African National Parks

African National Parks

Africa — a continent with a large multinational layer of immigrants from other countries, especially those of European origin. Natural conditions, development of the territory and natural resources, technological development and the level of national consciousness in different countries have significant differences. Naturally, the national parks and reserves in Africa do not constitute a single entity. Approaches to protected areas, the history of environmental affairs, difficulties and problems that need resolution in each country to a large extent different. The history of the African national parks and nature reserves calculated for decades, renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa, it is the end of the last century. In some other countries, the story is just beginning, as, for example, in The Gambia and Botswana, while others do not start.

In the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania on the territory of the first national parks and nature reserves have arisen during the colonial regime, which greatly affected their subsequent development, to a certain extent conditioned by the previously established traditions.

With the creation of national parks often sought to preserve in maloizmenennom a wild man as a whole and its individual components — flora, fauna, rare species threatened with extinction and to preserve other natural monuments. Based primarily on these considerations, the national parks have been created in a number of places in Western and Equatorial Africa, when these lands were a colony of France and Belgium. The same theme in a more close to us time to organize prompted some parks and reserves in developing and other countries.

In some cases, the creation of national parks pursued business goals — to attract a large number of tourists from different countries. Commercial premises in varying degrees, combined with a responsible environment. Scientific and especially educational motives for many years did not play any significant role in the establishment of national parks and reserves in Africa, and only recently this situation has begun to change.

Few parks, but many reserves have emerged on the spot vyvshih hunting and cattle ranch, as was the case in South Africa and Rhodesia. Most of them still belong to private persons. In South-West Africa, South Africa occupied some game reserves, such Karkoveld while reservations are Bantu, whose way of life is artificially maintained in primitive conditions.

As in many other countries, the initiators and founders of the National Park for many years believed that sufficient to alienate a relatively large area of ​​the order of 300 — 500 thousand. Or 1 million hectares. It features a variety of habitats, establish here protection and provide a natural complex itself, most of the problems will be solved. The subsequent history of the parks has shown that it is not so.

While the park was surrounded by sparsely developed area and almost unaltered nature, natural complex in the park developed normally, some of its components are in conformity with each other. However, as the park is increasingly becoming an island or an array of wildlife, even very large, but surrounded by vast expanses of agricultural land, plantations, pasture cattle, villages, terrain that cut through the highway and railroad tracks, safe position in life protected natural complex gradually lost. From nursery game to the surrounding forests and savannas park often it became a «sponge» supersaturated wild animals, especially ungulates, who made devastating raids on neighboring agricultural land.

Excessive reproduction of many species of wild ungulates has contributed not only to security, as such, t. E. Removal of «press» of hunting, but also one-sided patronage ungulates from the person, expressed in the fight against such predators like lion, leopard, bat-eared fox, and others, in the creation of artificial watering and some similar events violated historically balance in natural complexes. However, such events were conducted in national parks is not everywhere and always. For example, in the parks on the territory of the Republic of Congo and some other large predators had never fought a natural complex to a greater extent than in other areas, was to himself. This, if not eliminate, the much delayed development of unfavorable trends in the life of natural systems faced parks and reserves in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

On the territory of the Kruger Park in South Africa migratory ungulates repeatedly skid foot and mouth disease and anthrax infected by it from the cattle in the neighboring areas. Those ungulates often devastated crops on farmland. This prompted enclose most of the huge park fence, which, however, large animals such as elephant and buffalo often break.

The creation of artificial watering, practiced in the Kruger Park and Tsavo temporarily increased the capacity of the land, but in the future this has led here and grazing vegetation wild ungulates. While artificial watering was not, ungulates, with the onset of the dry season and the drying of natural water bodies, are forced to be distributed over a large area, or move to other areas, sometimes beyond the park, separated by 100-150 km from its borders. Now, the majority of animals remained in the same location. As a result, for 10-15 years, and sometimes for a short period of time, the vegetation within a radius of several kilometers from the artificial watering is destroyed.

From the foregoing it would be wrong to conclude that the biological activities in the protected areas do not show. They are necessary, but should be built on a reasonable basis, taking into account environmental cenosis in general. These measures are necessary because they themselves parks and reserves are becoming increasingly artificial natural one, since on all sides closing in villages and anthropogenic landscape that excludes the possibility of former wide seasonal migration of hoofed animals with access well beyond protected areas. All this requires a more flexible approach to business, a reasonable intervention and assistance of the person.

To ensure that this assistance to be effective, you need a good knowledge of life cenoses, knowledge of the ecology of individual species and all natural complex as a whole. In some African countries it is quite consciously, and scientific work, subordinate the interests of improving the activity of parks and reserves, began to develop.

However, in respect of its organization there is no unity. For a long time it was built almost exclusively by forces outside scientific experts and institutions. On the territory of the former Belgian Congo, these studies led scientific center in the metropolis. Many experts went on for a long time in Africa. The fruit of their work was a large number of books, however, the mass of a descriptive nature, but generally very useful, since the inventory — a necessary step in the scientific work of the majority of protected areas. On the basis of studies in the famous Albert National Park, now renamed in Kivu, at the time it was published about 360 scientific books and other works totaling more than 30 thousand. Pages. For collection on the territory of the park we have described about 4,000 new species.

At present scientific work in most national parks in Africa carried out by visiting researchers from Europe and America, which is done in order to help developing countries and financed by various international and national organizations, such as UNESCO, FAO, IUCN, WWF and al.

In some national parks, particularly in South Africa and a few other countries, operate their own staff of experts who are there permanently or temporarily, and to be financed by the proceeds of the park from the tourists and by the various governmental and public grants.

