Central African Republic
Manova - Gounda St Floris National Park
SCI 230 Axia College
December 13, 2009
Manovo-Gounda St.Floris National Park is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Central African Republic prefecture Bamingui-Bangoran, near the Chad border. It was inscribed to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1988 as a result of the diversity of life present within it. The importance of this park derives from its wealth of flora and fauna. Its vast savannahs are home to a wide variety of species. Notable species include black rhinoceroses, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, red-fronted gazelles, and buffalo, wild dogs, while various types of waterfowl are to be found in the northern floodplains. But it is under threat due to its rare wildlife dying and animal’s species being wiped out. People are working on breeding programs to revive the natural wildlife.(wikipedia.org) Located in the heart of the African continent, the Central African Republic (CAR) encompasses a wide array of habitats, ranging from the dry Sahelian zone in the north to the lush rainforests in the south, and supports a rich diversity of fauna and flora. Even though the CAR's biodiversity is one of the least studied in Africa, an impressive number of species have already been documented. For example, approximately 700 species of birds have been recorded in the CAR. This region, located in the extreme southwest of the country, mostly comprises dense forest. Forest covers only 6 percent of the country, but that forest contains
3,600 plant species, 208 mammal species, and at least 350 bird species, including the recently discovered endemic Sangha Forest robin (Stiphronis sanghensis). The Dzanga-Sangha area also features one of the highest documented densities of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Africa. (worlwildlife.org) The interrelationship among the animals and humans is a fight. For thousands of years, the wildlife and people of Africa co-existed in balance. In the 20th century, wildlife faced escalating pressure from a growing human population and its effects, from habitat destruction to spread of disease, to over hunting. The balance was upset. In 1961, African Wildlife Leadership Foundation, Inc. was founded at the height of the African Independence movement to help newly independent African nations and people conserve their own wildlife. Since then, this organization, now called the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), has played a major role in ensuring the continued existence of some of Africa’s most rare and treasured species, including the elephant, the mountain gorilla, the rhinoceros and the lion. (awf.org) The human intrusions threatening in the area are mainly poachers who hunt and kill the variety of species living in the Central African Republic. For example; between 1979 and 1989, the worldwide demand for ivory caused elephant populations to decline to dangerously low levels. During this time period, pouching fueled by ivory sales cut Africa's elephant population in half. Since they were big targets
and sported the largest tusks, savannah elephants took the worst hit. But as soon as these elephants began to vanish, hunters moved into the forests in search of the elephants' smaller kin. In 1977, 1.3 million elephants lived in Africa; by 1997, only 600,000 remained. The Wildlife Conservation Society, continue to monitor and protect elephants. (PBS.org) Although the CAR is among the least developed countries of the world it has made an impressive commitment to conservation by gazetting 10.9 percent of its territory as protected areas. A total of 15 protected areas have been gazetted (Blom and Yamindou, 2001) while an additional 1.0 percent has been gazetted as forest reserves, mainly for sustainable production...