Published: Tuesday 15 October 1996

In a bid to revive the Gorongosa national park, one of southern Africa's most valuable parks, British researchers have started work on a us $3 million-project in the war-ravaged country.

As part of the rehabilitation programme, they are trying to promote research and eco-tourism in the largest and most biologically diverse park in a country ranked by the World Bank as the world's poorest. "But first we have to find what is there," says Phil O'Keefe, professor of geography at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, uk and a director of etc International, the company sponsoring the project.

The project will prepare a catalogue of animals in the neglected park, using transects to count droppings and native methods of tracking animals in the bush. The team will take measures to eliminate poaching and restock the park, which is part-bush and part-forest, with "desirable species for safari hunting", mainly elephant, hippopotamus and buffalo.

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