In search of food roam wildebeest, Zebras and gazelles in huge herds in the Serengeti and Masai Mara. The population, according to a study in the past years, up to 95 percent.
The Serengeti in Northern Tanzania and the Masai Mara in southern Kenya are one of the largest protected areas in Africa. According to a study, whose Ecosystems are threatened. The on the edge of protected areas, population has grown between 1999 and 2012, an annual average of 2.4 per cent, report researchers in the journal "Science". There is more arable land, the number of livestock had rocketed.
A Team led by scientists Michiel Veldhuis of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands analyzed data from the past four decades. Accordingly, the population grew in some regions in the last decade alone four times.
Alone in the Masai Mara, the herds of animal species in the past 40 years, have declined 15 common wild 40 to 93 percent - both within and outside of the nature reserve are alike.Increasing settlement pressure
As the reason for the decline, the researchers cite the increasing settlement pressure: Viehirten into it moved in search of pasture for their sheep, goats and cattle deeper and deeper into the protected areas.
In the buffer areas around the core areas were always built more houses and the wild animals further and further pushed back. In addition, the migration routes of wildebeest, Zebras and gazelles would be interrupted by the development of increasingly.
On satellite images had detected the researchers that the Vegetation is on the "extreme seven kilometers of the protection zones to be less green than they used to," said one of the co-authors of the study, Joseph Ogutu. Wildebeest, gazelles and Zebras have increasingly less space to Graze.
The consequences of the increasing settlement pressure on the Ecosystem are immense, and soon no longer reversible. The migrations of the animals will be disturbed, the rhythm of the fires in the area change, the fertility of the soil is disappearing, says Ogutu. "If the Grass is grazed severely, it is withdrawn from a fire, less the food. Fire is one of the defining elements of this Ecosystem."a status symbol cattle
The people earned their money with tourism, invested in it, but often in more livestock, which competed with the wild animals for space, food and water, said Ogutu. You need urgent solutions - such as a state regulation of livestock numbers - otherwise the degradation of the agriculture advance.
With rising population numbers, it is becoming more and more difficult to break a lance for the conservation of nature. "And that would be, ultimately, for the people, a loss."
If the problems in such a famous and large protected area such as the Serengeti and Masai Mara were already so clear, the Situation in smaller areas, probably much worse, write Veldhuis and his colleagues. A third of all protected areas in the world, therefore, stands under immense pressure.experts want population growth in Africa stop, 18.03.2019 Atlas |Tanzania |Daressalaam