Platinum Rhino, the worlds largest captive rhino breeding operation sold to africaparksnetwork! (update, instagram embed did not work)

Hearing this news, one might think “great, another 10-20 rhino”? Think again.

Platinum rhino holds as much as 15% of the current wild population in its operation -2000 individuals. Here is an instagram on the news!

This could be great! Current rhino numbers are estimated to be in the low 2000, down 79% since 2011. Releasing the whole herd back into the Kruger could allow numbers a sizable boost, and rapidly move the kruger back towards its former stronghold of the white rhino. However, in the first half of 2023 over 200 rhino were poached from the Kruger, suggesting that this is not going to be easy.

Unfortunately, the Kruger is already one of the best preserved large reserves in the world. Thankfully, rhino horn has dropped in value from its peak in 2012 of $65,000 per kg, down to a current $8000 per kg. It would be good to depress this further, however the risks for the poacher are very high: not only are many poachers killed by the rhino, they are also often killed by other wildlife such as lions – and the Kruger has a sizable number of man-eating specialists.

I suspect the organization will spread the rhino around, across many of their reserves. Hopefully the recognition that farms like this make no sense, will allow them to thrive back in the wild.

Education is still needed in China, Vietnam and elsewhere. Rhino horn is the same substance as your finger-nails, Keratin. Consuming it will make no difference to any medical condition, science has tried to show any positive health benefit, and can see nothing scientific – at best a placebo effect.

Below, is a video about this farm, 6 years ago back in its heyday. Hopefully, all these rhino can recover white rhino populations far and wide.

Hyrax

Rock hyrax

Hyrax

The Hyrax is a family of species. All falling in the Order Hyracoidea, and the family Pracaviidae. While their look would not suggest it, this family is very closely related to the elephant

Within this family, there are 3 Genus, 2 with just one species, and one with 4. You will see labeled pictures below. Click on any to find out more.

                          Heterohyrax                                                                                                                                                 Dendrohyrax

                         Procavia

It should be noted, that the Benin tree hyrax was only decided in recent years, as such it is still debated as to whether it is a separate species, or just subspecies.

As many as 50 subspecies have been described. As destinations for these different species start to get added, I will add these to the grid above. As with all species on this website, we are eager to work with people on the ground, to allow tourism to see this species. given how well hyraxes do outside reserves, it may well be a species easier seen in areas of local population. Get in touch if you have a destination to list (link at the top of the main page. While fascinating to watch (we watched one eat a whole banana skin) they are often overlooked. They have less status than lions and elephants, but can also be found in more places

Yellow-spotted hyrax, has a recognized 25 subspecies, though given the vast range of this species, this is perhaps not a surprise. They generally live in rocky areas and rock Kojes, that can be seen littered across savannah

It is (in some areas) hunted by humans, which has caused local problems. They are browsers, eating leaves twigs and other edible things it comes across (I have seen one eat a banana skin.

It is listed as least concern

 

Southern tree hyrax It is  found in temperate forests, subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, moist savanna, and rocky areas.

It may be found at elevations up to 4,500m across a wide range of countries. It is largely nocturnal. The males call is an alarming series of shrieks.

It is listed as least concern.

Western tree hyrax, also known as the western tree dassie or Beecroft tree hyrax,

Western tree hyraxes tend to be solitary, and only occasionally are found in groups of two or three. They are nocturnal and generally feed at night. It has been noted that this species is an especially adept climber. The gestation period is about eight months with a litter size one or two young.

It is listed as least concern

Rock or cape hyrax has 5 recognized subspecies, again, unsurprising given its vast range. Generally having a hide within a natural rock cavity, Rock hyraxes are social animals that live in colonies of up to 50 individuals. They sleep in one group, and start the day, warming up in the sun

They are also listed as least concern

Eastern tree hyrax is the most localized of the tree hyrax species, only found in places within a narrow band of lowland and montane forests in Kenya and Tanzania and close-by islands. A solitary species, it lives in tree cavities, and communicates with others, through scent marking and high pitched calls. 

