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Arabian oryx back from brink of extinction – CNN.com

August 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Wildlife

Benefits of the Senapa Road

January 15, 2011 3 comments

Developed. Developing. Third World. First World.

Each pair of words are often used to describe countries which have a high economical status versus those that do not. It makes the pressure to “succeed” greater when the world revolves around money even into the point of pricing nature also known as natural capital.

Tanzania realizes that in order to be a country with an economical presence they need to be able to connect with all their citizens so that they may advance collectively. For this, Tanzania can be proud of the initiative they are taking to provide for their citizens. A particular measure that the leadership of Tanzania hopes to pursue is by creating a new road that transverses the Serengeti National Park (Senapa). Since there are already two roads crossing the park, you may wonder what makes this road significant.

I. Potential tourism.

Tanzania enjoys a healthy tourism industry based mostly around (not exclusively)  the natural spectacle of the wildebeest migration. The creation of a partially paved road opens the means for which tourists could visit remote areas of Tanzania rich in cultural history.

II. Access to hospitals, job opportunities, schools etc.

Though Tanzania is experiencing economic growth, the country still battles poverty. The provisions that the road seeks to provide include access to easier access to hospitals in larger cities or for hospitals to be built in the smaller Musoma. Current access to smaller communities is limited because of poor roads or the lack of roads altogether.

Having served as a temp worker for a few jobs, I understand how holding a job even for a fleeting moment can make a difference. Currently, construction is being planned to begin in 2012. For anyone who may be employed (and trained) from the two small towns, these jobs are essential to assisting the agricultural based communities whose success are as wary as the climate.

In terms of education, this road could open up educational opportunities for residents of Musoma who have secondary education but lack the opportunity to consider post-secondary schooling to now have that chance. As a lifelong learner (for my short time on earth) I believe that everyone should have the means of being educated and seeking further education if they wish.

III. Travelling monies.

With the construction of this new road between Arusha and Musoma, travel is expected to increase greatly. With minerals available in Lake Victoria for the creation of batteries, the increased job market for this area isn’t the only plus. Travelers buying gas, paying for taxis/buses and perhaps paying a toll to use the road all would contribute to the monetary value that can be reaped from this road. The benefit that Tanzania will receive from an industry based in batteries is a form of natural capital and is an ecosystem service.

IV. Access to resources.

Musoma’s current existence tethers on a thread. The viability of the town is contingent on access to resources for the community’s inhabitants beyond an agricultural foundation. President Kikwete noted that one of the benefits of the road is the chance for citizens to have access to electricity and eventually cell phone service. I do not feel I would err to say that this access would also bring in clean water supplies as well, and materials to build homes that can deliver these utilities.

From these four intertwined areas I have found to be the greatest benefits from the construction of the road. The potential for Tanzania’s economy is great but at what cost? In light of the road’s proposal the benefits of the road seem to be outweighed by its cons.

<-Introduction Costs of the Senapa Road->

To Save the Serengeti Introduction

November 29, 2010 1 comment

In June of 2010, news that Tanzania (TZ) was planning the construction of a 50 km (30 mile) road through the Serengeti National Park (Senapa) was a contradiction to their recognition as a top international conservation authority by many organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, IUCN, and UNESCO. As I’ve been following this story’s development I’ve been learning of the positive and negative aspects of this road’s construction plus weighing each side. So I’ve decided to dissect the issues being addressed into five parts:

I. Benefits of the Senapa road

II. Costs of the Senapa road

III. Senapa alternatives

IV. Questions/Concerns

V. Why do I care?

By taking more than a courtesy look at the Senapa construction, I hope to present a case which reveals how the read would be harmful to the Serengeti ecosystem and citizen livelihoods in a reasonable manner without claiming gloom and doom; only potentially irreversible damage. =)

It helps to know that the word Serengeti is devolved from the Maasai word Siringet which means a vast land that runs forever or (my preferred description) “endless plains where the land meets the sky(UNC)” It is one of the largest national parks in Tanzania and the oldest (Official TZ Parks). Furthermore, TZ is home to the big 5: the lion, elephant, rhino, water buffalo and leopard. Every year hundreds of thousands of wildebeest accomapanied by eland, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and a host of predators engage in the greatest terrestrial migration able to be witnessed. The Senapa was recognized as a world heritage site as well by UNESCO for its unique cultural values.

