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Serengeti National Park by Ingmar Mehrtens

    Table of contents
    1. 1. Managerial issues
    2. 2. References

    The Serengeti National Park is located in the same-named Serengeti ecosystem Tanzania. The area is protected since 1940 (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a). After several boundary modifications since the area was declared a national park, the total area comprises now 1.5 million ha (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a). The Serengeti National Park was nominated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979 (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a)

    The Serengeti National Park fulfills the 7th and 10th criteria of the UNESCO world heritage list “to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance” and to “to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation” (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a; UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013b). Each year the Serengeti National Park hosts the largest remaining unaltered animal migration with one million wildebeest plus hundreds of thousands of other ungulates. Due to the special characteristics of factors such as rainfall, temperature, topography and geology, soils and drainage systems the ecosystem offers enough resources to sustain the largest number of ungulates and the highest concentration of large predators in the world (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a).

    Managerial issues

    The biggest threat for the Serengeti is the so called “Serengeti Highway” (Livescience, 2013; UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013a). On the one hand this highway would cut the ecosystem into two halves and consequently would interfere with the great migration. On the other hand it is said that the highway would bolster the regional economy. Therefore, there is a great debate between those who want to preserve the natural heritage, including the tourism industry, and those who support the construction of the highway. This debate is a good example of conflicting interest between a wider economic benefits and the preservation of heritage sites.



    Livescience (2013) Serengeti Highway. Available from:

    UNESCO World Heritage Center (2013a) Serengeti National Park. Available from:

    UNESCO World Heritage Center (2013b) Criteria. Available from:



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    Comments (6)

    Viewing 6 of 6 comments: view all
    Hej Ingmar! Nice presentation in the class. You could have given more details on the debate around the construction of the highway. At least state when the debate has started, or if it is a new phenomenon? It is difficult to know from your description, but the source is very recent. Could you specify when this issue became a problem that is potentially threatening the environment of Serengeti?
    Best regards,
    Posted 14:52, 12 Nov 2013
    I like your precise style of writing. It gives a good overview and understanding of the topic.
    I have read that the highway will not be built and that alternative routes are being discussed. Maybe you can elaborate more on that topic. And also mention the social conflicts that the park has created (people have lost their living area). edited 12:22, 15 Nov 2013
    Posted 17:22, 14 Nov 2013
    I would agree with Angela about the efficient yet elaborative style of describing the site. However, Albina's questions are also important to be considered, such a huge area and heterogenous ecosystem within it must have broader issues. I would suggest to look up also at their National Park Management Plan, but considering the time constraints to work on the paper and difficulties in finding such source might also be an issue. I would suggest using other National Park Management's model to sort of identifying, connecting the challenges and problem solving with Serengeti.
    Posted 11:39, 15 Nov 2013
    Hey, thanks for the feedback. You are right, some more research on the history of the highway would have been helpful.
    @Angela - From what I read they are still going to build that highway. But I have to admit that my newest source is 1-2 years old. I will check if I can find a more recent source and post it here if I can find one.
    @Fahmi - Looking up the management plan would have been a good idea. But as you said, I did not have time to read it.
    @Albina - I Would have to do a bit more research on the history on the highway. Personally I heard about the highway for the first time around two years ago. Nevertheless, from what I read so far they are planning that highway since a few years. The newest plan provides that the highway will be built on pillar so that the great migration is not hindered. In my presentation I was going to show this video: . It gives a good overview about the pros and cons for building the highway.
    Posted 18:47, 16 Nov 2013
    Great! Very interesting discussion! Thank you all for your questions and extra insights we were able to gain after having this conversation.
    Posted 08:50, 19 Nov 2013
    Hello Ingmar. This section on the Serengeti was simple and direct to the Point. The quick discussion about the highway in the Serengeti was easy to understand and grasped the whole situation in a couple of sentences. It will be interesting to see what will happen if they highway is actually built.
    Posted 18:29, 21 Nov 2013
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