Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 798101, 20 pages
Review Article

Factors Affecting the Success of Conserving Biodiversity in National Parks: A Review of Case Studies from Africa

1University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3 WITS 2050, South Africa
2Mountains of the Moon University, P.O. Box 837, Fort-Portal, Uganda

Received 4 October 2012; Revised 8 January 2013; Accepted 22 January 2013

Academic Editor: Antonio Terlizzi

Copyright © 2013 Moses Muhumuza and Kevin Balkwill. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


National Parks are a cornerstone for biodiversity conservation in Africa. Two approaches are commonly used to sustain biodiversity in National Parks. Past and current studies show that both approaches are generally ineffective in conserving biodiversity in National Parks in Africa. However, there are a handful of cases where these approaches have been successful at conserving biodiversity in National Parks. The question this paper attempts to answer is why in some cases these approaches have been successful and in other cases they have failed. A metadata analysis of 123 documents on case studies about conservation of biodiversity in National Parks in Africa was conducted. A series of search engines were used to find papers for review. Results showed that all factors responsible for both the success and failure of conserving biodiversity in National Parks in various contexts were socioeconomic and cultural in nature. The highest percentage in both successful case studies (66%) and unsuccessful cases studies (55%) was associated with the creation and management of the park. These results suggest that future conservation approaches in National Parks in Africa should place more emphasis on the human dimension of biodiversity conservation than purely scientific studies of species and habitats in National Parks.