The History of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park!
This is the first marine park in Mozambique, created on the recommendation of Dr. Ken Tinley in 1970, by Legislative Diploma No. 46 of May 25, 1971 and revised its limits by Decree No. 39/2001 of November 27. In 2016 the area of the park was revised, with the elaboration of Management Plan 2016 - 2025.
Initially with Legislative Diploma No. 46 of May 25, 1971, the Bazaruto National Park had an area of 600km2 being part of this the Magaruque, Bangué and Benguerua Islands. At this time the Santa Carolina and Bazaruto islands were considered special surveillance zones. In 2001, the boundary was extended from 600 km2 to 1430 km2, covering the Santa Carolina and Bazaruto islands and becoming the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park – BANP.
The Conservation activities at BANP began in 1989, as part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. In 2000 the park passes to the Ministry of Tourism and in 2015 passed to the current Ministry of land environment and rural development. The first administrator of the Bazaruto National Park was Roberto Zolho.
The five islands that make up the BANP, Benguerua, Bangué and Magaruque are located in the Vilankulo District and Santa Carolina and Bazaruto in the Inhassoro district.
The history goes that initially the islands of the archipelago were connected to the mainland, through Cape San Sebastian and their separation occurred about 20 thousand years ago.
The park was proclaimed to protect dugongs, sea turtles and their habitats, but for its importance It was also covered the vegetation of the islands, coral reefs, waterfowl and all the fauna of the park. The BANP has one head office and one Annex (Sitone in Bazaruto Island and Chizunguni on the Benguerua Island) and 6 ranger’s posts (Zenguelemo and Ponta Dundo, on the Bazaruto Island, Magaruque in Magaruque Island, Santa Carolina in Santa Carolina Island and two in mainland, Inhassoro and Vilankulo districts).
The BANP is a great important ecological site because it currently has the largest population of dugongs on the West coast of the Indian Ocean, estimated at more than 250 individuals. Of the five species of sea turtles in the BANP, four reproduce in the park beaches. Four species of dolphins abound and yearly the Mink and Right whales pass off the islands. As well as being an important point of stop for migratory birds, more than 180 species of birds occur in the archipelago. Also occurring endangered species of fauna in the continent, such as the vervet monkey, red bush goats, red squirrels, Nile crocodiles and endemic species of gastropods and lizards.
The archipelago incorporates a wide range of marine and terrestrial habitats, including coastal sand dunes with original vegetation, sandy and rock beaches and freshwater lakes. These habitats, along with mangroves, seagrass beds and coral communities, form the basis for a rich and varied wildlife.
The BANP is inhabited by about 5045 inhabitants, who live in different communities, on the Bazaruto, Benguerua and Magaruque islands. The livelihoods of local communities are small-scale fisheries, handicrafts, conservation agriculture, sea oysters and fruits collection, tourism and dhow buildings. The islands residents are part of the vahoka population, speakers of the Xihoca language, exclusively spoken on the islands of PNAB... Read More