The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission with funding from the European Union has begun a head count of animals at the Mole National Park in the Savanna Region.
The six-month programme dubbed ‘Every Animal Count’ began on February 27, 2019 and expected to end in late August, 2019.
The first one month of the programme will witness the training of the staff of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, Staff, including Tour Guides and Drivers at Mole National Park, on aerial surveys, park ranger patrols, road counts, local knowledge, and specialist species monitoring.
This has become necessary as efforts are being made to get the Mole National Park listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization UNESCO Heritage Site.
The Mole National Park failed to meet the critical criteria to be listed on the UNESCO Heritage Sites following an application in 2000 and 2006 but the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey, said the commission is determined to meeting that critical requirement this time.
“Listing the park as a UNESCO Heritage Site would offer enormous benefits to the country hence the reforms to meet the requirements.
“It had remained a major tourism destination since it is the only place wildlife can be viewed in large numbers and at close range”.
Again, the exercise at the cost of £ 148,000.00 will afford the management of the Mole National Park the knowledge to assess the current population of key species, identify the location of species, and also the up and down trends of animals.
At a joint press briefing after some selected journalists in Northern Region were taken through the animal census procedure, Mr Allotey expressed appreciation to the European Union for supporting the park in its bid to qualify for listing as a World Heritage Site.
The team leader in-charge of Infrastructure and Sustainable Development at the European Union, Roberto Schiliro, indicated the union will continue to support the park to meeting the requirements.
“The animal census and staff training at the Mole Park would contribute to the clear position and strategy definition for the conservation and management of the park,”
The West Gonja District Chief Executive, Saeed Muhazu, in an address however bemoaned the felling of rosewoods in the forest reserve and called on the Forestry Commission to intensify its efforts to curbing the menace.
About Mole National Park
The Mole National Park, an about 4,575 kilometers square is located in the Larabanga Community of the Savanna Region. It was established in 1958 and it is home of seven hundred and forty (740) plant species, ninety-three species of mammals including elephants, buffalo, kob, hartebeest, bush buck, water buck, and hyenas. Over three hundred and forty-four (344) bird species and thirty-three (33) species of reptiles.
Though it records about 17,000 tourists annually, the park is not listed on the World Heritage Sites.
Source: Zubaida Ishmail|3news.com|Ghana