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[Target Audience: Upper elementary grades]


Q1: Choose the activity that promotes animal protection.

A1: Making donations to organizations protecting animals.

A2: Not leaving the water running while we are brushing our teeth.

A3: Not leaving the TV on while we are not watching.

All three answers are correct.

It takes money to protect animals. Organizations engaged in animal protection activities can do much more with the proper funding.

Think about the water you use while brushing your teeth. It may not seem to have anything to do with protecting animals, but please think about where water comes from. The water we drink comes from rivers and lakes, and we build water purification plants to ensure that it is clean and safe. This, in fact, may destroy animals or plant habitats.

Think about leaving the TV on while you are not watching. The use of electricity discharges carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. Global warming leads to climate change in regions where animals and plants live, and this has an impact on the amount of food and water they consume.

This, as you can see, impacts ecosystems and, therefore, the preservation of animals.

Q2: Which is most important in protecting wild animals?

A2: Asking residents for cooperation in protecting wild animals.

In considering the protection of wild animals, it is necessary to consider a wide range of related factors at the same time. We cannot, for example, simply ask people who rely on hunting for their survival not to hunt. Indeed, hunting cultures traditionally do not hunt more than they need, so their activity is not going to have a significant impact on the ecosystems in which they live.

Instead, it is important for us to sort out and eliminate factors that cause the excessive hunting of wild animals and the destruction of their habitats in order for us to promote protection in cooperation with all concerned.

The biggest reason behind the poaching of wild animals described in A1 is that there are people who make large sums of money trading in ivory, horns, and animal furs and people who pay high prices for these items knowing they were obtained through poaching. Poachers, of course, need to be punished; however, it is also necessary to crack down on the people involved in the trade of poached animals.

The plans created by biologists in A3 are very important for the proper protection of wild animals; however, as I explained above, we need to achieve a good balance between traditional lifestyles and the development of the region, such as developing highways or residential areas, to obtain agreement from all.

It is possible to obtain cooperation from residents for a wide range of conservation activities, activities such as detecting changes in wild animals in the region, identifying poaching, and providing explanations about the region for tourists. If such activities prove economically beneficial, financial stability increases and greater cooperation follows.

Important points!

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.

More details!

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.

Locations of Nature Reserves in Africa


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.

South Africa

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.


Prof. Markus Borner