Tuesday, January 4, 2011

African Highway Threatens Serengeti & The Great Migration (Video) *7th worldwide wonder in peril*


African Elephant: Mother & Child on the African Serengeti

African Highway Threatens Serengeti & The Great Migration
"7th Worldwide Wonder" in Peril

A 33-mile highway through the African Serengeti is threatening a huge, pristine ecosystem, critics say. The Serengeti, in Masai, means "endless plains" and there is a huge 5,700 square mile park in northern Tanzania where a commercial truck road is planned. Will the animal inhabitants  of the Serengeti end up as roadkill? Will the Great Migration of wildebeests, zebras, elephants, gazelles, et. al. be disrupted? Will truck cargo introduce foreign plants? Will a highway enable easier and more poaching? Conservationists say "yes" and that the impact of the road will be disastrous on the Serengeti ecosystem.

The Great Migration on the Serengeti is the greatest remaining migration of land mammals on Earth. The Tanzanian government has already placed markers for road contractors across Serengeti National Park, where the highway is planned. The reason, the profit motive, for this commercial highway may surprise you.

Why a road across the Serengeti? For cell phones and hybrid car batteries? Yes! Lake Victoria to the west of the Serengeti has rare earth metals that are used in electronics, especially cell phones, and hybrid car batteries. The sea port to ship the metals is to the east of the Serengeti. Hence, a road across this ecosystem would connect Lake Victoria metals to a seaport to be shipped to China to manufacture cell phones and then on to the rest of the world, including the USA. The economically poor Tanzania has found a buyer, China, of its natural resources. The commercial highway across the Serengeti gets the Tanzanian product to the Chinese buyer and on to the Global consumer, including Americans.

MSNBC "Mysterious Road Threatens Great Migration" A controversial development project in Tanzania may be putting one of the last pristine environments on earth in danger. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

Sunrise on the African Serengeti with the iconic Acacia tree

The Serengeti
Tanzania National Parks photo extolling the "7th worldwide wonder"

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