Garamba National Park

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Garamba National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Location: northeast section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 4°0′″N, 29°15′″E
Area: 4,920 km²
Established: 1938
Governing body: l'Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN)

Garamba National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, was established in 1938. One of Africa's oldest National parks, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Garamba is the home to the world's last known wild population of northern white rhinoceroses. Due to poaching of the rhinos within the park, it was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in danger in 1996. The park is also well known for its african elephant domestication programme started in the 1960's, which managed to train tourist-rideable animals from the naturally wild beasts.

[edit] History

The park was first placed on the World Heritage Site Danger List in the mid-1980s after the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources(IUCN) estimated that as few as 15 northern white rhinos remained. The World Wildlife Fund, Frankfurt Zoological Society and UNESCO/IUCN worked with the then Zairian government to rehabilitate the park. The effort paid off and the park was removed from the danger list in 1992. (Avant, 2004, 367)

However, in 1991, a nearby town was captured by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and refugees began to migrate in to areas surrounding the park, growing to 50,000 by 1993. The inflow of refugees and members or former members of the SPLA also brought automatic weapons and military equipment into use in the taking of "bushmeat" from the animal populations within the park. The Garamba park guards were not capable of securing the park against the more heavily armed and trained poachers. There were 121 shoot-outs in the park between 1993 and 1995. Buffalo and elephants fell to the poachers. In 1996, two of the white rhinos were killed, leading to the return of Garamba to the World Heritage Site Danger List in that same year. (Avant, 2004, 368)

The reference article by Avant has much additional information yet to be gleaned from it. Over 12 pages of the article deal exclusively with Garamba National Park, including substantial historical material on the effect on the park of the late 1990s civil war and the conflicts that followed it.

[edit] References

Template:Cite journal -- journal article that documents, among other things, a summary history of the park from the mid-1980s through late 1990s, including a bibliography of other refereed journal articles on the park.

[edit] External links

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Garamba National Park

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