Chad Basin National Park
Chad Basin, Nigeria
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The Chad Basin National Park is a national park in northeastern Nigeria, in the Chad Basin, with a total area of about 2,258 km². The park is fragmented, with three sectors. The Chingurmi-Duguma sector is in Borno State, in a Sudanian Savanna ecological zone. The Bade-Nguru Wetlands and Bulatura sectors are in Yobe State in the Sahel ecological zone.
The park combines the former Chingurmi-Dugoma Game Reserve, Gorgoram and Zurgun Baneri Forest Reserves, and Bulature Oasis. As of 1999 it had not been surveyed, so the boundaries are not well-established. The park is used by many farmers, grazers and fishermen. Despite significant investment in lodgings for tourists, the park sectors only attract a few hundred visitors each year due to the lack of spectacular wildlife. By 2008, staff at the park office in Maiduguri knew little about the park, the lodgings had been abandoned, and tourists visiting the park sectors had to take off-road vehicles and be prepared to camp out.
The Chingurmi-Duguma sector is in the Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, adjoining the Waza National Park in the Republic of Cameroon, around coordinates 11°45′0″N 14°15′0″E / 11.75000°N 14.25000°E / 11.75000; 14.25000. It has an area of 1,228 km2, with a stratified topology. The northern part is within the Sahel zone while southern sector has a typical Sudan–Guinea Savanna ecology, and includes Acacia-Balanites woodlands separated by dense stands of Elephant grass and Sorghum.
Waters from the Dorma river flood much of the sector in the rainy season, creating flood-plain wetlands that attract waterbirds and other wildlife. The resident Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) is abundant, but is considered vulnerable. The Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is also abundant. Demoiselle Cranes (Grus virgo) visit in the winter, as well as large numbers of White Storks (Ciconia ciconia).
A 2007 report estimated that there were about 100 elephants in the sector, which may still migrate to and from the Waza park. The Cameroon and Nigerian park authorities have been cooperating to prevent poaching of wildlife and to raise awareness among the local people of the longer-term value of conservation. There have been discussions by the IUCN over making the sector and the Waza National Park an internationally designated protected area.
The Bade-Nguru Wetlands sector is part of the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, and has an area of 938 km2 around coordinates 12°40′0″N 10°30′0″E / 12.66667°N 10.50000°E / 12.66667; 10.50000. It lies in the southwest of the Bade and Jakusko Local Government Areas of Yobe State. The sector includes the Dagona Waterfowl Sanctuary, an important resting place for migratory birds. It also includes five forest reserves.
Annual rainfall ranges between 200-600 mm, during the period late May-September. With reduced flooding due to upstream dams and perhaps climate change, and with increasing population, the environment is degrading. There is growing competition between humans and wildlife. Farmers set out poison to kill the crop-destroying Quelea quelea, in the process killing non-target species. Marginal land is now coming under cultivation and tree cover in the forest reserves is being depleted.
The Bulatura sector is in the Yusufari Local Government Area of Yobe State, and has an area of 92 km2 around coordinates 13°15′0″N 11°00′0″E / 13.25000°N 11.00000°E / 13.25000; 11.00000. The sector has a series of swampy valleys separated by scenic sand dunes. The valleys contain rich deposits of potash.
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