Comoé National Park

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West African Dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis)

Comoé National Park is a national park in Côte d'Ivoire and one of the largest protected areas in West Africa, with an area of 4437 square miles. The park contains a wide variety of habitats, including savannah, wooded savannah, gallery forests, riverine forest, and riparian grasslands. The habitat variety also provides for a great diversity of wildlife species, including 11 species of monkey, 17 species of carnivore, and 21 species of grazing animals. The park also provides a habitat for 10 species of heron, four of the six West African stork species, five of the six West African vulture species, and all three species of African crocodile (Nile, Slender-snouted and Dwarf, all of which are endangered).[1] Because of the human ecological difficulties in settling the area, mainly due to the presence of the blackfly which causes "river blindness", it is one of the few remaining areas in West Africa which maintains its ecological integrity.[2]

Contents

Indigenous population

Ethnic groups living around the park include the Lobi, the Koulabgo, the Dioula, and the Djimini. These groups are mostly reliant upon agriculture and hunting , and the population density is low.[3]

Cultural heritage

One forested area near the village of Gorowi is considered to be sacred. There are other sacred sites in neighbouring villages, but these have neither been well located nor studied.[4]

World heritage

The park was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1983, having fulfilled two of the selection criteria relating to ecosystems, biodiversity and natural habitats.[5]

Threats

Problems have always included uncontrolled burning, grazing and overgrazing of cattle and poaching, particularly of elephant, roan antelope and waterbuck, despite vigorous anti-poaching campaigns; between 1992 and 1995, a guard and two poachers died during anti-poaching confrontations. Poaching from Burkina Faso has also increased.[6] The park was placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2003.

External links

  • UNESCO Site entry. Accessed 15 January 2008

References

  1. Fauna Comoé National Park, Cote d'Ivoire United Nations Environment Programme/World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 15 January 2008
  2. IUCN Technical Review World Heritage Nomination 227 - Comoe National Park (June 1983)
  3. Local Human Population UNEP/WCMC. Accessed 15 January 2008
  4. Cultural heritage UNEP/WCMC. Accessed 15 January 2008
  5. Selection criteria, ix,x The Criteria for selection UNESCO. Accessed 15 January 2008
  6. Justification for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, 2003: Report of the 27th Session of the Committee UNESCO. Accessed 15 January 2008
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