Every 3rd March is world wildlife day and the United Nations
has produced a report that shows that over one million wild animals are dying
and that wildlife is being threatened.
There are fears of extinction if nothing is done to protect them. The theme for this year’s world wildlife day is sustaining all life on earth.
Several people from different parts of the country say that in the last 50 years, they used to see so many animals and insects growing up that they now no longer see. Some say that there are even some species of birds they don't see anymore.
Thomas Nzabandora, a resident of Gicumbi District told RBA: “In the past, there were so many animals, some would even bite. Some were as big as lions, we would even see buffalos. All the birds we would see in the sky flying are now gone. I no longer hear eagles, flamingos, penguins and so many species of birds,”
Antonny Zimulinda, another Rulindo Resident in Northern Rwanda said: “Animals that we used to see are no longer around now. There are antelopes we used to see up in the hills but I now see them no more. We used to have so many animals around because of the bushes we had around us,”
Some of the wild animals whose ecosystem are diminishing and feared to be completely eliminated if nothing is done are elephants, rhinos, gorillas, crested cranes , and chimpanzees. There are worries that there might come a time when the lions and giraffes completely go extinct.
These animals are in four parks which are Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe national park and Gishwati park and there are laws that the country put in place to conserve these animals.
Eugene Mutangana, the head of Conservation Department at the Rwanda Development Board says that the safety of these wild animals is a priority in these parks.
Human activities such as farming, day to day life, fishing, deforestation among others the things at the forefront of inconveniencing wildlife.
Fred Mufulukye, the governor of the Eastern province that is home to the Akagera National Park that has various wild animals such as lions says that this park was fenced which has led to citizens co-existing properly with the animals.
have been built from money generated from Akagera Park together with health
centers and roads and so many development projects that have been established
from the money generated from the Akagera National Park. This has been a testimony
to the citizens that if take good care of the animals and the national parks,
there is a great impact on the people in the community but also towards the
development of the country at large,”
According to the United Nations report, around one million animal and plant species are now being threatened with extinction, many within decades more than ever before in human history.
The report shows that the average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20% mostly since 1900. The picture is less clear for insect species but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. More than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016 with at least 1000 more breeds still being threatened.
This year’s world wildlife day was themed; “Sustaining all life on earth.”