PROPOSAL FOR A NEW NATURE RESERVE FOR HIPPOPOTAMUSES IN AMSTERDAM – 2008
Location: Warmoesgracht (is now: Raadhuisstraat), Amsterdam.
The hippopotamus is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal living in sub-Saharan Africa.
A hippo's lifespan is typically 40–50 years. They are semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers, lakes
and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups
of 5 to 30 females and young. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water
or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze
on grass. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary
activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
Hippo populations are currently threatened by loss of access to fresh water. In May 2006
the hippopotamus was identified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List, with an
estimated population of between 125,000 and 150,000 hippos, a decline of between
7% and 20% since the IUCN's 1996 study.