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African elephants in the Gorongosa National Park central Mozambique | Coastweek

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- African elephants in the Gorongosa National Park, central Mozambique. The Gorongosa National Park is one of Mozambique’s largest and well-known national park, with an area of over 4,000 square km of valley floor and parts of surrounding plateaus. The unique geographic features of Gorongosa at one time supported some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa, but large mammal numbers were reduced by as much as 95 per cent and ecosystems stressed during Mozambique’s long civil conflict at the end of the 20th century. The country has also been criticized by WWF and other environmental organisations as not taking severe measures against poaching, under which circumstance, the parliament passed a new law in April 2014 in order to crack down on poaching. XINHUA PHOTO - MAURO VOMBE

Elephant poaching on the rise in most Mozambique national parks

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Poaching activities are on the rise with continuing political and military tension between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement Renamo, local radio has reported.

In central province of Sofala, the over one year long tension has made elephants the most victims perpetrated by local and foreign poachers.

Director of control in the Gorongosa National Park, Pedro Muagura, said that the control program has reduced tremendously due to armed conflict and poor road access, resulting in an indiscriminate killing of animals, including Kudo, pala-pala, among others.

The park covers 75 per cent of the total area of Gorongosa district.

According to Muagura, poachers have gained momentum in their criminal acts because the park’s controllers cannot make a full cover due to armed incursions which took place last year.

Muagura also explained that last year the park authorities seized trap cables, 26 home made arms and 53 traps, apart from arresting 233 poachers, while he could not give the number of wild life poached since last year.

The arms incursions started in May last year at Muxungue locality and spread to the Save River, which also caused tension at Inhaminga and Maringue in Sofala.

Gorongosa is one of the major national parks in the world.

It was recovered after decades of the civil war between government troops and Renamo fighters.

During that period, both the former rebels and government forces killed animals indiscriminately for survival.

Poaching is also a headache in the Niassa National Park, in the northernmost Niassa province, and in the Limpopo Trans frontier Park, in the southern province of Gaza.

In the Limpopo Trans frontier Park, all rhinos have been poached for horns. A horn or tusk could worth around 30,000 and 40, 000 U.S. dollars, according to conservationists.


Forest destroyed by uncontrolled bush fires in central Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The authorities in the central Mozambican province of Sofala said that 12,000 hectares of forest were destroyed by uncontrolled bush fire in 2014.

This represents a reduction by 7,000 hectares of forest devastated by the fire in the central province, according to the authorities.

Even though, the provincial government is worried about the situation, because of destruction of trees for wood and environment as well.

In 2011, 19,000 hectares of bushes were destroyed by the flames in Sofala, thus hindering the agricultural development, said the authorities in a communique issued Friday.

The provincial boss of wildlife, Maria Magaia, said that the reduction in the devastation of the forests in Sofala does not mean the region is in good shape.

She said more work must be done together with the communities to stop uncontrolled fires in Sofala, rich in wood.

The region is one of the main exporters of wood in the Portuguese speaking nation.

According to her, uncontrolled fires also have been killing people and destroying homes and crops.

Magaia went on to say that the fires also have been killing animals, mainly in the Gorongosa National Park.

"The number of hectares destroyed by uncontrolled fires is quite high, and i tis clear that we are losing a lot economically", she said.

She urged the population to be vigilant in their communities to denounce those responsible for the crime.

Uncontrolled fires are caused by traditional agriculture and hunting in the African continent, including Mozambique.

Some 35 per cent of Mozambican’s Gorongosa National Park burnt

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The ongoing burning of forest that compose the National Gorongosa Park, located in the central Sofala province in Mozambique, is putting the wild life at risk and leading to destruction of the environment.

The actions are executed by the communities living in the areas who seek for land to grow their food products.

According to the authorities, they have destroyed 35 per cent of the area estimated at 3,770 square kilometers, the Maputo daily Noticias has reported.

The park conservation director, Pedro Mugaro said that there is a need of changing the mentality of the community about the danger of their actions to the park and to the environment.

The concern has brought together lecturers of different academic institutions who are being trained so that they can later sensitize the communities from Gorongosa, Nhamatanda, Dondo, Muanza, Cheringoma and Manringue about the negative effect of their actions.

The sensitization will be over uncontrolled fires and it involves representatives from the Coordination of Environment Affairs and the Park Community Development.

The park was reopened for the public in 2008 after being closed due to the civil war and the park is currently under private management of the American Gregor Carr in a contract of 25 years.

Americans lead tourist visits to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Mozambique’s Sofala tourism authorities have announced that more than 800 tourists visited the Gorongosa National Park in the central Sofala province during the first semester of 2014.

Rosa Guilambe, chief of the tourism provincial directorate in Sofala, said that among the visitors the Americans led the list followed by visitors from India, Radio Mozambique reported.

As for the national tourists Guilambe said only 180 national tourists visited the park, and she pointed financial resources among the main reasons that limit nationals to visit the park.

According to Guilambe the tourism authorities in Beira are improving their infrastructures as a means of accompanying the development of the city of Beira capital of Sofala, and attracting more tourists to the region.

Mozambique’s National Park eyes 500,000 tourists by 2015

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The Gorongosa National Park (PNG) in Mozambique’s central province of Sofala eyes a target of 500, 000 tourists by 2015, according to the park authority.

The park hosted more than 7,000 tourists in 2013, the park administrator, Mateus Muthemba, told Radio Mozambique, anticipating times more in the coming years as the park is being restructured.

The park is prepared for a yearly 500,000 tourists by 2015 with revenues estimated to hit 75 million U. S. dollars, the official said.

"We started from a situation of zero tourists when the restructuring process began.

"We hosted more than 7,000 visitors in 2013.

"Our infrastructure is good and provides good accommodation," Muthemba said.

Muthemba was speaking of a new film on Gorongosa by the U. S. television National Geographic.

He said the film is part of work by the park to demonstrate the need of having a healthy relationship with elephants.

"We have a problem with elephants in the park because they have an aggressive attitude with people perhaps because of the experience they had during the war.

"So with this documentary, we want to promote education in the community for the protection of elephants.

"The elephant is sometimes regarded as dangerous.

"We want to create a different concept in people," Muthemba added.

After the devastation of the park during the civil war that ended in 1992, the authorities introduced the restructuring process.

South Africa reinforce Gorongosa National Park

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- A group of three cheetahs have been delivered to the authorities of the Mozambique Gorongosa National Park PNG, in Sofala province this month coming from the Republic of South Africa, Radio Mozambique reports.

The animals were given to the Park as part of its rehabilitation process following long periods of negotiations between the PNG authorities and that of "Modjagi Conservation and Rehabilitation Project" representing Cape Town from South Africa.

The transfer process was a success, but the initial plan was to transfer four cheetahs but one ended up dying during quarantine period, the Radio says.

The group of cheetah was transferred through the air and certain group of tourists including staff from the Gorongosa National Park had the opportunity to see the animals exclusively after landing.

Gorongosa National Park is one of the regions that detains a range of species and is known for its unique ecologic characteristic, it has received Hypos, elephants, buffalos among other animals all of them from South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.



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