Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Failing Protection of Africa’s National Parks

31.08.2007
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”.

Davina Quarterman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00814.x

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>