As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Tanzania's largest reserve under threat


Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve, one of the last areas of untouched wilderness in the world, could face permanent damage should construction of a proposed hydroelectric dam go ahead. This important World Heritage Site contains multiple ecosystems that support a myriad of animal species, including Malagasy Pond Heron, as well as Lions and African Elephants.
In late April, the Tanzanian government confirmed plans to clear an expansive swathe of vegetation inside Selous, with a hydropower dam expected to be created. However, this decision is in breach of Tanzanian environmental legislation, and also goes against the World Heritage Committee position against dams with large reservoirs being built on World Heritage Sites.
Selous is an almost entirely undisturbed tract of wilderness roughly the size of Switzerland, and the largely untouched habitat hosts a long list of species typically associated with the savanna regions of Africa. The largest population of African Buffalo on the continent is found on the reserve, and it is an internationally important wintering site for Malagasy Pond Heron, which is listed as Endangered by BirdLife International. This species is highly threatened by a loss of habitat, and consequently the extensive wetlands of Selous is a key refuge.

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