAN national parks like Masai Mara and the Serengeti have seen populations of large mammals decline by up to 59 per cent, according to a study published in Biological Conservation.

The parks are each visited by thousands of tourists each year hoping to spot Africa's 'Big Five' – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino – but the research shows that urgent efforts are needed to secure the future of the parks and their role in tourism.

Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Cambridge University created an index of change in population abundance for a multitude of species in 78 protected areas throughout Africa.

The index revealed an average decline of almost 60 per cent in the population abundance of 69 key species including lion, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo and zebra between 1970 and 2005 in the national parks visited by millions of tourists each year. There is great variation by region with populations increasing in southern Africa, declining by more than half in East Africa and 85 percent declines in West Africa. The massive declines in West Africa are likely due to the lack of financial and personnel resources, high rates of habitat degradation and the growing bushmeat trade.

Despite the severe losses, the rate of decline has slowed over time, indicating that management of the areas has been gradually improving – but more support is needed.

Study leader and ZSL researcher Ian Craigie said: "Although the results indicate that African national parks have generally failed to maintain their populations of large mammals, the situation outside the parks is almost undoubtedly worse. Many species like rhino are practically extinct outside national parks."

Director of ZSL Conservation Programmes, Jonathan Baillie, added: "The results are far worse than we imagined, but the increasing population trends in southern Africa provide hope and demonstrate that protected areas can be very effective for conserving large mammals if properly resourced.''

Editors' notes:

Craigie, I.D et al. Large mammal population declines in Africa's protected areas is published online in Biological Conservation.

The study was undertaken by scientists from Cambridge University, the Zoological Society of London, RSPB and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council.

The study was carried out by collection of animal population trend data from the parks' own animal census data and other published sources. The population trend data were then aggregated using novel statistical methods to produce overall population trends from 1970 to 2005 for the continent and different regions. The aggregate result for all available parks in Africa showed a population decline of 59% between 1970 and 2005.

Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The Society runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research at the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation overseas.

Victoria Picknell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.zsl.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>