National Geographic, June 2013, Part 3

This installment is two short pieces that the editorial staff have probably been waiting for just a little bit of space to run.

The Rebirth of Gorongosa, by E.O. Wilson, photographs by Joel Sartore

Gorongorosa National Park was at one time one of the gems of Mozambique, roamed by the megafauna of Africa — hippos, buffaloes, elephants — and also apex predators like lions.  However, in the last 40 years, things have been difficult. Mozambique used to be a colony of Portugal, and when they gained their independence (in 1975) everything went to heck. There was a civil war and the different sides killed the animals for food and ivory. After the war ended, the park became the victim of poachers. They are trying to get it together now though, and an American businessman named Greg Carr has put his own fortune into repairing the damage done to the park.

To that end, Carr has hired Wilson, the author of this piece, who is telling us how they are reforesting the rainforest at the top of Mount Gorongorosa and tracking the fauna of the park.

Last of the Viking Whalers, by Roff Smith, photographs by Marcus Bleasdale

Smith and Bleasdale visit the Lofoten Islands of Norway, which are home to a dying way of life. For centuries, the people of the Lofoten Islands, which are about as far as you can go in Norway while still being in Norway, have raised families fishing for cod and catching minke whales.

Over the past few generations, however, the children of these families have been going to the mainland for high school and then going on to get jobs in places like Oslo. One of the islands, Skrova, had a population of 237 in 2005 according to an old link to Statistics Norway used at Wikipedia.  Looking at the 2015 figures, it seems that the population has dropped to 198.

Nowadays there is still quite a bit of fishing being done, but most of it is done by large businesses with big ships and not by families. It is likely that the population will, in the next few decades, drop to effectively 0.

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