Gorongosa Park continues to register positive recovery of wildlife

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Gorongosa National Park (GNP) continues to record a recovery in wildlife, which was almost decimated during the civil war in Mozambique, according to a count this year, which Lusa had access to.

This count, made by helicopter by the GNP services between 18 and 31 October, covering the area of greater density of wild life of the park, registered the existence of 78,627 animals of 19 species, mainly big herbivores, against the approximately 70 thousand observed Which were counted in 2014.

GNP believes that “wildlife recovery continues to progress well”, despite the drought in the last two years, which has “had a significant impact on various species”, political and military instability affecting the region and pressure from Poaching.

Through this aerial survey, the second one held in 2 years and considered a “critical tool to assess the evolution of wildlife recovery and the efficiency of park management,” the inhospitable (a large antelope also known as piva) accounts for more than half of the species, with about 45 thousand individuals, 10 thousand more than in 2014.

Impala populations (which practically doubled to 4,705 thousand occurrences compared to 2014), inhala (1,299 in relation to previous 964) and cudu (1,466 in 1,223) had “substantial increases”.

The report also shows positive results for the poplar population (from 786 to 810), and elephants and buffaloes, despite drought, increased (567 and 696, respectively), but below that expected.

The number of steers (or wildebeest) has remained stable, a concern already expressed in 2014.

GNP notes that the smaller species seem to have been much more affected by the effects of drought, including the imbabala, the wild pig, the oribi and the facocero due to their more selective eating habits.

Zebras remain stable, with a population of 34 individuals, 15 of whom are kept in a territory surrounded by the so-called Sanctuary, according to the count data, which are expected to be released this month at the 3rd GNP Gala in Maputo.

GNP points out that the count is a minimum number, in an area of 184. 500 hectares totally covered by the survey and corresponding to the best habitats and greater density of wildlife, but other animals occur in other areas of the park and of which it was not carried out No estimate.

The count also does not cover the lion population, due to the difficulty of observation by air, but the data registers the existence of about 80 individuals and a rise compared to 2014.
Official data indicate that during the 16-year civil war in Mozambique, closed in 1992, the park lost 95% of its animals.

Under the agreement, the GNP will begin joint work with the group Ecological Assessment Warehouse, such as surveys with local communities and analysis of tourism potential in Coutada 12, which may lead to the enlargement of the current largest Mozambican protected area and which presents one of the Levels of biodiversity in southern Africa.

The document will only be valid with a decree of the Mozambican Council of Ministers, which is responsible for outlining the country’s protected areas.

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