At the edge of extinction: a first herpetological assessment of the proposed Serra do Pingano Rainforest National Park in Uíge Province, northern Angola.
Zoosystematics and Evolution 96(1): 237-262.
We systematically assess the herpetofaunal diversity of the Serra do Pingano Forest Ecosystem (SPFE) and additional localities throughout the northern Angolan province of Uíge during four independent Rapid Assessment (RA) field campaigns held between 2013 and 2019. These assessments represent the first systematic surveys of amphibians and reptiles from the province, and thus we provide the first province-wide species list. We collected data on the status and current threats to amphibians and reptiles in the proposed Serra do Pingano Rainforest National Park and were able to document 33 species of reptiles from Uíge province. Of the 33 species recorded from the province, 10 species are exclusively found in the SPFE. Amphibian surveys yielded 47 amphibian species from the province. These include 14 new country records and additional records that may represent undescribed species. This raises the amphibian count for Angola to at least 133 species, which includes 18 species exclusively found within the SPFE. Species-richness estimators indicate that more species should be detected if survey efforts are intensified. The species composition in the SPFE is unique and consists of a high proportion of forest specialists with restricted ranges and species found nowhere else in the country. This emphasizes today’s paramount importance of the SPFE, which is threatened by increasing agricultural encroachment and uncontrolled timber extraction and charcoal production. These principal factors need to be controlled and/or abandoned in already impacted areas. Conservation strategies should particularly consider the strict protection of remaining intact forests and both lentic and lotic aquatic systems. They are not only crucial for safeguarding a significant number of species that depend on these habitats for reproduction; they also provide key ecosystem services to the local population. Angola, and Uíge province in particular, is at a crossroads concerning decisions and trade-offs among utilization, conservation, and preservation of its forests and, thus, substantial parts of the country’s biodiversity. The establishment of a National Protected Area in the Serra do Pingano Ecosystem is therefore a necessary and urgently needed first step towards protecting Angola’s national biodiversity heritage.
Giant Panda National Park, a step towards streamlining protected areas and cohesive conservation management in China.
Global Ecology and Conservation 22, June 2020, e00947
The Chinese government recently finalized a plan to establish a Giant Panda National Park in 2020, one of the first national parks in the country. The plan will extend protection status to a significant amount of areas that were previously unprotected; it will also bring many of the existing giant panda protected areas under one authority in order to improve effectiveness and reduce inconsistencies in management. We provide an overview of the history and status of giant panda conservation and the rationale for creating the park. We also give first-hand information on details of the park design, including its general objectives, geographic range, zone divisions, management and funding structure, as well as analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead. As a new conservation model for China, the Giant Panda National Park has the ambitious goal of standardizing conservation across a large region. It is a major step toward significantly expanding the amount of area protected and establishing a cohesive conservation network for a sustainable giant panda population in the wild.
The vegetation and identification of management units of the Honnet Nature Reserve, Northern Province, South Africa.
Koedoe - African Protected Area Conservation and Science 39(1): 25-42. ISSN 0075-6458. DOI: 10.4102/koedoe.v39i1.280
An analysis of the vegetation of the Honnet Nature Reserve, Northern Province is presented. Releves were compiled in 56 stratified random sample plots. The Braun- Blanquet procedure revealed 12 distinct plant communities and four sub-communities. The Variable Quadrant Plot Method was used in the structural analysis of the communities and management units. The data were ordinated using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA) to determine possible relations and gradients between and in the plant communities. Six management units were identified by means of the vegetation ordination, plant communities and the physical environment. A hierarchical classification, description and ecological interpretation of the vegetation units and a descrip- tion of the management units are presented.
Waterberg Plateaupark Namibia.
80 Seiten, Karten, s/w-Fotos, 8 Farbtafeln.
Shell Namibiua. ISBN 9991670807 / ISBN 99916-708-0-7
Ilme Schneider beschreibt den Waterberg Plateaupark in Namibia: Der Waterberg, im vorigen Jahrhundert Omuverumue genannt, die Herero-Bezeichnung für "enge Pforte" ist, zwischen dem Kleinen und Großen Waterberg gelegen, ein einzigartiges und doch weitgehend unbekanntes und von Menschenhand wenig berührtes Stück Natur, mit einer Vogel-, Wild- und Pflanzenvielfalt, wie es sie im ganzen südlichen Afrika kaum noch einmal gibt.
Management of reintroduced lions in small, fenced reserves in South Africa:an assessment and guidelines.
South African Journal of Wildlife Research 43(2): 138–154.