In some parks and reserves scientific work is organized well enough. Experts are provided for operation of the machine, sometimes even light aircraft, a technique that allows to carry out a large enough scale capture, immobilization and tagging of large animals — elephants, lions, buffaloes, antelopes and others. Exceptionally interesting research conducted in the field of biogeocenology, determine the functional role of the different components cenosis ungulates, carnivores and others.

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania constant biological cell created in 1961. In 1966 in Arusha organized by the Research Institute of the Serengeti, financed by foreign funds. The Institute is designed for the simultaneous operation of 16 specialists. Along with research, calculated for a few months, but no more than a few seasons, began years of research with the aim to trace in detail the dynamics of natural systems and identify the importance in this process of various environmental factors. According to his idea of ​​these studies are close to our reserves held under the title «Chronicle of Nature».

The Serengeti is also carried out to study the ecology of individual species, compiled soil and other maps, explores different cenoses primary productivity and its annual and seasonal aspects. Much attention is paid to the productivity of cereal associations and different types of seasonal zlakovnikov ungulates. The park contains interesting data on the competitive relationship hoofed animals and their ecological and biotopic divergence makes possible a large number of animals living in the same area that is so characteristic of the most pristine tropical cenoses.

Given the large role of elephants in cenoses and their impact on vegetation and its dynamics, these issues in the Serengeti takes 4 biologist, not counting assistants. All this has allowed to get a brand new data on the lives of these large animals. Elephants received much attention and a number of other parks and reserves.

In Serengeti there are more than 40,000 buffalo, some of overpopulated land. Ecology of these animals actively studied. Separate buffalo wear collars with lamps, which is included at the request of observers. This allows you to keep track of the animals and at night.

A number of studies devoted to the topical issue of the «predator — prey».

Research is being conducted on the issue of «parasite — host» study infectious and other diseases of different kinds of game.

The research is a great place is paid to the capacity of protected land and the development of methods of regulating the number of animals in protected mode. The Kruger Park in this regard has been studied and a purely practical question as conservation methods sures product in hot weather, its delivery to the consumer and so on. N. In this park, and a number of other studied silent and did not scare away game methods of catching and production of large animals in particular through the use of syringes, stuffed with drugs and sent archery or air rifle, found the effectiveness of regulating the placement of ungulates on the ground by alternately closing the access to watering device guides hedges for migrating herds, and so on. n. conducted experiments on the vaccination of wild hoofed animals with drinking water .

Biogeotsenologichesnie study of wild ungulates for many years held in the parks of Uganda — Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth. The park Queen Elizabeth in connection with the overgrowth of hippos and the suppression of aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation and associated erosion and deterioration bitopov, began to regulate the number of these animals. Since 1958, it seized at least 10 thousand. Hippos, whose meat is sold. At the same time conduct tagging hippos, studying their diet and other aspects of biology.

Interesting black rhino study conducted in Tsavo Park in Kenya. These studies have changed the old idea of ​​the many aspects of life rhinos that existed in the literature for decades, including in respect of exceptional viciousness and danger of the beast to man, its territory, relations between different individuals, and so on. N.

The smaller National Park, the more tend to difficulties in maintaining the reserve status on its territory — a common position for all reserves. Sometimes part of the interference in the work of the park is possible to remove the organization around security or buffer zone within which permitted only certain kinds of economic activity. However, such security zones is established around a few African national parks.

In the same goals and objectives of tourism management is the allocation of plots in the parks and areas strictly protected, even where the conduct of the scientific work is strictly limited and visitors access even eliminated. Isolation of strictly protected areas was first practiced in the national parks of the West and Equatorial Africa at a time when these lands were colonies.

One of the major problems in national parks — tourism and its regulation. For a number of African tourism, especially tourism in national parks and hunting tourism in the specially designated areas of the chain outside the parks — an important source of foreign exchange earner and increasing employment. In Kenya, for example, tourism in the past two years, came in first place among the various revenue sources, ahead of all other sectors of the economy. In Tanzania, tourism provides more than half of the total national income.

The influx of tourists greatly complicates the work of environmental parks, threatening the safety of natural systems threatens depreciation areas, including in relation to tourism. A similar fate has befallen some national guys United States and Canada — Iosemitsiy, Bamff and Jasper. In order to somehow prevent this, and to ensure the safety of the tourists themselves, practiced strict channeling their movements, ie. E. The limitation of his few roads only in cars without right out of them. In suitable locations arranged watchtowers often do on the shores of an artificial dam. To attract the lions and other predators spread bait. The Ngurdoto Crater Park in Tanzania with the animal world you can meet only from afar, from the walls of an extinct volcano.

In the mountain-gorillovom Volcanic Park of Rwanda is scheduled to deny access of tourists to the central part of the park, to organize the show of mountain gorillas from a distance using telemetry equipment.

The 193Z in London has developed an African Convention on the Conservation of Nature, signed by a number of countries of the continent. Since then, much has changed in the political map of Africa and in the understanding of nature conservation. In this regard, it developed the new text of the Convention, reflecting the changes occurred. In 1968, the Convention was signed by nearly 40 countries in Africa, and in July 1969 it entered into force. The convention are clearer than ever before, the definition of different types of protected areas. Several years ago, the World Conservation Union held a world-wide census of national parks and their appropriate areas. There is no doubt that all these measures will contribute to the streamlining of the statute of protected areas in Africa.

Private measures normalizing conditions of national parks and other reserves, without affecting the mode of use of natural resources and their protection on the adjacent large areas do not always reach the target. This applies particularly to the park where the natural balance of the complex is broken, and the ratio of the various components it is in imbalance. Protected areas can not be considered as stand-alone closed ecological systems that depend little on the life of the neighboring natural systems. All this is indicative of the fact that we need a single «common policy» concerning the protection of nature in its broadest sense, not only in relation to protected areas, but also to larger regions with common for them to physical and geographical and other conditions.

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