Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

SAVANNAH GRASSLANDS

Savannah grasslands are hot, dry expanses of land. Most are covered in long grasses and have only a few, scattered trees.

Savannah grasslands have very long, hot, dry seasons followed by short rainy seasons every year.  In summer the average temperature of a savannah grassland is 27oC whilst in winter it is 18oC.  There are usually no clouds in the sky above the savannah grasslands, so the temperature falls dramatically at night because clouds help reflect heat back to earth and keep it warm.

Animals that live in the savannah climate have adapted to cope with the generally dry conditions and make the most of water when it is available.

Savannah grasslands, Photo (c) Pam Morris

SOME OF THE ANIMALS FOUND IN SAVANNAH GRASSLANDS

African Elephant
Zebra
Lion
Cheetah
Hyena

ISSUES & CHALLENGES

The savannah was once inhabited only by wild plants and animals.  Today, our ever-increasing human population has meant some of the savannah grasslands have been ploughed up to grow food crops so people can live there too.

Trees are cut down for fuel and land is cleared and opened up for grazing of cattle and other livestock such as goats. Today, more people keep livestock and more of these animals survive because of improved veterinary care.  This means that they have an even greater impact on the environment. Often livestock over-graze the land and there is not enough food to sustain either them or local wildlife.

Increasing human and livestock numbers in wildlife habitat also leads to more frequent incidences of them being attacked and killed by predators, such as lions and leopards. When this occurs, it is common for people to avenge the attack and kill the predator responsible.

Certain animals that inhabit savannah areas, such as lions, buffalo and leopard, are highly prized by international hunters seeking a trophy for their wall. Trophy hunters particularly target big males of these species, the removal of which creates an imbalance in the population and can lead to declines in reproductive success.

HOW CAN YOU HELP!

  • Only choose reputable safari companies that support sustainable development of local communities, and whose tours have minimal impact on wildlife
  • Never visit wildlife reserves that encourage trophy hunting
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