Managers of African lions (Panthera leo) on reserves where they have been reintroduced increasingly face challenges associated with ecological regulation, genetic degradation and increased susceptibility to catastrophic events. The Lion Management Forum (LiMF) was formed in 2010 to define these challenges and explore possible solutions with the view to developing appropriate management guidelines. LiMF bases its recommendations on the ecologically sound premise that managers should, as far as possible, mimic natural processes that have broken down in reserves, using proactive rather than reactive methods, i.e. management should focus on causal mechanisms as opposed to reacting to symptoms. Specifically, efforts should be made to reduce population growth and thus reduce the number of excess lions in the system; disease threats should be reduced through testing and vaccination whenever animals are translocated; and genetic integrity should be monitored. The latter is particularly important, as most of these reserves are relatively small (typically<1000 km2). An adaptive management framework is needed to implement the guidelines developed here on reserves across the country, with regional nodes addressing more local genetic issues, within an overall national plan. Ongoing monitoring and scientific assessment of behavioural, population and systemic responses of lion populations and responsive modification of the guidelines, should improve management of lions on small reserves in South Africa. This approach will provide a template for evidence-based conservation management of other threatened species. Ultimately ‘National Norms and Standards’ must be established and a ‘National Action Plan’ for lions in South Africa developed.
Lessons from the introduces Black rhino population in Pilanesberg National Park.
Pachyderm 26: 40-51
Due to the drastic decline in black rhino numbers, several rhino range states took steps to translocate rhino to secure areas with suitable habitat within their former range. The aim was to build-up remaining black rhino numbers as rapidly as possible, to preserve their genetic diversity in the long tern, and to provide the biggest possible buffer against future potential poaching losses.
However the re-introductions and management of these new populations has not been entirely straightforward. The translocation process needed to be perfected and new problems arose in the introduced populations which required careful consideration.
The black rhino in Pilanesberg National Park South Africa is an introduced population which, through intensive and ongoing monitoring, has improved our understanding of rhino population characteristics currently influencing the conservation goals for black rhino.
Pilanesberg National Park was proclaimed in 1979. It covers 550km2 of rocky hills and broad alluvial valleys in a weathered alkaline volcano. The summer rainfall averages 637mm annually. Black rhino introductions occurred in several stages, beginning in 1981, and involved 24 animals in total. By the start of 1996, the population had grown to 42 animals, and in June that year Pilanesberg became a donor reserve when nine black rhino were translocated to Madikwe Game Reserve. This paper summarises the history and characteristics of the Pilanesberg population up to this stage.
A Note on the Reestablishment of the Cheetah Population in the Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa.
African Journal of Wildlife Research 49: 12-15. DOI: 10.3957/056.049.0012.
The establishment of protected areas is recognized as a means to conserve large mammal species, and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) conservation is well served by these protected areas. In South Africa, if not in one of the larger national parks (>10 000 km2) or free-roaming in the northern provinces, populations of cheetahs occur in medium-sized reserves and form part of a managed metapopulation where periodic transfers of individuals occur between them to retain genetic integrity. The Pilanesberg National Park is one such reserve within the managed metapopulation. Here, we firstly document the reproductive success of a single reintroduced female cheetah and, secondly, discuss the population’s recovery in the context of the managed metapopulation.
The Pilanesberg: Jewel of Bophuthatswana.
140 Seiten, zahlreiche farbige Illustrationen.
Frandsen Publishers, Sandton. ISBN 13: 9780620135962
Reptiles and amphibians of the karoo national park: A surprising diversity.
African journal of herpetology 36 (1):26-35.
The Karoo National Park, Beaufort West, straddles the old escarpment of the Nuweveldberge and southern plain of the Great Karoo. It has a wide variety of habitats, linked to the varied altitude and geology of the Park. It has turned out to be a herpetological treasure trove, with 67 species of reptiles and amphibians, including no less than eight amphibians, six chelonians, 35 lizards and 18 snakes. The paper lists these species, noting many important range extensions both in the park and adjacent regions. The escarpment edge and its associated micro-climate, combined with the varied topography and geology, have generated diverse vegetation types. This has permitted niche diversification of congeners and there are a number of interesting generic radiations, including eight species of thick-toed geckos (Pachydactylus), five skinks (Mabuya) and four sand lizards (Pedioplanis). There are also five species of land tortoise. The area forms an important biogeographic refugium, with relict populations of tortoises, frogs, snakes and lizards, associated with the moist, montane grassland of the escarpment edge, or regions of deep alluvial sands along the old river courses. Details of the diversity and zoogeographic importance of the Park are presented.
The Magic of Pilanesberg - A Complete Guide to the Park.
2nd revised edition, 48 Seiten, durchgehend farbig illustriert. Johannesburg. ISBN 1-874955-62-X.
Volcanoes and rocks (pp. 2-5)
Formation of natural habitats (pp. 6-11)
Species guide (pp. 12-35)
Night species (pp. 36-37)
History (pp. 38-41)
Pilanesberg Park - Creation and Conservation (pp. 42-43)