UNESCO lists Tanzanian reserve among endangered heritage sites

June 18, 2014
The sun sets at Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, on September 2, 2007

UN cultural body UNESCO on Wednesday put the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania on the list of endangered World Heritage sites because of widespread poaching.

The at the 50,000 square kilometres (19,000 square miles) park had dwindled significantly since it was listed as a heritage site in 1982, UNESCO said.

It called on the world community, including ivory transit and destination countries, to support Tanzania in the fight against poaching.

"The property is renowned for its populations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species," said UNESCO's annual World Heritage Committee gathering.

"It also has an exceptionally high variety of habitats including Miombo woodlands, open grasslands, riverine forests and swamps, making it a valuable laboratory for on-going ecological and biological processes."

"However, rampant poaching has caused a dramatic decline in the wildlife populations, especially elephants and rhino, whose numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent since 1982," it added.

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