The park covers three different biomass: gallery forest with forest clumps and marshland, aquatic and semi-aquatic, and Savannah. The Savannah have an amazing range of dense woodland to nearly treeless grassland. The center of the park Is a long grass Savannah which covers the majority of the park. (McKinley, 2008) Cumbersome dominates the Savannah woodland, along with Terminal molls. There are many dormant species In the woodlands sections such as Honeymooners clad, Balance tangling, Acacia and Bridal. The vegetation in the gallery forests is equally interesting and includes
Erythrocyte’s suaveness, Chlorophyll excels, Irving smith and Calendared. The north eastern part of the park is partially Sudan woodland and is dominated by Gibberellins dock with some scattered papacy Simon. Cyprus papyrus and Nitrating republications will be found dominating the marshlands. (McKinley, 2008) The long grass Savannah is mostly dominated by Allotted reinsurance along with various Hyperthermia species. In September these can grow to a height of mm, but the tallest species, reality giantess can grow to a height of mm. The long grass Savannah section also contains scattered trees, typically Kigali African and
Vitae Donna. The park boasts over 1,000 vascular plant species and of these approximately 5% are endemic, meaning they are not naturally found elsewhere. (McKinley, 2008) Much of the vegetation found in Grammar National Park has some very useful purposes. For example, Erythrocyte’s Guinness, Nausea Latino and Terminal mollies are often used as building materials. Another example of a useful plant is the medical uses of Vitae. The leaves of the Vitae have been used to treat ailments such as diarrhea. Natives have also been known to makes ropes, mats and baskets from the plants Cyprus papyrus and That’ll Wiltshire.
McKinley, 2008) Vegetation is not the only life forms found In the Grammar National Park. The park Is home to what is believed to be the last viable natural population of the Northern White Rhinoceros. Due to extensive poaching, rhino number dropped alarmingly from 1 ,OHO In 1960 to about 15 In 1984. By 1996 the number of these rhinos was thought to have grown to around 30. Another Interesting population found In the park Is the elephants. The elephant population Is also at risk from poaching, dwindling from around 20,000 In the late sass’s to an estimated 11,175 In 1984.
McKinley, 2008) Elephants and rhinos are not the only mammals found In the park In fact, the park Is home to 138 species of mammals Including the northern Savannah giraffe, which Interestingly enough occur nowhere else In Zaire. Additionally, It Is also home to species of hippopotamus, buffalo harvesters, Waterbury, chimpanzees, olive Damsons, otters, mongoose, golden cats, leopards, lions, warthogs, Duds plus Ana / species of antelopes including the roan antelope. The buffalo species in the park have also suffered from poaching and their numbers have dropped from around 53,000 in 1976 to only an estimated 25,000 in 1995.
Mammals are not the only wildlife in the park; it is also home to over 300 species of birds. Birdlike is abundant all year round but the population grows immensely with winter visitors from November to March. (McKinley, 2008) (Petersen, 2008) All of the species in the area depend upon each other for survival. The abundant vegetation and the abundant water from the Dung, Aka and the Grammar rivers ensure that the plant eating wildlife has plenty of nourishment. These herbivores, such as the antelope, provide food for the carnivores which make the park their home, such as the lion.
Each species in the park is dependent upon another for nourishment and sustenance. It is a rich ecosystem with many biological interrelationships. The park was listed as a World Heritage site in 1984 due to the serious decline of the white rhino population. Currently the government authority that is in charge of conservation and management of protected areas in the Congo is the ICON (Institute Consoling pour la Conservation De la Nature). The ICON is in control of a network that accounts for about 10% of the country total land area. This includes seven National Parks, of which 5 are National Heritage sites.
Refugees migrating to the area surrounding the park have brought automatic weapons and military equipment for the use of taking bush meat from the park. Grammar park guards are not capable of keeping the park secure from heavily armed and highly trained poachers. (Wisped,) On January 2, 2009 the headquarters was attacked by the Uganda rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Although the park rangers and the Congolese Armed Forces put up a strong resistance, 8 lives were lost, 13 people were injured and essential buildings were destroyed.
Along with this many transport items; communication equipment and food and fuel rations were also estrogen. Military and humanitarian assistance has been deployed and the international community will continue involvement for assistance in securing the area and assisting those that were displaced. (Institute Consoling pour la Conservation De la Nature, 2009) Grammar National Park also receives assistance from African Parks Network. This private foundation which is based in Johannesburg is currently active in 5 national parks and reserves across Africa.
Management by African Parks Network was assumed on November 12, 2005, and they work in close partnership with ICON. Grammar National Park also receives financial assistance from many other entities, including; the European Union, US Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Spanish, Italian and Belgium governments. Scientific and/or technical support for the park is also received from UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), II-JAN (World Conservation Union), United Nations for the Environment Programmer and Fauna & Flora International. Institute Consoling pour la Conservation De la Nature, 2009) In 2000 UNESCO and the United Nations Foundation (UNFIT) launched the project “Biodiversity Conservation in Regions f Armed Conflict: Conserving World Heritage Sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo’. The project mainly focuses on ensuring the conservation both during periods of civil unrest and in the long term. The plan is to do this by monopolizing financial logistical, technical and diplomatic support at regional and international levels.
They also nope Tort ten project to serve as a learning process Tort ten conservation AT scalar sites in conflict regions around the world. (UNESCO,) One of the ways we can be become involved in preserving the diversity of the Grammar National Park is to become educated. It is important we become informed about these sites that are in such danger and educate ourselves about the current efforts, the environment and the issues involved. By becoming educated we can become a better voice for this region and its wildlife that is unable to speak for itself.
Involving ourselves in fund raising efforts and promotion of these efforts will help bring much needed resources to the area. Rangers need training and equipment to continue to protect themselves and the park from heavily armed and better trained poachers. I would propose more public education in the attempt to gain more funding for the site. In addition, I would propose assisting the neighboring community as well. If more assistance is available for them to have the food they need, or learn to obtain by methods other than poaching, it would benefit the park.
Of course, much of the poaching is not done merely by the natives for sustenance; the majority of the attacks upon the park are by rebel forces. More protection is need for the park. The rangers which guard the park need more equipment and better training to be more prepared for the attacks. By education, we can show that assistance is needed in making sure the park is as prepared as they can possibly be from attack. Since the US Fish and Wildlife is a supporter, perhaps more National Guard assistance is needed until the park can rebuild from the January 2009 attack.