African Parks to manage gorges, rock art and crocodiles of Chad’s Ennedi

The government of Chad has enlisted the aid of a conservation NGO to run a massive national park in the country’s northeast that is home to signs of human habitation stretching back 10,000 years. African Parks, which runs 13 other parks in partnership with authorities in nine countries, announced the agreement on Feb. 19 to manage Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve. “Together we aim to rehabilitate an exceptionally important natural and cultural [UN] World Heritage Site for the benefit of the ecosystem and the thousands of people who rely on it,” African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead said in a statement. Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve is known for its striking rock formations. Photo ©Michael Viljoen, courtesy of African Parks. Ennedi straddles the junction between the Sahara Desert and the band of dry savanna running across Africa’s widest point known as the Sahel. It is known for unique rock formations and topography etched by wind and water. Paintings on the rocks attest to the presence of humans in this part of the world for millennia, and to this day, Ennedi’s permanent oases remain important linchpins for two semi-nomadic groups that call the region home. The park was once home to a variety of wildlife. Today, Ennedi still supports more than 525 plant species and a “relic” population of seven crocodiles, as well as serves as a critical stopover for dozens of migrating bird species. But African Parks said that poaching since the mid-20th century, along with unsustainable livestock rearing and tree clearing…

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South Africa Today – Environment

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