Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

Manovo Gounda St Floris NP in Central African Republic

CAR Zakouma elephants lions kob

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 inyathi

inyathi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,989 posts
  • Local time: 02:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

I'm always keen to draw attention to some of Africa's less familiar parks so I thought I'd post this about a park that is sadly on the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites under threat. 

 

While looking on YouTube for videos of Zakouma NP I came across this amazing French film “La Rivieres des Lions, la Gounda” Gounda the River of Lions filmed in Manovo Gounda St Floris NP just to the south of Zakouma over the border in northern CAR.  Ever since I first read about this park many years ago in a copy of the East African Wildlife Society’s magazine Swara I’ve wanted to go there as much as anything to look for Derby’s “giant” eland. Almost constant instability has made this part of CAR pretty much off limits or at least very difficult to visit and has allowed poachers particularly from Sudan free reign to destroy the areas wildlife. The once very abundant but now entirely extinct western black rhinos were wiped out some time ago and elephants have been receiving a severe hammering from the Janjaweed horsemen from Sudan so just how many elephants are left there now I’m really not sure. Quite what the situation is as far as the other species is concerned I’m not sure either but I fear that in the recent chaos most of the wildlife will have been lost to meat poaching I really hope this is not the case. There is no doubt also a severe problem with illegal grazing which can only have got worse in recent years. Perhaps one day peace will be restored to CAR and the country will have a proper government for once, then maybe if there is some wildlife left this once glorious national park can be restored and protected like Zakouma now is.The following film which is entirely in French is dated 1998 so it just goes to show what an amazing place Manovo Gounda St Floris NP still was very recently and I hope could be again one day.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=wkEnOHgCGng

 


  • Paolo, michael-ibk, Africalover and 2 others like this

#2 Paolo

Paolo

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 3,899 posts
  • Local time: 03:06 AM
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 December 2014 - 04:00 PM

@inyathi

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC video, of which I was totally unaware. Thank you so much for posting this.

By 1998, wildlife in the great parks of northern CAR was already much depleted, which really makes you wonder how the place must once have been, not only when W.D.M. "Karamojo" Bell was hunting in the legendary Aouk river valley, but only a few decades later.

After all, As late as 1980, CAR was hosting the third (if not the second) largest Black Rhino population in Africa.

When Manovo-Gounda-St.Floris was made a World Heritage Site, it was recommended that a Transfrontier Park encompassing Zakouma and a section of the Aouk valley should have been created.

If that had been the case, and some effective protection been put in place, it would have been the most magnificent thing. It is probably too late now (at least for the CAR side) which leaves a lot of sorrow and regret.
  • inyathi likes this

#3 jeremie

jeremie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
  • Local time: 10:06 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 December 2014 - 08:46 PM

One day I hope northern CAR national parks will be restored. There are huge posibilities out there. We should not minimize the capabilities of nature to recover, provided CAR is stabilized, parks correctly managed and janjaweeds destroyed.


  • inyathi likes this

#4 KafueTyrone

KafueTyrone

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • Local time: 03:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kafue National Park, Zambia
  • Category 1:Conservationist/Naturalist
  • Category 2:Safari Guide

Posted 01 March 2015 - 10:42 AM

Amazing. I love places like this...


Website: www.jmsafaris-zambia.com l Facebook
 
Email: info@jefferymckeith.com

#5 Gregor

Gregor

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts
  • Local time: 02:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 28 January 2016 - 01:05 AM

i`m wondering what the state of the park is in today? Completely depleted? Somebody knows?

 

This is a chocking article: http://conservationm...ss-to-violence/


  • Tom Kellie likes this

#6 Tom Kellie

Tom Kellie

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 6,485 posts
  • Local time: 09:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central CHINA
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:07 AM

i`m wondering what the state of the park is in today? Completely depleted? Somebody knows?

 

This is a chocking article: http://conservationm...ss-to-violence/

 

~ @Gregor

 

A more sobering article couldn't be imagined.

 

Thank you for posting it, bringing it to our attention.

 

I read it through twice, in order to more fully grasp the salient points.

 

What especially impressed me was the comment that the poaching situation needed to be addressed long ago, but wasn't.

 

Tom K.



#7 Gregor

Gregor

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts
  • Local time: 02:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:40 AM

Yes, it´s sobering and awful. 

