Tuesday, June 28, 2011
'WONDER OF NATURE'
The researchers described the Serengeti as "a rare and iconic example of an ecosystem driven by a large mammal migration". That annual north-to-south trek involves about 1.5 million animals, including wildebeest and zebra.
As the animals travel, they dump vast quantities of urine and dung across the land, fertilizing plant growth, while the trampling of hooves also prevents bush from over-growing the grassland.
An impact assessment compiled for the government confirmed the expected impact on migration, adding that the decline of wildebeest and zebra would have a knock-on effect on predators such as lions and cheetahs. These are among the animals that tourists come to see.
Scientists also warned that the road could bring invasive plant species or unfamiliar diseases into the park, a World Heritage Site.
Last year, the World Heritage Committee expressed its "utmost concern" about the "potentially irreversible damage" that the highway could bring. Environmental campaigners have welcomed the government's decision, with the organization Serengeti Watch saying: "A battle has been won".
However, they warned that the region faces a number of other threats, including roads around the park and poaching.
Written by; Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
Posted by; Deodatus Kiriba-YET 2011