Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park
of the Central African Republic
August 22, 2010
Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park of the Central African Republic
Manovo-Gounda-St Floris National Park of the Central African Republic contains entire basins to include three rivers, grassy floodplains, savannah and woodlands, wetlands associated to the rivers and the sandstone Massif des Bongo. It is home to riverside swamps and flooded flat river valleys where trees and shrubs are detained to patches of higher ground and are flood and fire resistant to dense dry forest. The park is heavily used by wildlife, such as ungulate herds. Other wildlife includes monkeys, birds, elephants, etc. ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore, the seasonally flooded lowlands have delicate subterranean alluvial soils, which, in turn makes for poor drainage. The three central rivers basins lie within Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park.
The park is home to the largest savanna in Central and West Africa. Approximately 70% of the area is covered by wooded savannas (“United nations”, 2008). However, the park covers a broad range of various habitats. These habitats range from grassy, wooded and treed savannas to gallery forests. All of these different physical characteristics have lead to a vast amount of a variety of vegetation within the park. The riverside swamps contain sandy grasslands of continuing grass communities, sedges and yearly forbs heavily cover the flood lands. Covering the seasonal flooded flat river valleys are trees and shrubs which are bound in patches of higher ground and are both flood and fire resistant. All of the grassy savannas are widely used by the wildlife of the park, particularly the hoofed herds (Tye, T., 2010).
The importance of the park comes from its wealth of flora and fauna. In particular, the fauna of Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park mirror the change between west and east Africa, the Sahel and forested tropics (Tye, T., 2010). The park has the most exquisite fauna in the country all of which have been very well shielded in the past. The vast savannahs are home to a large variety of species; such as, black rhinoceros, small forest elephant, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs. Other larger mammals consist of: hartebeest, waterbucks, oribis, topis, reedbuck, roan antelope, buffalos, warthogs and hippopotamus. To include land animals there are also a large variety of birds in the park, to include: the African fish eagle, marabou stork (a seasonal bird), and shoebills to name a few. With so much life and beauty, who could imagine wanting to destroy such nature?
Unfortunately, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is faced with many threats to its site, which is the main reason why it is designated a World Heritage Park. The main threat for the park is professional poaching. Manovo-Gouda-St Floris National Park is home to 57 known mammal species and 320 species of birds that are all threatened by the use of professional poaching (Clough, L.D., 2008). Professional poaching of large mammals, generally elephants and rhinoceros, is facilitated by a main national route that crosses the park. However, professional poaching also comes from within the country but the majority comes from Chad and Sudan, which were greatly supplied with automatic weapons from the civil wars within the country (Tye, T., 2010). In 1997 uncontrollable poaching reached emergency levels with extremely armed groups coming into the park and setting up camps, transporting bushmeat by camel trains (Clough, L.D., 2008). As a result, four park employees were killed and there were no anti-poaching regulations. By 1998, 80% of the park’s wildlife has...