They are classed as near threatened by the IUCN, with poaching being a big threat, particularly on Mount Kilimanjaro and throughout the Eastern arc mountains.

Benin tree hyrax is found in the region between the Niger and Volta Rivers in West Africa, hence the name.

It can be distinguished from neighbouring Dendrohyrax dorsalis by its night-time barking vocalizations, its shorter and broader skull, and its lighter pelage.

This is a species that is not currently agreed. However, if/when it is, it has been assessed by the IUCN as being least concern

2. Subfamily Reduncinae: rhebok reedbuck and Waterbuck

2. Reduncinae - Rhebok, Reedbuck, Waterbuck

Boher Reedbuck

Boher Reedbuck

The bohor reedbuck  is an antelope native to central Africa.

The head-and-body length of this medium-sized antelope is typically between 100–135 cm. Females are smaller. This sturdily built antelope has a yellow to grayish brown coat. Only the males possess horns which measure about 25–35 cm long. There are 5 subspecies:

  • R. r. bohor Rüppell, 1842: Also known as the Abyssinian bohor reedbuck. It occurs in southwestern, western and central Ethiopia, and Blue Nile (Sudan).
  • R. r. cottoni (W. Rothschild, 1902): It occurs in the Sudds (Southern Sudan), northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and probably in northern Uganda.
  • R. r. nigeriensis (Blaine, 1913): This subspecies occurs in Nigeria, northern Cameroon, southern Chad and Central African Republic.
  • R. r. redunca (Pallas, 1767): Its range extends from Senegal east to Togo. It inhabits the northern savannas of Africa. 
  • R. r. wardi (Thomas, 1900): Found in Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and eastern Africa. 
The total population of this species is 100,000, and while it is decreasing, it is not currently low enough to justify a near threatened rating, though this might change in the near future. At the current time, I cannot see any of the subspecies being in a worse position but can change this if I find out more.

Mountain Reedbuck

 The mountain reedbuck has 3 subspecies. The western mountain reedbuck only has 450 individuals still living wild, (shown on the map in red) also known as the Adamwa mountain reedbuck which is restricted to the highlands of Cameroon. The Eastern mountain reedbuck (or Chanlers) has 2900 wild individuals, is found in parts of Kenya and Ethiopia. The Southern moutnain reedbuck, blue, (33,000) is found in the Drakensburg mountains of South Africa.

Mountain Reedbuck

Southern Reedbuck

Southern Reedbuck

The Southern, or common Reedbuck is found in Southern Africa. It is a midsized  antelope, standing 134-167cm tall

 It was described in 1785 by Pieter Boddaert. Southern reedbucks live in pairs or alone, though occasionally they will form herds of up to 20. They prefer to lie in grass or reed beds in the heat of the day and feed during sunrise and sunset, or sometimes even at night. Old reedbucks are permanently territorial, with territories around 35-60 hectares, and generally live with a single female, preventing contact with rival males. Females and young males perform an ‘appeasement dance’ for older males.  Within this territory, it is active all the time in summer, but it is nocturnal in the wet season. It regularly uses paths to reach good sites to rest, graze, and drink water. They are hunted by all the top predators in the area, including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah hyena and wild dog, as well as animals like snakes.

They are easily hunted, and combined with loss of territory to human expansion, the population is down. About 60% occur in protected reserves, but in some countries like Gabon and the DRC are though to almost be locally extinct.

Kob

The puku  is a mid-sized antelope found in wet grasslands in Southern Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and more concentrated in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Nearly one-third of all puku are found in protected areas, zoos, and national parks due to their diminishing habitat (though this still leaves 2/3 of Puku living outside all protected areas.

