Populations of large wild mammals exist in one national park and several reserves and protected forest areas in Mali. In addition some wildlife survives in areas, in the south where onchocerciasis and trypanosomiasis, and in the north lack of available water, prevent human settlement. The area of present-day Mali has been populated by a succession of relatively advanced African states during the past 1500 years, who have influenced the vegetation and wildlife. An account of the present status of large mammals is given, based on a survey carried out in 1972-74. Of particular interest are a population of giant eland(Taurotragus derbianus) in the Mandingue mountains, populations of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in the Baoule National Park and the northern sahel, and populations of addax (Addax nasomaculatus) and oryx (Oryx dammah) in the desert. The development of the livestock industry in the north threatens wildlife in all but the driest areas. In the south there are plans to eradicate the insect vectors of onchocerciasis and trypanosomiasis; the human settlement of the land which would thus be made available for agriculture poses a severe threat to wildlife in these areas.
Key Words: Republic of Mali, Conservation, Giant Eland, Giraffe, Addax, Oryx, onchocerciasis, trypanosomiasis
Author: J.A. Sayer
Journal: Biological Conservation