Tanzania has completed a research study on the country’s Wildlife Corridors.
The final report to this effect gets launched on the September 17, 2022.
This is according to the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Maurus Msuha.
He reveals here that the special Report on Wildlife Corridors, buffer zones and Animals’ dispersal areas, will be launched in Dodoma by the docket Minister, Pindi Chana.
Speaking at his office in Dodoma, Dr Msuha pointed out that Tanzania is undertaking the tasks of identification of all wildlife corridors.
The move aims at protecting such animal passage routes through participatory approach.
“As the population increases, conservation of natural resources, including corridors becomes more challenging due to the expansion of human settlements and activities,” revealed the Director of Wildlife.
While in the past it was easy to demarcate land for conservation as much of the country was yet to be occupied, today the process needs to involve villagers because already people occupy most areas.
Dr Msuha was speaking to environment journalists who visited his office in Dodoma.
As it happens, many wildlife corridors have been blocked through increasing human activities and the state was working to see ways of unblocking the vital passages.
“Take the case of Tarangire for instance, there used to be 9 corridors linking the National Park to Lake Manyara, but so far there are only three passages left, six corridors have been invaded and blocked,” Msuha says.
Corridors are passageways through which wildlife move between one park or reserve to another, for grazing, calving or watering.
“Through the corridors wildlife travels from park to park, and even country to country, following migration routes, while in a park, wild animals are protected, enjoying sufficient resources, once they travel outside of the boundaries, they become vulnerable,” said Dr Msuha.
Experts say once wildlife corridors are lost they can never be fully restored.
An excerpt from the forthcoming report reveals that almost all documented corridors in the country are either in a critical condition, or have already been destroyed.
Observers on the other hand blame the habitat loss to rapid agricultural expansion, unplanned land use, irresponsible natural resources extraction, increased bush meat trade and road construction activities.
The Director of Research, Land Use Compliance and Information, in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Dr Joseph Paul, admits that the rate of Human-Wildlife conflicts is high.
“That is because people have encroached wildlife corridors and parts of the reserves,” he said.
Dr Paul, says as wild animals get displaced from their natural habitat they also move to other places where again they go to cause conflicts.
He was responding to questions from scribes from the Environment Journalists of Tanzania (JET) who are making follow-ups on visits from various wildlife corridors across the country.
“And we have discovered that most villagers never report cases of such human-wildlife conflicts, fearing that their villages could be divided or their titles revoked,” pointed out the official.
Tanzania has set aside over 270,000 square kilometers of land for wildlife conservation and this is equivalent to nearly 30 percent of the country’s total area.
The country has 22 National Parks, 28 Game Reserves and 46 Game Controlled Areas and One Conservation Area in addition to a number of Forest Reserve entities.
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