Kob (queen Elizabeth national park)

Red Lechwe

Red Lechwe

Red Lechewe is a species of antelope found in the south of eastern African. The red lechwe is native to Botswana, Zambia, southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, northeastern Namibia, and eastern Angola, especially in the Okavango Delta, Kafue Flats, and Bangweulu Wetlands. They are found in shallow water, and have a substance on their legs which allows them to run pretty fast. Total population is around 160,000

Four subspecies of the lechwe have been recognized

  • Common red lechwe (Gray, 1850) – Widely distributed in the wetlands of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. (80,000)
  • Kafue Flats lechwe  (Haltenorth, 1963) – It is confined within the Kafue Flats (seasonally inundated flood-plain on the Kafue River, Zambia). (28,000)
  • Roberts’ lechwe  (Rothschild, 1907) – Formerly found in northeastern Zambia, now extinct. Also called the Kawambwa lechwe.
  • Black lechwe (Kobus leche smithemani(Lydekker, 1900) – Found in the Bangweulu region of Zambia. (50,000)

In addition, the Upemba lechwe (1000)  and the extinct Cape lechwe are also considered subspecies by some authorities. Although related and sharing the name “lechwe”, the Nile lechwe (below) is consistently recognized as a separate species.

Nile Lechwe

The Nile lechwe or Mrs Gray’s lechwe  is an endangered species of antelope found in swamps and grasslands in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Nile lechwe can visually signal and vocalize to communicate with each other. They rear high in the air in front of their opponents and turn their heads to the side while displaying. Females are quite loud, making a toad-like croaking when moving. Known predators are humans, lions, crocodiles, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas and leopards. They flee to water if disturbed, but females defend their offspring from smaller predators by direct attack, mainly kicking. Nile lechwe are crepuscular, active in the early morning and late afternoon. They gather in herds of up to 50 females and one male or in smaller all-male herds. They divide themselves into three social groups: females and their new offspring, bachelor males, and mature males with territories. A males with territory sometimes allows a bachelor male into his territory to guard the region and not to copulate. They are sexually mature at 2.

Nile lechwe feed on succulent grasses and water plants. They have the special capability to wade in shallow waters and swim in deeper waters, and may feed on young leaves from trees and bushes, rearing up to reach this green vegetation. Nile lechwe are also found in marshy areas, where they eat aquatic plants.  Around 32,000 and are classed as endangered

Nile Lechwe

Puku

Puku

The puku  is a medium-sized antelope found in wet grasslands in southern Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and more concentrated in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Nearly one-third of all puku are found in protected areas, zoos, and national parks due to their diminishing habitat (the issue here, is that these 2/3 are clearly at danger of disappearing if humans change their behaviour. They are currenly listed as not threatened

Two subspecies exist:

  • Senga Puku
  • Southern Puku
Both appear to be not threatened.
They are found in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park

Waterbuck

The waterbuck  is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa.It was first described by Irish naturalist William Ogilby in 1833.

Its 13 subspecies are grouped under two varieties: the common or ellipsiprymnus waterbuck and the defassa waterbuck. The head-and-body length is typically between 177 and 235cm  and the typical height is between 120 and 136cm. In this antelope, males are taller and heavier than females. Males reach roughly 127 cm at the shoulder, while females reach 119cm. Males typically weigh 198–262 kg and females 161–214 kg. Their coat colour varies from brown to grey. The long, spiral horns, present only on males, curve backward, then forward, and are 55–99 cm long. Waterbucks are rather sedentary in nature. As gregarious animals, they may form herds consisting of six to 30 individuals. These groups are either nursery herds with females and their offspring or bachelor herds. Males start showing territorial behaviour from the age of 5 years, but are most dominant from the six to nine. The waterbuck cannot tolerate dehydration in hot weather, and thus inhabits areas close to sources of water. Predominantly a grazer, the waterbuck is mostly found on grassland. In equatorial regions, breeding takes place throughout the year, but births are at their peak in the rainy season. The gestational period lasts 7–8 months, followed by the birth of a single calf.

Waterbucks inhabit scrub and savanna areas along rivers, lakes, and valleys. Due to their requirement for grasslands and water, waterbucks have a sparse ecotone distribution. The IUCN lists the waterbuck as being of least concern. More specifically, the common waterbuck is listed as of least concern. while the defassa waterbuck is near threatened. The population trend for both is downwards, especially that of the defassa, with large populations being eliminated from certain habitats because of poaching and human disturbance.

