East Sudanian savanna

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East Sudanian savanna
Girafe du parc national de Zakouma.jpg
Giraffe in Zakouma National Park, Chad
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Map of the East Sudanian savanna ecoregion
Ecology
Realm Afrotropical
Biome tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Borders
Geography
Area917,630 km2 (354,300 sq mi)
Countries
Conservation
Conservation status Critical/endangered

The East Sudanian Savanna is a hot, dry, tropical savanna ecoregion of Central and East Africa.

Contents

Geography

The East Sudanian savanna is the eastern half of the Sudanian savanna belt which runs east and west across Africa. The eastern lies east of the Cameroon Highlands, and west of the Ethiopian Highlands. The Sahel belt of drier acacia savanna lies to the north, and beyond that is the Sahara Desert. More humid forest-savanna mosaic ecoregions lie to the south.

The Sudd flooded grasslands in South Sudan divide the ecoregion into eastern and western blocks. The land is mainly flat, although there are some hillier sections around Lake Albert and in western Ethiopia.

Climate

The climate is tropical with a rainy season (from April to October) and a dry season.

Flora

Typical species are deciduous Terminalia trees with and undergrowth of shrubs and grasses such as Combretum and tall elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum). There are more than 1,000 endemic plant species. [1]

Fauna

Threatened species include the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) (in Chad and the CAE), East African wild dog (Lycaon pictus lupinus), Northeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii), African leopard (Panthera pardus paruds), lion (Panthera leo), and giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus). [1]

Urban areas and settlements

In Cameroon the region is more or less contiguous with the North Region, where Bénoué National Park and Bouba Njida National Park contain some of the endangered species mentioned above. In Chad East Sudanian savanna covers the south including the industrial city of Moundou, Chad's second largest city, the oil town of Doba and the cotton-growing towns of Sarh and Pala. In the Central African Republic the region covers the sparsely populated north of the country, the larger towns include Bossangoa. In Sudan west of the Sudd swamp east Sudanian savanna covers the Bahr el Ghazal area including the town of Wau. East of the Sudd the ecoregion runs north to south from northern Uganda, through south-eastern Sudan east of the White Nile (including the area around the southern cities of Juba and Eastern Equatoria around Torit), and up along the Ethiopia–Sudan border. Here in Gambela is the proposed Gambela National Park. Much of this area has seen combat in recent decades and is in various states of reconstruction.

Threats and preservation

Seasonal cultivation and herding are lifestyles which lead the population of the savanna to overgraze, overharvest the trees for firewood or charcoal and cause fires. This has reduced the woodland considerably. However large areas of unspoilt habitat remain even outside protected areas, especially compared with the more heavily populated West Sudanian savanna.

Poaching is another problem, indeed the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) were formerly native to the ecoregion but have been eliminated through over-hunting.

A 2017 assessment, using slightly different boundaries for the ecoregion, found that 245,983 km², or 23%, of the ecoregion was in protected areas. [2] Protected areas include Bouba Njida National Park in Cameroon, Bamingui-Bangoran National Park and Biosphere Reserve, Andre Felix National Park, and Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park in the Central African Republic, Zakouma National Park in Chad, Gambella National Park in Ethiopia, Dinder National Park and Radom National Park in Sudan, and Boma National Park in South Sudan. [1]

Most protected areas are severely under-resourced, and apart from hunting for sport in the Central African Republic there is very little wildlife-based tourism.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Sudan (region)

Sudan is the geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the Blacks", referring to West Africa and northern Central Africa. The Arabic name was translated as Negroland on older English maps.

Cross–Sanaga–Bioko coastal forests

The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of west-central Africa. This is lush forest rich in flora and birdlife.

Guinean forest–savanna mosaic

The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is an ecoregion of West Africa, a band of interlaced forest, savanna, and grassland running east to west and dividing the tropical moist forests near the coast from the West Sudanian savanna of the interior.

Forest-savanna mosaic is a transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt. The forest-savanna mosaic consists of drier forests, often gallery forest, interspersed with savannas and open grasslands.

Sudanian savanna African ecoregion

The Sudanian savanna is a broad belt of tropical savanna that runs east and west across the African continent, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ethiopian Highlands in the east. The Sahel, a belt of drier grasslands and acacia savannas, lies to the north, between the Sudanian savanna and the Sahara Desert. To the south the forest-savanna mosaic forms a transition zone between the Sudanian savanna and the Guineo-Congolian forests that lie nearer the equator.

Northern Congolian forest–savanna mosaic

The Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic is a forest and savanna ecoregion of central Africa, part of the belt of transitional forest-savanna mosaic that lie between Africa's equatorial forests and the tropical dry forests, savannas, and grasslands that lie to the north and south.

Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests

The Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests, also known as the Congolian coastal forests, are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of central Africa, covering hills, plains, and mountains of the Atlantic coast of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mandara Plateau mosaic

The Mandara Plateau mosaic, also known as the Mandara Plateau woodlands, is a tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion located in the Mandara Mountains of northern Nigeria and Cameroon.

West Sudanian savanna

The West Sudanian savanna is a tropical savanna ecoregion that extends across West Africa.

Northeastern Congolian lowland forests

The Northeastern Congolian lowland forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion that spans the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

Northwestern Congolian lowland forests

The Northwestern Congolian lowland forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion that spans Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. It forms part of the larger Congolian rainforests region in Central Africa. The region is noteworthy for very high levels of species richness and endemism. It is home to a core population of the critically endangered Western lowland gorilla. There are also large populations of forest elephants.

Northern acacia–commiphora bushlands and thickets

The Northern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets are a tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion in eastern Africa. The ecoregion is mostly located in Kenya, extending north into southeastern South Sudan, northeastern Uganda, and southwestern Ethiopia, and south into Tanzania along the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Victoria Basin forest–savanna mosaic

The Victoria Basin forest-grassland mosaic is an ecoregion that lies mostly in Uganda and extends into neighboring countries. The ecoregion is centered north and west of Lake Victoria, with an outlier on the border of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "East Sudanian savanna". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  2. Eric Dinerstein, David Olson, et al. (2017). An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm, BioScience, Volume 67, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 534–545; Supplemental material 2 table S1b.