Surrounding the Senapa are several communities which is the reason the proposed road has surfaced to connect these estranged communities to larger ones via the 2004 promise campaign promise by President Jakaya Kikwete and construction is designed to begin in 2010. With these facts in mind stay tuned for the benefits of the Serengeti National Park road construction.

 

->Benefits of the Senapa Road

Wildlife Word of the Day 10-26-2010

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology,

but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.

Aldo Leopold

Last time I defined ecosystem managementt which addresses management on a spatial scale and addresses the ecosystem from the individual forest to landscapes. The next word that has surfaced in this drive to learn is ecology.

First I would like to note that I believe with time (even in science) it is necessary for the definition to change only as our understanding of a subject grows. It is quite possible that a words definition won’t change at all but just in case, lol. Ecology is a word that has escaped evolution. After reading from several timeless sources, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two working definitions for ecology.

One definition is defined by Eugene Odum (1913-2002), a leading ecologist, as the study of the structure and function of nature. He goes on to explain that ecology  “primarily concerned with the latter four levels” referring to populations, communities, ecosystems and the biosphere. What’s great is that this definition does not exclude the individual organism though it does not seem entirely inclusive either. The second definition addresses the individual organism directly and defines ecology as “the study of the interrelationship among plants and animals and the interactions between living organisms and their physical environments.(Turk)” You may wonder why I singled out the individual organism. Well, from my own observations (though few they have been) organismal ecology is important because all species do not herd or live in families.  There are species in each family which deny the approach shared by the first definition.

I really enjoy this definition by Brainerd of “ecology is the study of how everything fits (assuming that it does)”. It is such a broad definition that I’m almost certain that it is no longer considered by many. The reason is that the definition covers how things fit but not why they fit or why they (ecosystems, communities, populations, organisms, biosphere) are structured the way they are (remember earlier when I mentioned that words evolve?) So though ecology is “particular concerned with groups of organisms (McNaughton) it cannot eliminate consideration for the individual organism.

 

Works Cited (Journal of Wildlife Management Citation guidelines)

Brainerd, J. 1971. Nature study for conservation. The MacMillian Company.

Leopold, A. 1966. A sand county almanac. Oxford University Press.

McNaughton,  S.J. and L. Wolf. 1973. General ecology. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Inc.

Odum, E. 1963. Ecology. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Inc.

Turk, J., J. Wittes, R. Wittes, and A. Turk. 1975. Ecosystems, energy, population. W.B. Saunders & Company.

Disclaimer: My thoughts on this article are solely my own as an entry-level professional. My purpose for posts like these are to learn. I expect that in some years some of my views in this blog (and any others) will be changed by an increased experience in the field. I think that it helps to see how I grow through time in my writings and knowledge (much like when you view drawings from when you’re a kid versus as an adult).

Alaska Universities and Colleges with Wildlife Programs

October 18, 2010 2 comments

Hey there. I’ve just completed all of the Alaska Universities and Colleges which have environmentally based programs. There aren’t many schools but the programs undoubtedly are among the best in the nation especially for marine based studies. It is that time of year again where students should be searching for and applying to colleges. So if you’re interested in careers in the outdoors keep following along with this blog as I post each state up. Hopefully I can get to more states quickly however the process is time consuming. This is especially so because I want to do my best to make sure that I’ve included every updated major and contact information.

I’ve also created the abbreviation list for the degree programs. I’ll be sure to update it as I meander through the states and record their degree information.  So if you’re interested in forestry, natural resources, wildlife, fisheries or any of the other related sciences don’t hesitate to check out the states here,  and for Alabama. I actually have Arizona and Arkansas as well but it was completed back in April or so. I plan to update it but if you don’t want to wait till then check it out here as well.

So if you’re a high school student and you’re wondering “What should I major in?” or “What are some outdoor majors?” take a peek. You’ll learn something.

Rothschild Giraffe Now An Endangered Species. – Soysambu Conservancy

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

allAfrica.com: Tanzania: Serengeti Highway to Go Ahead – President

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This is a shame.  So much so that I am speechless.

allAfrica.com: Tanzania: Serengeti Highway to Go Ahead – President.