Boi Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the few areas the place the widespread hippopotamus resides in Ghana. The mixed assets of the Black Volta River and abundance of grasses make the world very appropriate for hippos. Nonetheless, in an effort to resolve the electrical energy disaster that the nation confronted in 2007, the Authorities of Ghana constructed a hydroelectric dam on the coronary heart of their dwelling.
Realizing the results of dam development on aquatic species, scientists Godfred Bempah, Martin Kobby Grant, Changhu Lu, and Amaël Borzée from Nanjing Forestry College, China, needed to know how the hippopotamus, a big semi-aquatic species, was affected by the mission. The outcomes have been revealed within the journal regular dialog. Evaluating the impression of dam development can inform coverage and decision-making on future initiatives like this one.
The researchers spent 24 days (two days per thirty days for 12 months) in Boi Nationwide Park to estimate the variety of hippopotamuses and to know native migration actions, in addition to to evaluate modifications in land cowl within the space after the dam was constructed. They then in contrast this info to historic knowledge to know environmental modifications inside the area.
To enhance the sphere surveys, the researchers spoke to native residents conversant in the reserve earlier than and after the dam was constructed. These included anglers, canoe operators, and park rangers. Through the interactive dialogue, all of them talked about that the numbers of hippos have decreased in comparison with the durations earlier than the development of the dam. He attributed this decline to overfishing and habitat destruction.
The outcomes indicated a decline within the hippo inhabitants by about 70%: from 209 people in 2003 to 64 people in 2021.
The research revealed exceptional modifications within the land cowl after the development of the dam, and most significantly, a lower within the forest cowl, in addition to the destruction of river grasses, the habitat favored by hippos. The rise within the water degree flooded the areas the place the animals lived, forcing them to scatter to different appropriate areas. Because the animals dispersed, they grew to become susceptible to overfishing, which finally led to a decline in hippopotamus numbers, together with habitat loss. It’s attainable that some animals have efficiently moved to different areas outdoors the reserve.
The hippopotamus is listed as Susceptible by the IUCN Pink Record of Threatened Species.
In conclusion, the authors be aware that the variety of people of the widespread hippopotamus within the park declined after the development of the dam, in reference to habitat destruction and poaching. As soon as these threats are eliminated, hippos can survive within the medium to long run, when efficient administration plans are carried out.
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