Save the Serengeti

March 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

On Saturday, I attended a lecture at the Field Museum by Bruce Patterson, curator of the Hall of Mammals.  He spoke of the Serengeti, which is a national park and world heritage site in Tanzania, Africa.  The Serengeti hosts the world’s largest annual mammal migration, which is considered one of the world’s top natural travel wonders.  The migration is vital to the ecosystems and ecotourism of the area and is necessary to ensure that these species continue to procreate and flourish.  Unfortunately, the Tanzanian government is trying to build a highway right through the area where the migration takes place.

The Map

As you can see, this map shows migration patterns and the highway route proposed by the government.  Then there’s a proposed alternate route that would not only save the migration but also save space and money (it’s roughly 40 miles shorter) for the overall highway project.  Over 300 scientists from around the world are calling for the government in Tanzania to adopt the alternate route instead of the planned one.  Unfortunately, sometimes dealing with leaders of other countries isn’t ever easy, especially when it comes to the land and resources in their country.  Scientists and conservationists are continuously working to preserve large areas that feature natural habitats and the Serengeti is just about the largest preserved area on the planet.  When this wildlife sanctuary goes, what else will we have to fight for?

So yeah, there’s my environmentalist rant for the day.  It’s tough because there’s not much we can do, other than to be aware of what’s going on.  We could write letters to the Tanzanian government but in a situation like this, that could actually cause more harm than good (politics get tricky when you have an undereducated, stubborn man in power who doesn’t want to be told what to do with his country, especially not by some young white girl in the States).

Knowledge is power though, so at least now you know.


1 Comment

  1. Alfie said,

    Ive been to a number of the places on that map. Yay! Its unfortunate, but most of the leaders in that area harbor what can best be described as “anti-imperialistic” views which would cause them to disregard valid opinions of outsiders rather than capitulate for the betterment of the peoples.

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