Environmental- Biodiversity Hotspots

1. The horn of Africa is considered a hotspot because many large mammals, such as the Speke’s Gazelle has lost most of it’s habitat. This is because there are very few areas that are affectively protected and because of the governmental instability that plagues the region. Another unique factor that affects these animals ability to adapt is that about half of the total species that are present in this region are endemic, meaning

that they are unable to live in an alternate envioronment.

2. There are many human impacts in the horn of Africa. This is not limited to the consistent state of unrest in most of the area, as well as the usually un-sanctioned fishing and shipping that takes place in the adjacent Persion Gulf. Because of the arid and unarable landscapes, much of the land that is being farmed, is farmed for only a few years. After the topsoil has been used, the farmers shift their crops, leaving behind an almost desert landscape. This has destructed 95%of the Speke’s Gazelles natural habitat. Because of t

he failed state status of Somalia in the horn of Africa, this area has also fallen victim to unsanctioned hunting.

3. The Speke’s gazelle is a particularly vulnerable animal that lives in the horn. This is an animal who’s habitat has been destroyed my migrating farmers who will often not only destroy the land but also poach the animals. In Ethopia, several preserves have been set up in more desert-type regions, allowing this animal to rebound minorly. It is currently only  vulnerable.

The Daban is a huge water storing cactus type plant that are a water source for many animals. They are affected by humans who will cut them down for use as supports in housing and use as make-shift drainage pipes. There is almost no human intervention for these plants, as they are located in Somalia, an unstable region. This species is currently only vulnerable.

4. Because of the unrest in the area, there is relatively very little conservation that is being done in this hotspot. While many of the countries have national parks or protected reserves, they are not well maintained and are usually very small. This governmental protection is not adequate for the preservation of species in the horn of africa. The only real protection has come from the U.N., who started a effort towards the  “Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation for the People of the Socotra Islands”, an initiative that combines developmental funds for the people to become more economically stable, and efforts to conserve the islands natural resources.

5. I believe that the UNESCO effort is what the conservation of the area should be based on. I believe that there should be a dual effort to help the people develop while producing a protective environment for the animals and plants of the area. I think it would be irresponsible to pursue very much preservation when the people of this region depend so much on their natural resources.

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