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[Target Audience: Upper elementary grades]
Q1: Choose the activity that promotes animal protection.
Q2: Which is most important in protecting wild animals?
Through his long-term animal protection activities at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Prof. Markus Borner learned the importance of cooperating with people living in the area.
· Humans are also a part of ecosystems. It is important for wild animal protection to respect the lifestyle of the people living in the surrounding regions and cooperate with them.
· All people seek an affluent life, which tends to drive the kind of economic growth that results in the destruction of nature. However, if we discourage economic growth, it is hard to encourage cooperation for the protection of animals. It is, therefore, important to realize the importance of pursuing both economic growth and conservation.
Recently, the number of nature reserves in Africa has been increasing, and conservation programs have come to fruition. TV programs featuring these activities are airing with greater frequency than before. While such conservation programs have been developed, some nature reserves continue to face problems.
Here, we introduce some nature reserves other than the Serengeti where tourists can visit to observe wildlife.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located to the southeast of Serengeti National Park. This area has nine volcanos with craters and a giant caldera. The inside of the caldera is blocked from the outside, so most of the large animals living there do not venture out of it. This helped to form a completely isolated ecosystem cut off from the surrounding area.
With the exception of giraffes and impalas, we can observe most of the animals living in the savanna in East Africa.
Masai Mara National Reserve
This reserve is located in southwestern Kenya. Since wild animals do not recognize national borders, the animals in this reserve form an ecosystem with animals living in the northern part of Serengeti national Park, which extends south of the Kenyan border.
It is known for the seasonal migration of gnus and zebra between both parks. The large migration of gnus between July and October is a magnificent sight. Approximately 150 million gnus migrate seeking new grass.
This national reserve is managed by the local government.
This reserve has a wide variety of species and a large number of both carnivores and herbivores. Tourism has brought Kenya significant income.
Recently, the demand for land for farming and ranching has increased due to the increase in population in the surrounding areas, which forces us to think about how the local population can live in harmony with wild animals.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is located at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The park offers a magnificent view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is well known as the setting for Hemingway's novel, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro. "
This plain was originally the dry bed of Lake Amboseli, which was created by an eruption of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The lake appears only in the rainy season. It has some swamps where animals gather, making it is easy to observe them in the wild.
In addition, desertification of the park has progressed, which has caused serious damage to the ecosystems. In February 2010, many herbivores died due to drought.
Chobe National Park
Located in northern Botswana, this was the country's first national park. It sits close to the borders of Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Angora. This park is divided up into four areas, each corresponding to one distinct ecosystem: the grasslands and forests spreading along the Chobe River in the extreme northeast section of the park, the wetlands in the west, the wetlands in the northwest, and dry inland in the middle.
This park has a number of African elephants. Currently, the 50,000 elephants that live in the park make it the highest density habitat on the African Continent. Between the 1970s and 1980s, a massive amount of poaching occurred, reducing the number to a few thousand in 1990. However, conservation activities have helped to increase the number.
About 450 species of wild birds also live in the park.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is located in the northeastern part of South Africa. The northern area is located in close proximity to Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe in the east, and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique in the east. It extends 360 km (220 miles) from north to south and 65 km (40 miles) from east to west. This is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.
The park is home to 150 varieties of mammals, 500 varieties of birds, 120 varieties of reptiles, 30 varieties of amphibians, 50 varieties of fish, 460 varieties of trees, and 1,500 varieties of plants. Activities aimed at protecting African elephants helped to increase their number. In fact, the number of elephants now exceeds the capacity, and now they are trying to control the number.
Since it is easy to observe five big species of animals (Africa's Big Five), leopards, buffalos, lions, elephants, and rhinos, this park is very popular among tourists.