The common waterbuck is listed as least concern, while the Defassa is listed as near threatened. Only 60% of this subspecies population is in protected areas, so it could get worse, if they are lost.

Waterbuck

Aardwolf

Aardwolf

The aardwolf is the smallest member of the Hyaenidae family, as you can see from the map, it is a species with two separated populations, one in East Africa and one in Southern Africa. It is insectivorous, and exclusively nocturnal, and is generally thought of as one of the harder animals to see in the wild. If incredibly lucky, you can see them feeding alongside Aardvarks, and even Pangolins, but this is rare.  They favour open dry plains and savannahs.

Looking at first glance rather similar to a thin striped hyena, but with a black mane running from its neck, down its back, it can raise this during a confrontation. 

As it ages, it can loose its teeth, however, due to the softness of most insects, this is not the death sentence that it is in many wild animals.

They will defend a territory from others, that covers 1-4 square km, during the breeding season, but are solitary the rest of the time. Both sexes mark their territory, and they will maintain as many as 10 dens throughout their territory, giving them a nearby bolt-hole should danger approach.

They are careful not to destroy a nest that they raid, and will remember where they are, so that they can return for another meal a few months later.

They generally have a density of 1 per square km at most (though this is far higher than animals like lions.

While some farmers mistakenly kill them, thinking that they threaten their livestock, their diet of insects is often good for the farm animals. Their hide is worth a little.

Below is a video of this species and below this is a list of any articles that mention this species. When we have more contacts, you will find them below the news section.

African Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodile

The Nile crocodile is spread widely throughout sub-saharan africa (except for parts

 of South Africa, thought to be natural and not due to hunting). A suggested subspecies is found in western Madagascar, there are 7 such subspecies, though none have been officially recognized.

While it was originally thought to be the same species as the western African crocodile (confusing given its range), it has actually been found to be closer related to various crocodiles from the Americas, particularly the American crocodile. As such, parts of the map above may actually host west African crocodiles exclusively.

The Nile crocodile is considered the second largest on earth, only beaten by the saltwater crocodile of Asia, interestingly, interestingly the saltwater crocodile is also the only crocodilian that has a greater range than the African crocodile. It was thought that the crocodile had arrived on Madagascar in the last 2000 years – after the extinction of the endemic Voey crocodile, but recently a skull was found and dated to be 7500 years old, suggesting that they must have coexisted for millennia.

While rarely venturing into the sea, they can (like all true crocodiles) survive here, and one was found alive 11 miles off the South African coast in the past.

They have been found in the Florida Everglades, presumably after an illegal introduction – there is so far no evidence of them successfully breeding here. It is unclear of their origin or where they came from, though they are genetically most similar to crocs from South Africa.

While they usually only dive for a few minutes at a time, they are capable of holding their breath for 30 minutes of activity under water – impressively, those inactive under water can stay down for around 2 hours. While rapid and effective hunters in the waters and along its edge, they are far less capable away from the water, and it is rare that they hunt away from water, having said this they are known to hunt here, and are incredibly adaptable to any opportunity. They have a surprisingly small stomach, only the size of a basketball.

Only around 10% of eggs will hatch and around 1% will survive to adulthood. Certainly, much of this damage is down to the Nile monitor lizard, which is thought to be responsible for as much as 50% of the eggs on its own, though median sized cats, baboon troops and mongooses all attack crocodile nests with regularity. Once born, crocodiles are even more at risk, both from animals already mentioned, as well as virtually every predatory water bird, from storks and egrets to even pelicans. Unfortunately, the biggest threat are other adult crocodiles which will happily eat young. While the mother does stay around, and aggressively protects her young, there are so many animals trying to snag a meal, many of the young crocodiles are caught during this time.

The biggest threats include loss of habitat, pollution, hunting, and human activities such as accidental entanglement in fishing nets.

Current estimates are around 250,000 to 500,000. In some parts of Africa they are farmed for their hide (their meat is unpleasant).

