Humans must become a keystone species’

Lee-Anne Butler

HUMAN beings must stop considering themselves superior to animals as that is the only way to preserve indigenous wildlife and understand the vital role of wild natural areas, says Wilderness Foundation director Professor Ian McCallum.

With World Environment Week being marked this week, McCallum visited Port Elizabeth yesterday to speak about his experiences as part of a team of environmental experts who undertook a four-month journey across Southern Africa on foot, bicycle and in kayaks last year.

The purpose of the trek was to explore the psychological and economic issues associated with the coexistence of human communities and wild animals.

The trek, which started on May 1 last year, followed ancient African elephant migration paths starting from Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. The group then journeyed through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, before ending in South Africa’s Cape Vidal on the KwaZulu Natal coastline on September 2.

The trek was also aimed at establishing the importance of international animal migratory corridors between established national parks in home countries.

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