Yesterday (24th June), an item was posted on telegraph.co.uk titled ‘Wildebeest migration safe after Serengeti road plans scrapped’.
‘… Plans have been shelved to build a controversial road across the Serengeti National Park which threatened the annual wildebeest migration between Tanzania and Kenya.
Conservationists warned that opening the wilderness to public traffic would have blocked the route of one million animals as they move north each year.
The new road, to be used by 800 vehicles a day, would have cut across the migration’s path, raised chances of animals being hit by cars, and brought pollution and human germs into the ecosystem.
Now the Tanzanian government has confirmed that it will not upgrade an existing dirt road – used only for tourists on safari – to an asphalt route open to all traffic.
“The proposed road will not dissect the Serengeti National Park and therefore will not affect the migration,” Ezekiel Maige, Tanzania’s minster for natural resources and tourism, wrote in a letter to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. The Serengeti National Park is a World Heritage Site.
Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, had previously thrown his support behind the plans, arguing that the national reserve cut off businesses in the country’s north from markets …
“I think that the government has just come to realise what’s at stake,” said Richard Bigurube, the former director general of the Tanzanian National Parks Authority, who now works with the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Africa office.
“If we had gone ahead with a commercial road through there, it would have had a very severe impact.” But there were concerns that the Tanzanian government might dust off plans for the road in the future.
“I’m not celebrating, I think this is a trick,” said Uwe Skrzypczak, a German wildlife photographer who helped found a Facebook page, Stop the Serengeti Highway, which has more than 40,000 fans.
“We have heard that UNESCO was going to cancel the Serengeti’s status as a World Heritage Site if the road went ahead, and there is a big UNESCO conference about this next week …’
Read the item in full and be the first to add your comment online at www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8597221/Wildebeest-migration-safe-after-Serengeti-road-plans-scrapped.html