|AUF ANIMAL SANCTUARY POLICY
CO-EXISTANCE OF COMMUNITIES AND WILDLIFE
AUF supports efforts to give communities the authority to oversee wildlife management on a daily basis as an economic and social activity. Farmers and ranchers, as well as other members of the community who are directly interacting with wildlife must communally adopt the wildlife and ecosystems and ensure that they are properly defended and cared for.
The African Union is divided into two flora and fauna zones: the Northern Interior, and the Ethiopian Zone that consists of the sub-saharan portion of biosphere. The Ethiopian Zone has the densest fauna and the widest bio-diversity on Earth, numbering among its spectular life forms, the largest land mammals.
Neocolonial economic interventions have forced humans to settle down on, or otherwise use land that used to provide habitat for some of Africa's diverse wildlife. The wildlife has suffered along side the African, and some species have been completely wiped out. Greater numbers of species have become endangered.
Africans are aware of this threat to their wildlife. Governments have established National Parks and Protected Reserves in all regions to conserve the tremendous animal wealth that Africa possesses.
List of Major Parks in the African Union
THE SAFARI LIFE-STYLE
Other than the sanctuaries listed above, there are hundreds of smaller Safari Camps, and Private Game Reserves all over Africa. Usually the smaller private reserves located close to the national parks.
Elegant wood-and-thatch lodges are a common sight in the wild life parks and sanctuaries in Africa, and provide accomodations for millions of tourists who travel to Africa every year. Many parks and lodges have their own airstrips for convenient flying (for tourists and for game wardens who patrol the wild herds).
OCEAN MARINE LIFE
There are many marine parks in Africa. Although most are used for sport fishing, marine parks are important for the protection of endangered reefs, marine and bird species (sharks, turtles, penguins, gulls, and fish eagles). The marine park off the coast of Mali has limited access for the local fishing by the villages along the coast, and is used for conservation. Guinea and Sierra leone will set up marine parks in 2001.
For example the town of Ponto do Ouro on the Mozambique-South African border is fringed by sea, sand, dunes and casuarina trees. The resort offers Surf fishing for barracuda, kingfish and bream, and scuba diving beyond the reefs allows dives with sharks, dolphins and giant whale sharks. Also one may watch whales, dolphins and turtles (they lay their eggs on the beach in the summer months).
Ponto do Ouro or ‘The Point of Gold’ is so named because early Portuguese explorers thought gold might be found there. The dunes are a rich black titanium, with long white beaches. Just north of Ponto do Ouro is another resort area called Ponto Malongane which is a smaller resort set in thick forests offering diving and fishing facilities.
LAKES AND LAGOONS
The saline waters of the Uembje Lagoon (Bilene) in Mozambique provide a sanctuary for large numbers of flamingos and other water birds flock here in summer. For the rest of the year, the lakes are used for sailing, diving, fishing, swimming and snorkelling. The lagoon is a massive stretch of water which is 8 km wide and 27 km long, with shallow shores and reaching a depth of more than 50 metres.
The African Union has several large cross border wild life sanctuaries. Problems presented by the arrangements between states in the past led to the closure of parks in order to prevent cross border violations by porchers and people without travel documents.
One of the larger trans-frontier parks lies between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Another is the 38,000sq km Kgalagadi transfrontier park in the Kalahari area between Botswana and South Africa.
The 36,000ha Venetia reserve, is situated near the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers in Northern Province. The Shashe River forms part of the border between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve is now part of the larger Vhembe-Dongola National Park along South Africa's northern border.
The Vhembe-Dongola is a sanctuary for viable populations of the black and white rhinoceros, the African elephant, and the wild dog. The most endangered species in the African Union include the mountain gorilla, the African elephant, the black rhino, the white rhino, and the African wild dog. At risk species include Grevy’s zebra, Kafue lechwe, manatee, dugong, the hawksbill turtle, Perrier’s baobab, the golden bamboo lemur of Madagascar, the Usumbara partridge (found in Tanzania), Kenya’s Sokoke Scops Owl, the Pancake Tortoise, the Giant Chameleon of Zambia, and South Africa’s Brenton Blue Butterfly.