A new partnership formed between an international hotel chain and a village community outside Tanzania's Serengeti National Park assures that local people will share in the profits of wildlife-related businesses established in the area.
The landmark agreement, signed June 9, resolves a protracted legal battle between the South Africa-based Conservation Corps of Africa (CCA) and the Ololosokwan Village Community (OVC) over claims to 25,000 acres of land in the Loliondo buffer zone between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Some Endangered Species, Human Health Threatened
Long a source of sustenance for many rural people in Africa, the meat from wild animals is becoming increasingly popular as a delicacy in other parts of the world-so popular, in fact, that consumption threatens some endangered species and may pose risks to human health.
Although tourism in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks has been hurt by the March 1 rebel attack that killed eight tourists and staff members in Bwindi, visitors are gradually returning to see the mountain gorillas.
Bwindi's facilities have been rebuilt and equipment replaced, and flowers are blooming in the community campground, reports Annette Lanjouw, AWF regional coordinator for the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP). The gorillas have been monitored without interruption; none was harmed in the attack.
By R. Michael Wright, President, AWF
Dust billows in through the open top of the battered Land Rover as we slowly squeeze between two gnarled acacia thorn trees. We drive for hours through an empty landscape, searching for signs of the pack of wild dogs that had reportedly reappeared in Melepo Hills west of Namanga, the border crossing between Kenya and Tanzania.
Protecting the black rhino in the wild is considerably less expensive than preserving the endangered animals in captivity, a recent AWF-sponsored study has found.
Poaching has resulted in a 95 percent decline in the world's black rhino population over the last three decades to fewer than 2,600 in 1997. The only surviving populations live in protected areas, sanctuaries established in the wild or captive breeding programs, typically in zoos and open paddocks.