AWF LAUNCHES 'LARGE-LANDSCAPE' APPROACH TO CONSERVATION
African Wildlife Foundation is launching an ambitious new approach to wildlife conservation by focusing beyond protected areas to vast landscapes called African Heartlands.
"We're looking at the big picture," AWF President R. Michael Wright says. "Wild animals in East Africa are not confined to parks but migrate to other areas, areas often populated by humans. It makes sense then to consider the interactions and needs of humans and wildlife together, across large landscapes."
When the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) realized that the lack of security in Rwanda's Volcano National Park would prevent them from training rangers there to monitor the mountain gorillas, they did the next best thing: They relocated training to the Nyungwe Forest Reserve some four hours south in Rwanda.
After many years of absence, African wild dogs, a threatened species, have reappeared in Laikipia, Kenya, says Laurence Frank, a biologist at the University of California at Berkeley. And local ranchers--who once shot and killed them at first sight--seem more willing to tolerate their presence, he adds.
Just a year after the first five ruffed lemurs raised in captivity made news when they were reintroduced into their native Madagascar, four others made the same trip from the United States to the Betampona Natural Reserve.
Whenever dugongs are spotted, as four were in 1997 off Africa's eastern coast, it catches the attention of conservationists.
That's because only a few hundred of these elusive mammals--also known as fork-tailed sea cows--remain in African waters, between Somalia and Mozambique.