The Main Features of a Savanna Ecosystem

The Main Features of a Savanna Ecosystem
For most of the year in this part of Kenya, the climate is very warm and very dry. However for a short season of three months (April, May and June), there is abundant rainfall and then a shorter period known as the ?little rains? (November and December). Both of these periods of rain follow quite soon after the overhead sun has past right over the equator. The temperatures throughout the year are generally high, the cooler part of the year occurs when the sun is overhead in the opposite hemisphere. Most places in Kenyaare too far inland to be affected by the sea, so most of the areas with this climate are upland areas with slightly reduced temperatures due to the high altitudes. During the dry season the prevailing winds blow from the east allowing any moisture to be deposited before reaching western parts of the continents.
The rainy season coincides with the sun, when it is overhead and the dry prevailing winds have reduced. Unfortunately the length of the rainy season and the amount of rainfall are unpredictable. While the heavy nature of the rain can do a lot of damage. [image] A climate graph of Nakuru. The vegetation of this part of Africa is called Savanna. This mainly consists of tall grasses, bushes and scattered trees. The Savanna soils are very good at storing water from the wet seasons, no matter how hot it gets in the dry season. In the south, where the average amount of rainfall is higher, there are more trees. Further north where the dry seasons are longer and the rainfall is less, there are more grasses than trees. Where the Savanna blends with the tropical rainforest, there is dense woodland. Moving away from this the vegetation gradually changes to Savaana grassland with its scattered trees, then eventually changes again to bushes and grasses and then to desert. [image] The grasslands provide grazing grounds for many animals. The trees and bushes are a good food supply for zebra, wildebeest, elephants and giraffes. These animals will become the food supply for animals such as vulture, hyena, jackal and even the baboon. Britain ruled Kenyafrom 1895 until 1963. During this period Britain had a big say in the economic and cultural life of the Kenyans. Almost all Kenyans are black Africans, but there are 30 different ethnic groups now. One of these are the Maasai, they are pastoralists. Most Maasai live in an enkang which is a small village of about 20 houses. The huts are built in a circle and made out of wooden poles (frame), mud and cow dung (walls) and grass (roof). The men wear brightly coloured blankets while the women wear long lengths of cloth. Because of the lack of water the Maasai wash themselves with animal fats and the women wear sweet smelling grasses for perfume. In short, the Savaana is hot, humid and dry, but it supports a large variety of wildlife along with many indigenous people. [image] Why is this ecosystem so fragile? Many parts of the Savaana grasslands have suffered from drought and desertification. This is Especially found in places near to the desert margins. Now that the human force has increased, traditional grazing grounds of the Maasai have been reduced in size as the land is being used to grow crops. During the rainy season most of the soil might be washed away because there are fewer trees now and less grass to protect the soil. [image] A chart to illustrate the main problems of an unbalanced ecosystem. What are the specific attractions for tourists in the NakuruNational Park? The main attraction to the park is the fact that you can see animals in their natural habitat, untouched by man. In recent years tourists have been more attracted to the park, due to improved accommodation and facilities. Now you are provided with a bath or shower, a pool and good food. [image] The best available vehicles are used. Either seven or nine seater safari vehicles with roof hatches and sliding windows, so you can view the animals in their natural habitat. Another main attraction, which brings many tourists to this park, is Lake Nakuru, where animals gather each day to bath and drink. Millions of flamingos flock there everyday, which is a spectacular site to behold. [image] The Maasai tribe will also do shows for the tourists and make souvenirs for them. The Maasai are not very happy to be doing this as it makes them feel downgraded and not as good as the tourists. [image] Benefits and problems for different groups of people from the creation of the NakuruNational Park. Not many countries in the world can offer the splendid scenery and great quantity of wild animals. Tourism has now become Kenya biggest source of income. Safaris are structured so that the tourists can be taken around the park A game park is set up so that wildlife can be protected. If Kenyais so large, why does it need to have game parks? The main reason for this is that if tourists were permitted in all areas, the wildlife would be venerable and under further threat of poaching and death, just to provide trophies. Many species of animals could become endangered. There are wardens in the parks to ensure that visitors only go where permitted. They are also there to make sure that tourists do not frighten the animals and to ensure that poachers can not kill elephants and rhino for their ivory. [image] The Maasai are nomadic people who travel with their cattle, their livestock and their families. They are allowed to live in the parks, but not allowed bring their livestock with them. This means that their animals have to graze on the boundaries of the park. The park has also put up fences to stop wild animals from getting in. These fences are also preventing some animals from migrating as it blocks the route. This has become a major problem as this confuses the animals that have to take this route each year. Kenya?s wildlife and landscapes are very much appreciated by the