Akagera National Park’s Animal Populations Growing

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Akagera National Park’s Animal Populations Growing

Rwanda’s famous Akagera National Park is proving to be an ideal breeding ground for its animals, with the Big Five populations increasing steadily.

Akagera national park gazetted in 1934 is an extensive area covering 1,200 km² in eastern Rwanda, protecting animals and vegetation in three eco-regions – Savannah, mountain and swamp. Akagera National Park, which is managed by Akagera Management Company.

Since the last two years, the population of herbivore animal species had increased to 12,275 from 7892 animals representing a 55.5% rise.

Today, Akagera Management Company is carrying out another aerial census to initially have a baseline of the number of animal populations living in the park.

According to Sarah Hall, the Tourism and Marketing Manager of Akagera Management Company, these subsequent census results have been helping them to know the impact of the conservation efforts in Akagera for the past 17 years after the Public Private Program agreement with African Parks, in 2010.

“It’s important that we monitor wildlife populations in the park to ensure that certain species are not over-populated and exceeding the carrying capacity of the park. Right now, this is not a problem but it is something that needs to be monitored,” Hall said.

According to park officials, the growing animal population is attributed to reinforced security and training of rangers.

She further explained that figures also help to inform decisions about the park, such as when Akagera was ready to receive lions without potentially having negative effects on some species.

The ongoing counting is done by a helicopter and flying transects of the park aiming to cover the entire park.

From the 2015 Aerial Census, Akagera had 100 elephant, 2,567 buffalo, 79 giraffe, 219 eland, 108 Roan, 1,384 waterbuck, 1,827 Zebra, 805 Topi, 2,144 impala, 1,067 warthog and 1,565 hippopotami.

Rwanda is celebrating the good numbers of animals it has and according to Hall, there is no need to do anything particular to boost the number of animals especially like elephants and buffaloes.







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