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Africa’s Failing Biodiversity
Africa’s extensive network of national parks is failing to stem the decline of its animals according to a new study that highlights biodiversity loss across the continent. The study shows rapid dwindling of numbers of big animals like lions, zebras,African elephants, and giraffes. Poaching and loss of habitat are the main culprits. The hunting culture in Africa remains strong and locals often hunt illegally for bush meat inside wildlife parks many of which lack the resources to adequately protect animal population. Most of the national parks do not monitor their animals enough.43 protected areas in East Africa saw decrease of more than half of animal population.
A study conducted between 1989 and 2003 of Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve a popular tourist destination for safaris found that the local giraffe population had declined by 95 % during that period. The study also showed enormous decline for warthogs and hartebeest.
Millions of tourists visit Africa each year to go safari and see the country’s big game.If the parks lose too many of their animals ,tourism and related industries will decline and it could create a vicious cycle whereby the parks have even fewer resources to protect declining animal population.