Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute
Name ID 1193
Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 January 10
Copyright (c) 2000 TOMRIC Agency.
Tanzania's elephant population has increased over the past nine years rendering the Selous Game Reserve (SGR), the leading protected area with the largest number of elephants in the world.
Basing on the research by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Ms Anne Lema of the institute of education in Tanzania, says until October last year the elephant population in the reserve stood at about 60,000 from 35,000 in 1990.
Accordingly, Lema says the figure was 110,000 in 1976 down to 60,000 in 1986, partly due to Poaching incidences. In the reserve (SGR), and some other protected areas, the elephant population was reduced to as much as 25 percent, while in some was completely wiped out, she says.
Ms Lema says that an aerial survey taken in most parts of the country shows increasing population trends in the areas and even re-colonization of areas where they have been wiped out.
Up until 1950s, elephants inhabited almost 90 percent of the Tanzania Mainland, and by the 1980s their range had shrunk to less than 50 percent of the country, mostly in the Southern part of the country.
The increase in elephant population, according to TAWIRI is attributed to good management plans instituted by the government and the international community in the early, 1990s.
The internal management measures include the elephant conservation programme carried out on a country-wide basis in 1990 and the operation, 'Life' in which many poachers were arrested and large number of weapons used to kill animals were confiscated.
Loss of habital due to the growing human population is also a threat to the elephants.
'While Tanzania's human population stood at 13 million in 1974, it is over 30 million today, posing a situation where man sometimes encroaches on the bests habital,' says the TAWIRI.
The international dimension, according to the research is the ban on ivory under the Conventional International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora, CITES, of 1988. Trade in products of the elephant was put in appendix I of the CITES in 1989 which demands that any trade of the animal or part of its body be banned.
Most African countries which had lost significant number of elephants, including Tanzania, subscribed to the terms of CITES. But Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Congo, Mozambique and Gabon voted against the ban stating that they did not consider their elephant populations were threatened with extinction.
But it was recently established in Tanzania that hunting of elephants have started and in the stocks there are several tonnes of ivory which the government plan to sell them. Already Japan has shown its interest to purchase them.
Extract Author: Olli Marttila
Page Number: 2003 12 12
This material is free to add your list if any interest (contains also a new handbook).
I was working during the years 2001-2002 as a TAWIRI scientist in order to gather the material for the comprehensive handbook "The National Parks of Tanzania, and Other Key Conservation Areas".
A completed handbook, the first ever written on Tanzania's most important conservation areas, including all 12 national parks and the five most significant other sanctuaries. This book combines the latest ecological knowledge with other matters concerning the conservation in the parks, as well as providing traditional presentation of the wildlife and tourist facilities there. The book is intended for naturalists, safari tourists and scientists interested in Tanzania.
The book is now available on Finnish market as a name "Suuri savanni. Tansanian kansallispuistot ja muut avainsuojelualueet" (The Great Savanna. The National Parks of Tanzania, and Other Key Conservation Areas"). It is published in Finnish language by Auris at September 2003. The book contains 448 pages and 370 colour pics with 18 colour maps.
In late 2003 has been started a project in order to translate the book in English and produce it directly to Tanzanian market. It is expected that the book is available in Tanzania at latest on 2005.
The author: Olli Marttila, Ph.D. (born 1954), is an assistant professor in Environmental Science. His knowledge of nature in Tanzania is based on a close acquaintance with the country. He made a total of 10 journeys to the country between 1993-2000 before starting work as a TAWIRI scientist. He has published extensively, being the author of almost 500 original articles and reviews (in English and Finnish), and ten handbooks (in Finnish). Most of his books have been commercially highly successful and they haven been also been awarded prizes. These include the coveted Finlandia Prize for non-fiction literature.
Extract Author: by staff Writer
Page Number: 268
Extract Date: 3 May 2003
The Arusha-based, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) is currently implementing a special project on carnivore monitoring in Tanzania.
The project is being undertaken with supports from the Darwin Initiative (DI) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The carnivore monitoring project is aimed at understanding the animals distribution, abundance plus developing a national plan for conserving threatened species such as cheetahs and wild dogs.
Director General of TAWIRI, Dr. Charles Mlingwa said this is a second project to be funded by the Darwin Initiative (DI). The first one led to drawing up of the new wildlife research agenda in Tanzania.
A carnivore monitoring project workshop was held in Arusha this week, at Impala hotel. The one day workshop was officially opened by the acting director general of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Gerard Bigurube.
Mr. Bigurube, noted that, human beings are competing with carnivores for space and dwindling resources. In view of the competition carnivores are under threatened.
Among the workshop presenters was Dr. Sarah Durant who presented papers on carnivore bio-diversity and conservation specific status of wild dogs and cheetahs.
Maurus Msuha addressed the Tanzania carnivore conservation project, Neil Baker dealt with the Tanzania birds atlas project, while both Lara Foley and Scott Harrison spoke of the use of GIS in bio-diversity monitoring.
GIS is the new Geographic Information System that stores maps digitally and linking them to databases and is the key component of the Tanzania atlas carnivore project.
Dr. George Sabuni, the TAWIRI Director of Research gave a brief background on the research institute which has five research centres at Njiro, Gombe, Kingupira, Mahale and Serengeti.