Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Record wildlife numbers in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park

More than 102,000 animals were counted – the most ever – by the Gorongosa National Park Science Department during its 2022 aerial wildlife count.   -  
Copyright © africanews


In the heart of Mozambique, 12,000 square kilometres of lush landscape and natural habitats make of Gorongosa National Park a treasure.

The civil war which ravaged the country between 1977 to 1992 caused casualties among wildlife. The elephant population, for instance, was virtually decimated for its meat and ivory, then traded for weapons.

30 years later, biodiversity is increasing and according to the latest animal count, done in October this year, the local fauna has reached a new high, over 102,000 animals.

"Some species are growing and others are declining in numbers. This is ‘normal’ in such a large, open natural system where predation and competition are increasing and favouring some species over others," Science department director Dr. Marc Stalmans said.

Climate crisis

The team surveyed a core 60% of the Park over a period of 12 days.

"There is a very fertile, a very productive system", Mark Stalmans who works at the Gorongosa National Park Science Department.

"So if you got a vibrant population that's left, if you get them protection, with a good drainfull, with a frequent flooding, very fertile soil that provides for good grazing you can actually have a very rapid growth in those numbers"

The uncertainty over climate, however, is making National Park officials apprehensive. The "imbalance" in nature, they say, is already "noticeable" in such vital phenomena as rainfall.

"Sometimes it falls very early, sometimes it falls very late and sometimes it falls much less, or not at all", Pedro Muagura, an Administrator at the Gorongosa National Park said.

 So, all this is going to impact on animal reproduction, it's going to impact on the vegetation and the migration of the animals is no longer what it should be. This not only harms the fauna, but also "decomposes" various activities".

The conclusions still need further studies. Until science suggests answers, Gorongosa will continue to adapt to the changes

View more