Serengeti Highway Plan Scrapped Over Potential Threats to Key Wildlife

The Tanzanian government has scrapped plans to build a two-lane highway across the northern edge of Serengeti National Park, after scientists warned the plan
Zebra Wildebeest Serengeti
Zebra and wildebeest in Serengeti
could disrupt the migration routes for some of the park’s critical species, including zebra and wildebeest, and ultimately alter the entire ecosystem. In a letter to the Paris-based World Heritage Center, Tanzania’s Department of Natural Resources and Tourism said the 50-kilometer stretch of unpaved road will “continue to be managed mainly for tourism and administrative purposes, as it is now.” According to an environmental impact study leaked earlier this year, the highway proposal would have attracted 400 vehicles per day by 2015 and more than 3,000 vehicles daily by 2035, limiting the migration route of 1.5 million animals, including the wildebeest and zebra that move from the southern Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve in search of water supplies. The government — which proposed the highway to link Tanzania to Uganda, Lake Victoria, and beyond — is now considering an alternative route to the south of the park.