Their population is less healthy in western and central Africa, being more sparsely spread. This also makes it hard to do an accurate assessment of their status in this part of Africa.

Along with the saltwater crocodile, the African nile crocodile is estimated to kill anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people each year, with attacks generally carried out by larger crocodiles (thought to be over 3.5m). Given the numbers, it is thought that nile crocodiles and saltwater crocodiles are the most successful hunter of humans – far more fatalities than great while sharks. One study suggested, that while the danger of lions was well known, there was a bizarre feeling that crocodiles were not dangerous. The numbers may well be down to the fact that crocodiles live in water – a place where humans are forced to go regularly.

Below this is a list of any articles released on this site, which mentions the Nile crocodile. Below this, is a video of the species, and below this, we will add links of places to see this species, though if you visit wild places, all savannahs listed on the site will have nile crocodiles.

Sea-Lions

An encounter with almost any wild animal can be something you remember for years. This sealion that came out of the sea on the beach in New Zealand is no different

Sea-lions

There are 6 living species of sea-lion, and 1 extinct. As the interest in these species grows and the links become unwieldy i will split out the separate species, but for the time being I will just have one page for them all – help it to be necessary to split them as soon as possible. 

Sea-lions are pinnipeds with external ear flaps, long fore-flippers, the ability to walk on all fours, short and thick hair, and a big chest and belly. The sea-lions the 6 living species shown below (the Japanese sea-lion is extinct) in five genera. Their range extends from the subarctic to tropical waters of the global ocean in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with the notable exception of the northern Atlantic Ocean. They have an average lifespan of 20–30 years.[2] A male California sea-lion weighs on average about 300 kg (660 lb) and is about 2.4 m (8 ft) long, while the female sea-lion weighs 100 kg (220 lb) and is 1.8 m (6 ft) long. The largest sea-lions are Steller’s sea-lions, which can weigh 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and grow to a length of 3.0 m (10 ft). Sea-lions consume large quantities of food at a time and are known to eat about 5–8% of their body weight (about 6.8–15.9 kg (15–35 lb)) at a single feeding. Sea-lions can move around 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) in water and at their fastest they can reach a speed of about 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).[3] Three species, the Australian sea-lion, the Galápagos sea-lion and the New Zealand sea-lion, are listed as endangered.

Steller Sea-lion are found on the land of North America and Asia that circle the north pole (map below, credit NOAA). 

They are predated by killer whales, though sleeper sharks and great whites sometimes take young. They eat a variety of foods, include various fish species, as well as octopus and squid. They are fast swimmers, capable of diving to 1500feet, and staying under for 16 minutes

During breeding season, males fight to control a stretch of beach, and females move freely to the place they favour. 

Status: population has fallen 70-80% since the 1970s and so are listed as endangered, around 46,000 individuals, though in recent years, the Eastern population has grown at around 3% a year (in 2013 this lead to its removal from the US endangered species list)

 

Australian Sea-lion is the only endemic pinniped found in Australia.

They can make a variety of calls, with mothers and young able to pick up each others call in the chaos of a breeding beach. There are currently 66 recognized breeding beaches, though 42% of pups are bred on just 4 of these beaches.

While rare, a bite can require hospitalisation. In both the 1930s and 1960s they were recorded as feeding on little penguins, and this still happens today. Other food includes a variety of fish and even small sharks, in turn, they are hunted by great white sharks and killer whale (orca).

Population was 14370 in 2010 though by 2014 it had fallen to just 6500 mature individuals, though current estimates are 11,200 suggesting a rebound. Still it is clear that they need particular efforts for their conservation. Despite their (relatively) close ranges, the Australian and New Zealand sea-lions do not appear to be closely related. They are considered vulnerable.

California Sea-lion Are found on the west coast of north America. On this map, the navy blue marks the breeding rance, while the light blue shows the total range that they can be found in. It should be noted, that previously the Japanese and Galapagos sealion were both considered subspecies of the Californian species, but no longer. They can stay healthy, for a time, in fresh water, and have been seen living for a while in Bonneville dam – 150 miles inland.

