Africa’s wildlife parks are facing growing pressure from increasing development and climate change, stressing habitats and the species that rely on them.
African wildlife parks face climate, infrastructure threats
Africa’s national parks, home to thousands of wildlife species such as lions, elephants and buffaloes, are increasingly threatened by below-average rainfall and new infrastructure projects, stressing habitats and the species that rely on them.
A prolonged drought in much of the continent’s east, exacerbated by climate change, and large-scale developments, including oil drilling and livestock grazing, are hampering conservation efforts in protected areas, several environmental experts say.
The at-risk parks stretch all the way from Kenya in the east — home to Tsavo and Nairobi national parks — south to the Mkomazi and Serengeti parks in Tanzania, the Quirimbas and Gorongosa parks in Mozambique and the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, and west to the Kahuzi Biega, Salonga and Virunga reserves in Congo.
The parks not only protect flora and fauna but also act as natural carbon sinks — storing carbon dioxide emitted into the air and reducing the effects of global warming.