Greener Journal of Biological Sciences Vol. 4 (1), pp. 009-017, February 2014.
© 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 011314031
Preliminary Assessment of Vegetation Fires and their Impact in Nyanga National Park, Zimbabwe
Patience Zisadza-Gandiwa1, Edson Gandiwa*2,
Tichaona B. Matokwe3, Rachel Gwazani4, Clayton Mashapa5, Never Muboko2 and Sybert Mudangwe6
1Transfrontier Conservation Areas Office, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,
P.O. Box CY 140, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.
2Department of Wildlife and Safari Management, Chinhoyi University of Technology,
Private Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
3Scientific Services, Masvingo Regional Office, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, P.O. Box 921, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
4Department of Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
5Tropical Resource Ecology Programme, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P. O. Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
6Nyanga National Park, Private Bag 2050, Nyanga, Zimbabwe.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: edson. gandiwa @ gmail. com; Tel: +263 773 490202
This study aimed at assessing the patterns of vegetation fires and their impact in Nyanga National Park (NNP), Zimbabwe. Field assessments were conducted in September 2012. Our results showed that fires are common in NNP with the majority of fires being caused by poaching activities. Moreover, anthropogenic activities, particularly agricultural activities, in the boundaries of the park also increased the fire occurrences. However, there were no significant increases in number of fires or spatial extent of burnt area between 2008 and 2012 (P > 0.05)Fires influenced vegetation structure and composition, wildlife communities and negatively affected infrastructure within the park. We recommend for the development of a fire management plan for NNP.
Keywords: Afromontane forests, habitat, wildfires, wildlife.