Using two contrasting case studies, discuss management schemes in fragile environments.
A fragile environment is when there the balance between climate, soils, vegetation, animal life and people could easily be upset and the ecosystem destroyed. In order to maintain a fragile environment dynamic sustainability needs to be established. An example of a fragile environment is the Serengeti National Park and Jau National Park.
The Serengeti National Park is situated in the Tropical Grassland biome. This means that it has temperatures are high throughout the year averaging at around 28OC. There are wet and dry seasons due to the movement of the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Conversion Zone). In the Serengeti there are long periods of drought during the dry season and during the wet season convectional rainfall results in heavy downpours.
In the Serengeti management schemes are essential in order to maintain the ecosystem. One way that the ecosystem is maintained is through monitoring and controlling the number of elephants and fires within the ecosystem. In the past fires and elephants have shaped the ecosystem. They both affect the vegetation within the Serengeti as they can destroy it. Elephants eat the tress and fires burn them into ash. The elephants and fires need to be controlled because if there are too many elephants or fires then the number of trees in the Serengeti will decrease but if there is not enough of them then again the ecosystem will change as they control the establishment of trees. Fire is monitored and controlled through the Park Ecology Department who ensure that there is enough fire but that they do not get out of hand.
The Serengeti is also managed by having a top-down approach to management where the park authorities co-operate with the Masai (indigenous people in the Serengeti). There is a game management strategy, which means that the Masai who live around the edge of the park are able to some controlled and licensed hunting of game...
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