Wildlife

When people think of Africa, they often picture lions and elephants roaming freely over huge grasslands. Although the continent is indeed home to many species of exotic animals, decades of logging, sport hunting, poaching, civil wars, pollution, and other human interference have taken their toll on the wildlife. African and foreign countries looking for oil, diamonds, and other resources have destroyed both animals and their habitats.

Africa had 70,000 black rhinos in the1970s, and ended up with about 3,000 in the 1980s. Their near extinction illustrates the danger to African fauna that exists. Many African governments have made an attempt to conserve the natural flora and fauna, or plants and animals, of their grasslands and forests. Some countries, concerned for tourism, the environment, and the extinction of animals, have set aside large pieces of land as protected wildlife parks.


PARKS

The extinction of the remaining species of plants and animals that exist in Africa would have a tragic impact on humankind. Fortunately, some attempts at slowing the massive destruction of natural creatures and their habit are occurring.

In Niger, for example, the Ténére National Nature Reserve is home to cheetahs, jackals, hyenas, gazelles, and other animals. The Ndoki National Park is located between Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees live in this vast forest. Logging and poachers threaten the ancient trees and endangered species in this forest.

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania extends to the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. The Serengeti is a vast grassland which is home to zebras, antelopes, buffalo, lions, elephants, and many other animals. In the early 1900s, European sport hunters almost hunted these animals to extinction. Even today, visitors on safari to photograph these animals cause them anxiety.

ENDANGERED SPECIES

Nature relies on delicate balances of plant and animal life to remain healthy. When one part of that equation is altered, our flora and fauna can be put in danger. Although change is a natural part of our evolving world, changes that occur at a pace that is too rapid has a disastrous effect on individual species of plants and animals.

Habitat loss at an unprecedented pace is the primary cause of the endangerment of species in Africa. As the rainforests are logged for wood and exploited for other natural resources, hundreds of species are put in danger of existing no more. Many animals also suffer due to overexploitation or poaching.

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Follow the animal links and discover more about Africa’s endangered species!

Other factors include disease and pollution. If a species has not developed a natural protection against certain diseases, it can have an effect on that specie. For example, rabies and canine distemper viruses are destroying carnivore populations in East Africa.

As more and more people realize that the loss of any of our plants or animals impacts our own quality of life on this planet, efforts to conserve endangered species grow stronger. Visit our resources section to learn how you can help conserve Africa’s wildlife.

CONSERVATION

Although the African continent is home to many species of exotic animals and plants, decades of logging, sport hunting, poaching, civil wars, pollution, and other human interferences have taken their toll on the wildlife. African and foreign countries looking for oil, diamonds, and other resources have destroyed both animals and their habitats.

The destruction of the rain forest will not only kill thousands of different species, it will also disrupt the earth’s atmosphere–a disaster for both these life forms and humankind. The plants the rainforest contains are used for both food and medicine; the plants also absorb a great deal of solar energy. If they are destroyed, the earth may experience global warming which will alter fragile ecosystems.

One of the main causes of the rapid destruction of the rainforest is that people clear land to make room for housing and farming. Nations also also allow the logging of the forests, since the sale of timber can provide revenue that can help finance schools and hospitals. Scientists and activists around the globe are working to conserve the African rainforest. To learn about how you can help, please visit the resources page.

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