The Serengeti is an icon. One of the best known landmarks in Africa and one of it’s most revered ecosystems. The Tanzanians incredible history of conservation (38% of its territory has been protected since independence) now appears to be under threat as population and commercial interests begin to take a toll. The work of Serengeti Watch recently came to our attention, so we felt it important to spread the word where we could. The most immediate threat is the proposed Serengeti Highway, right through the middle of the park. According to the Serengeti Watch website it ‘carves a swath across the migration path of millions of animals. This is not a track or a road its a high speed highway for trucks that could eventually reach hundreds a day!’ This idea not only threatens the balance of the ecosystem, but could heavily impact on the tourist industry as well. A seemingly barking plan, as was pointed out by an economic report submitted to the Tanzanian government that demonstrated ‘The Serengeti National Park is not only a priceless World Heritage, it is also a vital part of Tanzanias future economic development.’290 world scientists have recently called for the Tanzanian government to look for an alternative route around the Serengeti, saying: ‘the road will result in severe, negative, irreversible impacts, with little mitigation possible’. Meanwhile The Frankfurt Zoological society have also highlighted the increased threat of poaching: ‘The highway will be a convenient pathway for increased poaching by organized gangs. They will be especially interested in the thirty-two black rhinos being introduced by the Frankfort Zoo in the next few years.’A big fight for the future of the Serengeti continues. You can find out more at Serengeti Watch.
Photos taken from savetheserengeti.org