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Under Water, Over Land
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Old December 7th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #16
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Hi Mick,

actually Kenya had hunting in the past an was banned in both Kenya and Tanzania at around the time of independance. Both countries park infrastructer collapsed. Kenya managed to do well to get their parks back via a really good tourism bureu, and TZ through hunting and tourism.

The interesting thing though is wildlife outside of national park in kenya has been desimated, and there is virtually nothing left (outside of Masai land). Poaching in the parks is extreme. TZ on the other hand has really good populations outside of parks and you can see wildlife in almost every corner of the country. Parks are buffered by hunting blocks.

Many attribute Kenya's loss of wildlife to the law prohibiting game hunting. Places like the Masai Mara are doing well and some of the bigger game reserves. But in both countries there is not enough tourism to go around, and people always want to go to the bigger parks like Mara and Serengeti. Hunters will go to remote out of the way places which is the major benifit I see. The episode you saw was in a place called Moyowosi, and frankly I don't know why a tourist would want to go there. It is one of the worst places for disease. But it is a critical wetland habitat for many bird species. For africans it would be a great place to set up large scale finishing farming, but the wildlife would die.

Game farms are another controvercial subject, and I am not sure what Kenya policy is on them.

In TZ, the 34% of the country is protected, which is incredible. Difficult seeing area that is good for wildlife is also good for farming.

If anything the debate is good.

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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:58 AM   #17
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Hi Michael,
I did'nt mean to imply that poaching does'nt take place in Kenya, because it does. The point I was trying to put over was that there now are a number of private conservencies (Lewa,Kidgio,Porini etc) working very closely with the local communities to help to prevent poaching and to promote tourism and in return bring employment etc to that area.

But as you have probably discovered the problems are much more complicated than that. For example last year Amboseli was down graded from a national park to national reserve status(Run and controled at local level) by the govenment in an attempt to win votes in an election (which they failed to win) this was against the advice of the their own wildlife service. Last year Joan Root ( a well known wildlife film maker was murdered at her home by Lake Navaisha for campaigning against habitat loss in the area. These are some of the negatives, of course there are many positives.

A lot the problems stem from land ownership and who controls and manages it. In the case of Amboseli it was a politcal decision to give control back to local level, which results in more livestock (albeit numbers and times are controled)now being be grazed in an already over grazed reserve which in turn put the wildlife under more pressure. Local tribes can now increase the number live stock which had declined in recent years due to over grazing. This was is why Ambosel was given park status in the first place.

In my opinion it is very difficult to comment on conservation pratices in Africa and I can easily understand African resentment when other countries try to advise. This is why programmes like yours are important when balanced arguments are shown.

I'm afraid that for me to take this debate further would involve political comment which is not what this forum is about,or is it?


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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #18
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Correct -- political commentary is not what this forum is about. Thanks for your understanding. This has been a fine discussion so far. Congrats to Michael Dalton for proving that the old Canon XL1S is still viable these days! It's great to have another member here whose work can be seen in just about anybody's lounge room.

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