They see (mostly in blue/green) and hear well, as well as being able to sense nearby, with their whiskers. They generally eat fish, squid and occasionally clams. They have been seen cooperating with other sealions, or indeed dolphins porpoises and sea-birds in their hunting techniques, though exploitation is also common.

There are 5 relatively distinct populations. Several sealions have reached Japanese waters in recent years, and this is the most likely origin, as such  it could return to Japan on its own. 

It is considered least concern with 238,000-241,000 individuals and increasing over time.

Galapagos Sea-lions Found on all of the Galapagos Islands, as well as (in smaller numbers) on Isla de la Plata, which is just 40km from Puerto López a village in Ecuador. There have also been recorded sightings on the Isla del Coco which is 500km southwest of Costa Rica (and 750km from the Galapagos). These are not regular, and so have been considered vagrant. It is of course possible that historically they roamed here, but we cannot say.

They are the smallest species of sea-lion, and can often be seen gliding through the water, or sunbathing on the beach. They measure 1.5m-2.5m and weigh between 50 and 400kg.

Much of their diet is made up of sardines. Interaction with humans is usually negative, and feral dogs often form packs, and can then attack the sealions.

The population tends to bounce between 20,000 and 50,000 and they are currently classed as endangered

 

New Zealand Sea-lion (formerly known as the Hooker sealion) is native to south island, though before 1500 it is thought that it was also found on north island. They tend to breed on Subarctic islands of Auckland and Campbell (99% of the pups are born in these islands). In 1993, sealions started breeding on South Island again for the first time in 150 years.

Genetic evidence suggests that until 1300-1500 there was a mainland subspecies, which was wiped out by the Mauri’s and has been replaced by members from the sub-Antarctic population.

As well as eating fish and crustations, they will take new Zealand fur seals as well. They are hunted by great white sharks, and in a survey 27% of adults had scars from near misses. While south American sealions are hunted by orca (with them famously beaching to catch them) they do not appear to do this around New Zealand. After the birth of their pup, females move inland as much as 2km to avoid males, storms and even parasites.

They are thought to number 12,000 making them the rarest sealion. They are also the most distinct being part of the Genus Phocarctos, and are listed as endangered.

 

South-American Sea-lion

Also known as the Southern sealion or the Patagonian sealion. They have been recorded going as far north as Ecuador, though not yet breeding there. They eat fish, as well as squid and octopus, and have even been observed predating penguins, pelicans and South American fur seals.

Males set up territories, but after the arrival of females switch to protecting them. Having said this, one population in Peru have a different set-up where males perform, and females choose a mate, and are free to move freely. This may be in result to the warmer climate, which means the females make regular trips into the sea.

The total population is estimated at 265,000. They are declining in Patagonia (Argentina) and the Falklands but increasing in Chile and Uruguay. In the 2013 El nino many Peruvian sealions died. They are still regularly killed by fishermen, both for damaging equipment and stealing fish.

They are listed as least concern

 

As we gain contacts each picture above will become a link to a page for the specific species – for now, all species will be looked after by this page. If you are a wildlife guide or live nearby and want to be able to host (as a hotel or B&B or campsite) and would like to be listed do get in touch. Our aim, is to give people all the information and links on one page, so that they can book everything in one go – making it easy, and therefore more people undertaking these sort of trips.

Sea-lions can be specifically searched out, but it is also possible to have a surprise encounter with one.

One of my most memorable encounters with any wildlife, is an encounter with a New Zealand sealion.  We had simply gone for a walk on the beach, and at some point, we saw the sea-lion coming out of the sea. This huge male slowly made its way towards us, and when about 10m away it lay down in the sand, threw sand all over itself and went to sleep.

To return to the Pinniped page click here

aaa Skeleton coast, Namibia

Skeleton coast, Namibia

Lioness with cape fur seal it hunted, on the beach

The skeleton coast in Namibia, is one of the few people where the desert runs right down to the sea. This desert area in Namibia is quite strange, as many species that do not usually live in desert region, but here they do.