people of Kenya. This is because it brings in most of the tourism. Money from tourism can be used to help the country by building new houses, improving services and creating new jobs. Tourism isn?t without its problems though. Great amounts of people going on animal safaris can seriously damage what attracted them to the country in the first place. On top of that, it puts a lot of pressure on the people of Kenya, as they need to retain their jobs in tourism and help the economy of Kenya. Safari minibuses are supposed to keep to the tracks but sometimes drive off them. This happens for many reasons, one of which is to let the tourists closer to the wildlife. This can disturb the animals which in turn puts more pressure on the park rangers. In recent years, the Maasai have had to change the way they live to adapt to the parks. Some of these decisions are forced upon them and others have been made through their own choices. One Maasai interviewed said this, "We cannot live in the parks and are forced off our own land. We are seen as a tourist attraction, people expect us to be uneducated cattle herders. We want to keep our dignity." However, on the other hand, a government official told us "Tourism is good for our country and people. It can encourage the building if new roads and better communications, and provides the money to build schools and hospitals." A tourist we interviewed said ?I am very concerned. The safari busses often drive too close to the animals and disturb them. In some areas, wild animal?s often move outside the reserves. They may destroy farmer?s crops." In my opinion, the national parks are a good idea; they stop wide scale poaching and can save endangered species. This in turn can help the ecosystem to run smoothly. A plan for the sustainable management of the NakuruNational Park. [image] The location of The Nakuru National Park. Tourism brings in US $476 million every year. This is 20% of Kenya?s income. So the environment and natural attractions have to be protected so tourists will keep visiting the park, which aids the economy. To do this Kenya must formulate sustainable tourism. This is when you use resources carefully so not to damage the environment. This would mean that people in future years can enjoy the country as we are able to today. To do this we can use something called ecotourism. Ecotourism is when the main attraction of a country is its natural environment and the natives living there. [image][image] Ecotourists are people that are said to be reacting sensibly towards the environment. The general development is normally small impact, low density and the numbers of visitors to any one place are small. Others think that ecotourism is a marketing ploy and the environment is not being saved in any way at all. These people say that the area?s popularity has attracted more investors and people wanting greater comfort. One of the suggestions made to help protect the ecosystem is to concentrate tourism on a few small areas. This would mean that the smaller, more fragile regions would be preserved. Another way to try to preserve the national parks is to try something called a biosphere reserve. This is when a park is split up into three different areas. One is called the core, this is where most of the animals will be kept, this will be a part of the park will be off limits to everyone. This way there will be one part of Kenya that will be untouched by humans. On the outside of the core will be the buffer zone, this is where a few tourists will be allowed in but only under strict control. On the very edge of the park will be the transition area, this is where all tourists are allowed and the local people can graze their cattle for some of the year. The biosphere idea was thought up by the United Nations and will only be useful if they are set up where all the major ecosystems are located. [image] You would also have to think carefully about where you would put all the different areas of the Reserve. If it was going to be put to use in Nakuru then I think that a layout that would work would look something like the map above. This way the lake is kept as the core area along with some of the shore line. The very edge of the Biosphere in Nakuru National Park park will be the transition area and the bit in between that will be the buffer area. In my plan for the management of the park only a small team of committed people would be allowed in the core area of the park and only with supervision from a park ranger. The transition area will be kept for the lodges and as a base for trips to view the animals with 4×4 transport. The part in between those two areas (buffer area), will exist to protect the core; this won?t have to be very large only about two or three miles. This will ensure that no one goes into the core of the park. There will be no helicopters or hot air balloons allowed in the core as these frighten the wildlife and disturb their peace and their natural habitat. The primary problem is said to be numbers of animals and tourists. Ecotourism cannot protect the ecosystem against mass tourism or one breed of animal growing so big that it cannot be handled. A solution to control animal numbers is culling. This is selective killing. The game wardens will take away either the strongest or the weakest animal and destroy it. This will help to keep the numbers of the animals down giving the vegetation time to grow therefore feeding more animals. It is hard to see how to provide many visitors with the experience they want, without modifying or destroying an ecosystem. Sustainable development should improve people?s quality of life and their standard of living. People should achieve this with no wasting of the earth?s resources. This means that improvements shouldn?t just affect people today, but generations to come.

The Main Features of a Savanna Ecosystem 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 1102 Review.