National Geographic : 2013 Jun
gorongosa 113 been imported from nearby South Africa and are multiplying rapidly. Eland and zebra are next. Though still well below their prewar maximum, herds of grazers and browsers swarm once more across the savanna and grassland. Ecological bal- ance is returning with the megafauna, and so are visitors from Europe and North America. Excellent facilities have been built at the central Chitengo Camp and at explorer camps in the interior. At Chitengo a bullet-pocked concrete slab has been preserved as a war memorial. The accomplishments of Greg Carr’s team and of the people of Mozambique are impressive. But restoring a damaged park is much harder than creating a new one, and Gorongosa—especially its mountain—is far from being out of danger. During the civil war, as marauding soldiers in- vaded the mountain, subsistence farmers began to clear little plots up the slope. The taboo of the sacred mountain was largely forgotten. In time the farmers reached the summit rain forest and began to fell the tall trees and convert the moist, fertile ground into corn and potato fields. In the past decade the area of original rain forest has been reduced by more than a third. The retreat of the forest already means that fewer species of plants and animals, some likely endemic, can survive. The complete removal of Teams of miners with a government permit dig for gold. They’re about a mile outside Gorongosa Park—but within the watershed that sustains it. The future of the park depends on finding sustainable livelihoods for the people who live in the area.