Africa's big game population halved

Africa's game parks have lost well over half of their big mammals, such as lions and buffalos, to rampant hunting and farming since 1970, a study has found.

The continent-wide study by organisations including the Zoological Society of London and UN Environment Programme found big mammal populations inside national parks declined by 59 per cent between 1970 and 2005. Elephants and rhinos were not included in the study.

The report, released in Abidjan yesterday, said the reasons were pressures from a rapidly growing population, conversion of parks to farmland, and poaching.

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