Factors influencing the distribution of wildlife in East Africa

  • Vegetation. Different types of vegetation are habitats of different animals. Natural forests are habitants of elephants, buffaloes, baboons, gorillas, grasslands are habitats for a variety of herbivores e.g. antelopes gazelles, zebra, wildebeests, giraffes, buffaloes, rhinos, etc. The herbivores attract carnivores e.g. lions, cheetahs, etc.

  • Drainage. Well-drained areas support a variety of plants and animals, while poorly drained areas support only a limited number of plants and animals. Rivers, lakes, and seas are home to a variety of organisms- e.g. birds such as flamingoes, herons, and pelicans, and animals such as crocodiles, hippos, whales, fishes etc.
Factors influencing the distribution of wildlife in East Africa
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  • Presence of water. Fish are found in freshwater lakes of Victoria, Kyoga, Turkana, and Tanganyika and in the Indian Ocean. Animals like Hippos and crocodiles live mainly in freshwater lakes and rivers.
  • Climate. Animal species ate spread out over a wide range of altitudes and climates in east Africa. Snakes for example are found in warm scrublands in holes and caves in rocks that are warm. Mountain gorillas inhabit the high and cols mountain regions of Ruwenzori. Arid areas have limited plant cover and therefore have few animal species. Areas of high temperatures have particular types of vegetation, e.g. acacias. Cool areas near mountain tops have bamboo.
  • Soils. Different soil types determine different plant species which in turn affect the type of animals inhabiting a particular area.

  • Human activities. People are mainly responsible for the survival and distribution of wildlife. When people clear the vegetation animals tend to move away from those areas. Some areas have been set aside for the preservation of wildlife. Such areas include sanctuaries to protect endangered species. E.g. L. Nakuru N.P for the protection of the black rhino. There are also forest reserves and marine national parks to protect plants and marine life respectively.
  • Relief. Areas of undulating relief tend to have luxuriant vegetation whereas steep slopes have poor vegetation and hence fewer animals. The gentle slope of mountains are forested and have a lager variety of wild animals e.g. monkeys, elephants etc