Here freshwater springs permeate the barren sands to create life-sustaining oases for small pockets of wildlife in the middle of the desert. Hartmann’s mountain zebra, gemsbok, desert-adapted elephant, brown hyena, giraffe and – occasionally – cheetah may all be found in this wild and rugged landscape. This part of the coast hosts a several large cape fur seals  colonies, which leads to fascinating moments like the above with lions hunting on the beach.

Below is a video, of a hyena deep in the desert, something not likely to be seen elsewhere.

This huge area of wilderness is actually made up of 4 reserves: Skeleton Coast national park, Dorob National Park (which contains Cape cross seal reserve -this is the largest of the 24 cape fur seals breeding colonies, with 80,000 to 100,000  on site at its height. Fur seals are more closely related to sea lions than to seals), Namib-Naukluft national park and Tsau Khaeb national park. Any links will appear below as this site grows.

aaa Niokolo-Koba national park, Senegal

Niokolo-Koba national park, Senegal

River Gambia Niokolokoba National Park Credit: United states Government

A fascination reserve with a wide range of wildlife, this is a place well worth a visit. With a variety of habitats, the range of wildlife that can be seen is not usually available in one reserve anywhere else.

 The national park is known for its wildlife. The government of Senegal estimates the park contains 20 species of amphibians, 60 species of fish, 38 species of reptiles (of which four are tortoises). There are some 80 mammal species. These included (as of 2005) an estimated 11000 buffaloes, 6000 hippopotamuses, 400 western giant eland, 50 elephants, 120 lions, 150 chimpanzees (It is inhabited by a banded forest in the park (Lower Rim) and Mount Assirik. (north-western limit line where chimps are distributed.)), 3000 waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), 2000 common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), an unknown number of red colobus (Colobus badius rufomitratus) and a few rare African leopards and West African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus manguensis), although this canid was thought to be wiped out throughout the rest of the country.[4]

 

Other mammals include roan antelope, Guinea baboon, green monkey, patas monkey, warthog.

 

Around 330 species of birds have been sighted in the park, notably the Arabian bustard, black crowned crane, Abyssinian ground hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus), martial eagle, bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), and white-faced duck (Dendrocygna viduata).

 

There are also reptiles such as three species of crocodiles, four species of tortoises

 

aaa Valdes Peninsular

Valdes peninsular

The Valdes peninsular is a huge axe shaped slab of rock which sticks out 62 miles into the Atlantic from the coast of Argentina. With an area of 1390 square miles, and despite looking barren supports a surprising array of wildlife. Marine mammals include colonies of Southern elephant seals, fur seals, southern sea lions, penguins dolphins and orca congregate on shore and around the coast.

Despite looking barren, the rock does have 130 species of plants growing on it. Guanacos graze here, and live alongside hares, harbour Rheas, Grey foxes, and even wildcats. There are also around 180 species of bird from both marine habitats and further inshore.

New estimates suggest that up to 100 of Asiatic Lions now live by the seaside

The Gir forest was the last refuge of the Asiatic lion. Back in 1893 it was thought that there were only 18 animals remaining. Thankfully that number has rebounded very well (there are scientists who doubt this extremely low number) and the Indian lion population is now thought to number about 600. The problem is, that the reserve is not particularly large at 1410 square km (544 square miles). Even in the Serengeti (which has one of the highest density of lions) there is about 1 lion for every 2 square miles, yet the Gir forest has more than one per square mile. This contributes to a mortality rate that is dangerously high, with 283 lions dying in the last couple of years.

As such it is not surprising that many of the lions live outside the reserve, and is thought that around 1 in 4 live outside the reserve.

This was one of the reasons that efforts were made to move some of these lions to other reserves, but Gujarat has blocked this despite loosing various court cases.

Wild Indian lions photographed on the beach

Now, it is not easy to live alongside lions, and the state government is both endangering the long term survival of the Indian Asiatic lion, as well as many of its human population by its determination to hold onto the whole population within its borders.

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