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Ninety percent of the world’s megafauna (its larger creatures) have disappeared since humans migrated from Africa and fanned out across the rest of the world. Within a very short time the megafauna – mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinoceros and the huge carnivores that preyed upon them were extinct. Only Africa seems to have escaped: not unscathed, but not entirely vanquished either.
The author sounds a note of cautious optimism: conservation initiatives have gained a new urgency in the 21st century, and governments in Africa and elsewhere are showing increasing resolve to tackle poaching. Vast transfrontier parks, many still in development, have the potential to provide a sustainable habitat for the continent’s megafauna.
If we can muster both local and international support, name and shame the rogue nations, and build a practical conservation model that does not conflict with human needs, then Africa’s wildlife can perhaps be saved.
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