By Antoon de Vos (auth.)
Africa isn't referred to as one of many extra densely populated continents. but, the harmful marks of man's actions might be noticeable there dramatically. a lot of Africa's ecological zones are fragile. huge scale soil erosion, resul tant cycles of drought and flash floods, downgrading of fauna and plant life are famous to many normally methods, in addition to from special exam of some components. yet huge elements of Africa stay inaccessible. only a few scholars of Africa find a way - or the tenacity - to trip over those substantial components or into the hidden corners that lie past the well known routes of Africa. As FAO's nearby flora and fauna and nationwide Parks Officer for Africa, ANTooN DE Vos had the possibility of vacationing largely and learning and reporting at the acceleration of artificial adjustments in a lot of the continent. As an skilled practitioner of an enormous and tough technology, ecology, he has made an important specialist contribution with this ebook. it really is our wish that those that learn it will likely be inspired to carryon the real paintings and the fear with this topic to which Dr. DE Vos has dedicated rather a lot of his wisdom, strength and private commitments.
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Additional resources for Africa, the Devastated Continent?: Man’s impact on the ecology of Africa, 1st Edition
Of the surviving forest little, if any, seems to be in a truely undisturbed condition. Although the forests of this zone have been seriously over-exploited, they remain the most important timber resource of the continent and considerable quantities of lumber are still being exported. More appalling is the fact that there are thousands of square miles of now unproductive grassland on which the forest has not the slightest chance of regeneration. In addition to this unproductive grassland, large areas of woody, shrubby vegetation of very little use to either man or beast stretch over the landscape.
Guineafowl, francolins, spurfowl and other species commonly utilized by hunters are widely distributed. Less pronounced changes have taken place in the avifauna than among the mammals because they were hunted less frequently, but many of the true denizens of the tropical forest, like hornbills and parrots have either diminished in numbers or completely disappeared. There are many large and medium sized rivers and lakes in this zone and most of these waters are well supplied with nutrients. Thus substantial fish populations exist, and these are regularly exploited.
Around the periphery of the main forested area semi-deciduous gallery forests or isolated forest stands are to be found among the savanna lands. 33 Generally, the savanna lands result from man's encroachment on the forest. The plant cover is now dominated largely by grassland, forest-substitute bush, clearings, forest re-growth, or secondary stands that have developed since clearance. As man's interference with the forest continues"these stands are spreading at the expense of forests. The approximate historical limits of the Guinean forests are not certain, but it is likely that more than half of the original forest area has been sacrificed to wooded savanna and agricultural lands.