When left to its own devices, nature does a remarkable job of taking care of itself. Consider Chernobyl, the Russian city that was permanently evacuated when a nuclear power plant exploded in 1986. According to a study in the October 2015 issue of the journal, “Current Biology,” wildlife numbers in Chernobyl now appear to be higher than before the nuclear disaster, largely because of the lack of human presence. “This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife,” says study coauthor Jim Smith, “just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming and forestry, are a lot worse.”
Seventeen people, five days, 90 km (60 mi). This was the Walk Through Dja, a trek arranged by AWF and the national wildlife authority to get an inside look at the true state of Cameroon’s Dja Faunal Reserve.
African heads of state will soon be gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa, alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping for the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Designating boundaries is not sufficient to safeguard protected areas. National parks are being exploited by extraction companies, while other protected areas have become the hunting grounds of poachers.
Though South Africa remains the epicenter of Africa’s poaching crisis, its neighbors are feeling the impact of the illicit wildlife trade as well. Namibia, for example, lost an average of 1.25 rhinos per year between 2009 and 2012, five in 2013… and 24 in 2014.