Manyara Ranch, which operates under special conservation trust, is auctioning nearly 250 cattle from its menageries.
Livestock jettisoning is due to drought which is currently hitting hard in most parts of the Northern Zone.
The Ranch has also just relocated four lions from the area to Burigi-Chato National Park, as another measure to avert Human-Wildlife Conflicts.
Located within the Makuyuni Division of Monduli District, Arusha Region, the Manyara mixed ranch, which also doubles as wildlife conservation area, has over 980 cattle in its stables.
The decision to auction a considerable number is among measures taken to reduce effects of climate change including famine.
Cattle, goats and Sheep in the vast ranch are managed under the ‘Livestock for Livelihoods,’ project.
The Project and other Wildlife Conservation programs at the vast ranch are supported by USAID in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
The ranch initiative is to help eradicate poverty among the Maasai and other pastoralist communities while simultaneously protecting landscapes, livestock and wildlife.
in which wildlife share grazing pastures with livestock and now drought is forcing us to cut down on the number of cattle,”
“We are selling off 240 cattle from the farm, because as you know, Manyara ranch is a mixed conservancy,” explains Fidelis Ole Kashe, the Conservancy Ranch Manager.
According to Ole Kashe, it is a normal procedure in the years when drought is harsh, affecting grazing areas within the Ranch.
“The only steps ranch management can take are to cut down the size of livestock as we cannot reduce the wildlife.”
Manyara Ranch’s Conservancy Manager, also explains that the cattle auction however is meant to sell livestock only to members of the surrounding villages.
Beneficiaries are members of Esilalei and Oltukai Villages of Monduli.
The Chairman of Oltukai, Rudda Tirishe said local community prefer the breeds from Manyara Ranch as they are well kept, healthy and yield more meat and milk.
As for the four lions, the Ranch Management was forced to transfer the first two panthers from the conservancy after they recently attacked and killed a villager. Two other cats followed in the translocation.
“Normally we allow members of surrounding villages to graze within the buffer zone perimeter surrounding the ranch, but sometimes they exceed their limits and come into confrontation with wildlife,” explained Ole Kashe.
The lions had to be transferred to the Lake Zone in order to save them against possible retaliation attacks from the villagers.
Still, Manyara ranch is home to nine more prides of lions comprising more than 35 such wild cats.
Manyara Ranch happens to be a 45,000-acre wildlife corridor dotted with acacia trees which is so far also the main breeding area for giraffes.
Reporters from the Environment Journalists of Tanzania (JET) were told that the Ranch is an important connecting channel safeguarding animals that transverse between Tarangire and Lake Manyara.
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), priorities include consolidating the new private management structure for the ranch, improving wildlife and habitat conservation, modernizing livestock management functions, relocating (within the ranch) and improving the Manyara Ranch Primary School, and encouraging private investment in tourism within Manyara Ranch.