Serengeti - Tanzania & South Kenya

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Savanna grassland ecosystem

Covering 30,000 km2 Tanzania & South West Kenya

Four main environmental problems

1) Hunting and poaching

2) Increasing Population

3) Fire

4) Invasive species

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Hunting and poaching- Serengeti

Historically animals hunted- sport - local people- food

or for products- ivory & rhino horn to sell

During late 1980s poaching for ivory and rhino horn huge problem 

caused black rhino population in Serengeti fall to TWO (2) animals

Local people hunting illegally meat still a problem

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Increasing population- Serengeti

Serengeti Human popopulation increasing

Creates land use conflicts as needed for: growing crops, grazing 

Areas of Serengeti colonised = natural habitats lost

Increasing popilation = increasing hunting :( 

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Fire- Serengeti

Controlled fires during dry season help sustain savanna environment

Fire prevents woodland growth, burns off dead surface grass

leaves roots intact- fertilises soil

New shoots grow in wet season- food source grazing animals

However, uncontrolled fires (Sometimes started clear farming land)
can damage treees & destroy grass roots- can't grow back

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Invasive Plant Species

Invasive plant species can cause damage e.g. Mexican poppy - imported wheat- 

Mexican poppy out-competes native plants/ crops- some areas unsuitable farming

Animal species can spread disease e.g. 1994 canine distemper viruse spreads
from domestic dogs killed 1/3 Serengeti lions.

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Managing Serengeti background

Managing Serengeti involves working with local people

Serengeti National park covers areas aound 15000km2 

park managed by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) 


preserve wildlife

reduce environmental damage

Balance conservation of biodiversity- needs of local people through a number of different species

One of the management strategies.. Monitoring ecosystem- aerial wildlife surveys, water quality/ invasive species monitoring

To be continued...

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Management- Serengeti

Protection priority species - rangers monitor black rhino population- carry out anti poaching patrols

Disease monitoring & vaccination programmes- domestic dogs in zone around park vaccinated against rabies & canine distemper virus= stop diseases spreading wild animals

4 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) creared- community based convervation approach 
e.g. Ikona WMA managed 5 village communities .

They work together manage wildlife, allowed to use resources from area- sustainable limits- either through hunting own use or making money from tourism (selling local produce or guides)

Conservation education projects- park supports conservation clubs 74 local primary schools, informs local people- park. Involving local people in conservation= < likely to protect ecosystem themselves

Tourism brings money- local area. BUT.. strict regulations- doesn't damage ecosystem- driving designated area, access into park- certain points

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Success of management strategies- Serengeti

Have helped environment and local people

WMAs been successful lots of ways provide local peopel- food source & income from legally traded animal products- tourism + help reduce illegal poaching

Poaching declined recent yrs & most population species steadily increasing 

e.g. elephant populations increased to 2100 in 2011

Money from tourism goes back into National Park- jelp pay conservation projects, boosts local economy- creating jobs + market local produce

Increased ranger presence tourism - helped > poaching

Disease monitoring & vaccination helped prevent outbreaks of disease

e.g. 1996 rinderpest outbreak stopped from enterting Serengeti 

How? Cattle Vaccination programme in Park districts closest to affected areas

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Drawbacks of management strategies- Serengeti

Still proving difficult balance needs wildlife conservation & local people

Human population aorund park - growing, < settlements & farms built near park each year.
Conflicts- agriculture & conservation e.g. elephants sometimes raid maize crops- conservation unpopular local people.

Some local people refused to stop farming and hunting within WMAs - some areas still being over-exploited. 

Outside WMAs poaching still problem Serengeti 
40,000 animals killed each year- meat & other products. Mostly wilderbeast, if human population around park increase conrtinues- rapid decline wilderbeast population

Tourism can have number negative impacts: 

disturb & sometimes distress animals // road vehicles & aeroplanes cause air and noise pollution

Construction & use of roads, trails, campsites have environmental impact- increased erosion and habitat loss.// tourism increases water demand- H20 shortages.

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