Biodiversity Richness in ANP and its environs
|Keywords||Akagera National Park, Biodiversity,|
Akagera National Park (ANP)
- ANP is endowed with a very rich biological diversity including 6 forest fringed lakes, the largest protected wetland in Central Africa, savannah plains, the Akagera River and the Mutumba hills reaching an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters.
- Very rich fauna including 7,892 of large mammals, 530 bird species with 7 bird species protected by international conventions and 1 endemic to area (AMC, 2011)
- ANP includes an important wetland area of the Akagera River, and its depression dotted with lakes and floating swamps. The area is important for the hydrology of the Akagera/Nile system and contributes to water cycle and the reduction of water loss by evaporation.
- In 2011, the tourism in industry in ANP generated up to US$400,000 from more than 15,000 visitors per annum.
Akagera Wetland Complex (AWC)
- AWC harbors an important biodiversity, composed of 77 species of vascular plants, 11 species of mammals, 17 species of amphibians, 13 species of reptiles and 54 species of birds representing the highest diversity within all wetlands (Fischer, E., 2011)
- 3 species of amphibians and reptile area endemic to Great lakes and 1 endemic to the area. AWC is inhabited by 3 species of frogs Phrynomantis bifasciatus, Hylarana albolabris and new Phrynobatrachus which in Rwanda do not occur elsewhere (Fischer, E., 2011).
- The area is important for the hydrology of the Akagera/Nile system and encompasses a large wetland which contributes to water cycle and the reduction of water loss by evaporation.
- Very important fishing area in lakes Nasho, Cyambwe, Mpanga etc…plus other marshland products.
Ibanda-Makera Remnant Forest
- The importance of Ibanda-Makera forest is that it contains many endemic and rare plants species;
- The forest harbors around 90 tree species, 150 herb species, 78 bird species and the most significance record, a rare Purple-banded Sunbird (Cinnyris bifasciatus) and different migratory bird species including Merops apiaster.
- Furthermore, the forest contains an isolated population of baboons (Papio Anubis) and several species of reptiles, including a python (Python sebae).
- Ibanda-Makera gallery forest is crossed by a stream (Nyamporogoma) which makes this forest a water catchment for local people. Its papyrus swamp in the South extends to the Akagera River and contributes to the reduction of water loss by evaporation.
- Many of plant species are used in traditional medicine essentially Blighia unijugata, Grewiaforbesii, Rhus vulgaris, Ficus acuta and Ficus thoningii;
- Ibanda- Makera remnant forest is located in the drier region of Rwanda, therefore it contributes to climate regulation, refreshment and certainly to climate change mitigation. It offers several forest products to people.
Akagera National Park is managed by African Parks. African Parks currently manages eight parks in seven African countries – CAR, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zambia