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Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a protected area of 8,292 sq kilometers in Ngorongoro Crater as the largest volcanic caldera in the world at Crater Highlands or Ngorongoro Highlands in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, Tanzania, as the unrivaled beauty of one of the least unending wildlife sanctuaries in the world and archeology records one of the oldest hominid homeland.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was founded in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No. 413 of 1959 as a land aimed at promoting the conservation of natural resources, protecting the interests of the native NCA and promoting tourism. NCA is a unique protected area in Africa where the conservation of natural resources as well as human settlements.

Xvlor Ngorongoro Conservation Area is beauty of crater highlands wildlife

Xvlor.com Ngorongoro Conservation Area is beauty of crater highlands wildlife

History

Ngorongoro Crater is the largest volcanic caldera in the world formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed 2.5 million years ago. The approximate height of the volcano is about 5,800 meters (19,000 feet), the crater floor elevation is 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level and an crater area of 260 sq kilometers (100 sq miles).

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area also protects Oldupai Gorge in lowland areas where the fossils of hominidae Homo habilis and Paranthropus boisei species are found that have kept the area for 3 million years. Oldupai Gorge is a steep cliff in the Great Rift Valley that stretches along eastern Africa.

Oldupai is located in the eastern Serengeti plain north of Tanzania and has a distance of about 50 kilometers (31 mi). A theory says the area is a great lake millions of years ago and the edges are covered by volcanic ash deposits in sequence. About 500,000 years ago seismic activity shifted the flow into the sediments and seven major layers in the canyon wall.

Mbulu came to Ngorongoro area about 2,000 years ago and joined Datooga around 1700. Both groups were expelled by Maasai from the area in the 1800s. No Europeans were known in Ngorongoro Crater until 1892 when Oscar Baumann arrived.

In 1921 the first hunting regulations were passed and in 1928 poaching was prohibited on all sides of the crater, except for Siedentopf farms. The National Park Ordinance of 1948 created the Serengeti National Park (SNP) that caused problems with the Maasai and other tribes, creating the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Ordinance (1959) that separated the NCA from the SNP.

Maasai who live in Serengeti National Park are systematically transferred to Ngorongoro. This area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. This conservation area is unique as the only conservation area in Tanzania that protects wildlife as well as lets become human habitation.

Ecosystems

The crater contains grasslands, bush and Euphorbia bussei trees. The crater floor is mostly open grassland with two small wooded areas dominated by Vachellia xanthophloea trees. The Munge River flows to the north and the main water source that flows into the seasonal salt lake in the middle of the crater.

Lerai Stream flows the damp forest to the south of the crater, Lerai Forest, and enters Lake Magadi. Other major water sources are the Ngoitokitok Springs near the eastern crater wall and the large swamps inhabited by hippos, elephants, lions and many others.

Many other small springs are found around the crater floor. An ecological program was implemented in the crater after a drought in 2000 that caused forest fires up to 20 percent of grassland. Maasai are now allowed to graze their cattle inside the crater, but have to go in and out every day.

Biodiversity

About 25,000 large animals live in craters including black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli), Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), Grant's zebra (Equus quagga boehmi), common eland (Taurotragus oryx), Grant's (Nanger granti) and Thomson's gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii).

Also waterbucks (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), topis (Damaliscus lunatus), oribis (Ourebia oribi), crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), Tanzanian cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus raineyi), East African wild dog and African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) . Lake Magadi is often inhabited by thousands of flamingoes.

The crater has one of the densest populations of South African lions and the lion population is significantly inbred where the number of new lineages is very small because very few male lions from outside migrate into the crater. Those who enter the crater are often prevented from contributing by the caesar male lion.

The lion in the crater was attacked by four deadly disease outbreaks between 1962 and 2002. The drought in 1961 and rains throughout the 1962 drought caused the buildup of blood-sucking flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) in May 1962. They depleted blood and caused painful skin injuries, infections, and caused the number of lions from 100 to fall to 12.

The population recovered to around 100 in 1975 and the figure is generally below 60 since 1993, the lowest point was 29 in 1998. In 2001, about 34 percent of the lion population died between January and April due to tick-borne disease and dog distemper.

www.xvlor.com Ngorongoro Conservation Area is beauty of crater highlands wildlife

Xvlor Ngorongoro Conservation Area is beauty of crater highlands wildlife

Location: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, Tanzania

Routes and public transport: Arusha Airport is located in Arusha town, then drive to Ngorongoro Crater for 180 km (110 mi) for 3.5 hours.

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