 

Hopefully some steps in the right direction is about to happen (on a grand scale), as USA, China and Hong Kong is about to ban ivory trade. Another light in the dark is the organisation African Parks that among other parks is managing Zakouma in Chad and Chinko in CAR. They seem to do a good job, and actually have been abel to succeed in making nature do a comeback. They have even in some parks started from scratch with basically no animals, restocking and then it have grown to diverse and high concentrations of wildlife. What if AP would take on Manovo St Floris NP, maybe they could turn the tide for this once treasure. The fact that CAR have given managing rights to AP for Chinko might be a sign, that they (CAR) are realizing that their national parks needs proper managing and that they them self don´t have the organisation or resources for it. 

 

http://wildlifenews....nces-ivory-ban/


  • optig and Tom Kellie like this

#8 Tom Kellie

Tom Kellie

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 6,485 posts
  • Local time: 09:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central CHINA
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:50 AM

~ @Gregor

 

The sincere hope that the ivory trade will be banned by major East Asian nations or administrative regions is understandable.

 

If such trade were banned in Western Europe, one might reasonably suppose that the issue would eventually be resolved.

 

The problem in East Asia is that “rule of law” is not at all the order of the day here, but rather cosmetic actions to placate gullible Western media and NGOs are routine.

 

One winces to be so unrelentingly negative, but years of watching dog & pony shows staged to hoodwink credulous Western observers leads to deep doubts about the supposed banning of the ivory trade.

 

What's urgently needed in non-selective, rigorous enforcement of existing statutes. That's exactly what almost never happens here.

 

I agree that it sounds hopeful that steps are leading in the right direction, yet minus stringent independent verification of enforcement, there's little solid grounds for rejoicing.

 

In this corner of the globe, there's little affection for what are regarded as being “Western” notions of animal rights, and simultaneously there's a deep-seated tendency to rely on sophisticated deception as the most effective means on diverting international attention away from the grim realities here.

 

Let's hope that a positive trend may someday be independently verified!

 

Tom K.


  • Gregor likes this

#9 inyathi

inyathi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,989 posts
  • Local time: 02:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 31 January 2016 - 11:59 PM

I recall reading several times probably in Nat Geo articles in which Mike Fay was warning about the Janjaweed and the danger they pose to both the elephants (and other wildlife) and people of Central Africa but his warnings went unheeded. We’ve seen the awful consequences across the region in Bouba Njida NP in Cameroon, in Dzangha Sangha NP in C.A.R, in Garamba NP in the D.R.C. and in Zakouma. I really hope that C.A.R. can be stabilised soon before it’s too late, we can only hope that when it is Manovo will be able to be restored.

 

Thank heavens for African Parks and their involvement with Zakouma and Chinko, looking at Google Earth as the crow flies the distance from the middle of Manovo to middle of Zakouma is around 165 miles and the distance to Chinko (though I don’t know where the boundaries of Chinko are) is around 270 miles. With the exception of the eastern giant eland which is absent from Zakouma all of the other big game species in Manovo at least the savannah species are found in Zakouma so at some point in the future if it becomes possible to do so the park could be restocked with animals brought from Zakouma to replace or reinforce populations in Manovo.  In the past there would have been no barrier to animals moving between the two parks so genetically Zakouma’s animals should be a good match. If it is necessary to replace or reinforce the park’s population of giant eland then these animals could be brought in from Chinko once the population there has increased enough.

 

Often when I refer to species that aren’t that familiar to most people when I have no photos of my own because I haven’t seen the animal in question I like to provide a link to ARKive however when I’ve written about giant eland in the past I wasn’t able to, they didn’t have an entry for this species as they clearly hadn’t acquired the necessary photos. In the course of writing this I’ve discovered that they do now have an entry for these majestic animals, all of the photos are of the western giant eland and I presume were taken in the Fathala Reserve in Senegal a small reserve outside their original range in the country where they are breeding them.  There are plenty of photos of eastern giants on the web but unfortunately they are almost entirely of dead ones shot by trophy hunters.

 

ARKive giant eland

 

Map

 

Securing Manovo should be very important for the survival of this species, at the moment their conservation relies almost entirely on trophy hunters and I doubt there are that many of those going to C.A.R. currently. If some of the other big game species do need to be restocked from Zakouma then perhaps Chad could trade the animals for giant eland which could be introduced into Zakouma though they were apparently not previously found there but did occur just to the south in the Salamat Faunal Reserve.     

 

If there are forest species that need restocking these could likely be obtained from Chinko as well. Chinko is a good bit further south than Manovo but both areas are in the transition zone between the Sudano-Sahelian Savannahs and the Congo Basin Rainforest though Manovo being that much further north obviously has rather less forest.  Finding information on Manovo certainly up to date information on the web is really not easy, it is usually pretty clear how seriously out of date the information is because the wildlife listed as occurring in the park includes black rhinos which must have been extinct in C.A.R. since if not the late 80s then probably the early 90s. Most of what I’ve found on the web only names a few of the parks mammals and doesn’t give a full list of the larger species, so of the forest mammals that aren’t found in Zakouma I wasn’t exactly sure which of the species I suspect should be found in Manovo actually occurred in the park and which did not.

 

However I discovered while looking at some distribution maps on the IUCN website that if you click change base map and then select National Geographic when you zoom right in it shows the national parks. Distribution of course can never be 100% accurate or remain up to date but looking at a few maps I can see that red river hogs, giant forest hogs, lowland bongos, yellow-backed duikers, blue duikers and guereza colobus should all occur in the park, these are just the species that came to mind that I decided to look at there may be others I’ve overlooked. Here are three of the maps I looked at.

 

Bongo

 

Red river hog

 

Giant forest hog

 

 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with where the park is if you zoom in on the north of the C.A.R. and find where it says Bamingui Bangoran when you zoom in further two parks will appear the western of the two is called Bamingui Bangoran and the eastern is Manovo Gounda St Floris. Curiously I don’t know for why but the park is divided into two separate sections there is narrow corridor of land a few miles wide separating the far south of the park off from the rest.

 

Having not found much information about the park on the web I can assume that the as well as the park’s elephants much of the other big game has probably also been decimated by meat poachers however I wouldn’t know how much of the habitat has been damaged or destroyed by people cutting trees or the illegal grazing of livestock. Looking at the example of what African Parks has achieved in Zakouma and what has also been done in Gorongosa in Mozambique I’m optimistic that if the country can be stabilised then the park could be restored. I really hope that if they continue to achieve good results in Chinko that African Parks will as @Gregor suggests take on Manovo if it becomes safe to do so and there's a proper government in Bangui that they can work with.

 

The one thing I did find online was a sad review of the park on tripadvisor from a couple who had worked very briefly as safari guides in the park during the good days when it was still a wildlife paradise.

 

tripadvisor

 

One of the World Heritage websites I looked at suggests that if Manovo can be saved then it should become part of a transfrontier conservation area with Zakouma, quite what state the south of the Salamat Faunal Reserve near the border is in I’m not sure. With all of the chaos in the C.A.R. there may be a lot of refugees who’ve moved into this area of Chad I don’t know for a sure, if it is possible trying to re-establish a wildlife corridor linking the two parks would be a priority. Whether there will one day come a time when elephants are sufficiently safe that they can once again move between the two parks as they would have done in the past I don’t know.

 

Whatever happens to Manovo will ultimately depend on C.A.R. being stabilised if and when that will be achieved is anybody’s guess.


  • Sangeeta, Gregor, Africalover and 2 others like this

#10 Gregor

Gregor

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts
  • Local time: 02:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 01 February 2016 - 05:28 PM

Hi @inyathi

 

Thanks for your thorough description of available information. I must say that I am surprised how little information there is available on internet (om most subjects internet is flooded with information). Your thoughts and hopes reflect mine. What fascinate me about Manovo is that it is described as a rich savanna land, similar to east African savanna (like Serengeti) and it would be fantastic if it could come alive. It is also closer to Europe, so just think of what potential that is.


  • Sangeeta, inyathi and Tom Kellie like this

#11 Tom Kellie

Tom Kellie

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 6,485 posts
  • Local time: 09:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central CHINA
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 09 February 2016 - 08:18 AM

~ @inyathi

 

Your post is enlightening to those wholly ignorant of the situation in the Central African Republic, which means yours truly.

 

As @Gregor has noted, that Manovo is rich savanna land is of utmost interest.

 

If the troubling issues might be sorted out to establish an equilibrium suitable for limited safaris, it would be a substantial achievement.

 

Would that there were an annual counterpart of the Nobel Peace Prize for contributions to wildlife protection...

 

Tom K.


  • Sangeeta and Gregor like this

#12 Anomalure

Anomalure

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 152 posts
  • Local time: 06:06 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay area
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 03 April 2016 - 03:12 PM

@inyathi

 

I posted an aerial survey of the MGSFNP area and some surrounding hunting concessions from 2010 some time ago. That might have some useful info on species presence in the park. Sadly, the current species counts are almost certainly much lower than those reported back then...


  • Sangeeta likes this

#13 egilio

egilio

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,538 posts
  • Local time: 03:06 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Conservationist/Naturalist
  • Category 2:Ecologist

Posted 03 April 2016 - 05:21 PM

Here is a report, but I won't put too much trust in it, it mentions rhinos repeatedly even though it's written in 2013 or later. 


  • Sangeeta likes this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: CAR, Zakouma, elephants, lions, kob


© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.