Tanzania wildlife populations benefit from Wildlife Management Areas
In Tanzania, wildlife populations have really suffered in recent decades.
Needless to say, this suffering is due to human activities such as poaching, farming, and mining.
However, there’s good news which shows that community-based wildlife conservation can bring fast win-wins amongst all species great and small.
The Journal of Mammology published a paper in which scientists from the Wild Nature Institute show significantly higher densities of giraffes and dik-diks, and lower densities of cattle in a community Wildlife Management Area, rather than an unprotected control site.
Before the Wildlife Management Area was established, the densities of wildlife and livestock were similar when both managed by the same authority.
However, the data showed that the establishment of Wildlife Management Areas had positive ecological outcomes with higher wildlife densities and lower livestock densities, which met the researcher’s definition of ecological success.
Efforts to bring wildlife management under the control of local communities rather than central agencies have been made through the establishment of Wildlife Management Areas. The idea is that several vilages set aside land for wildlife conservation in return for most of the tourism revenues from these areas.
There are 19 such areas already in operation, covering 7% of Tanzania’s land area, and 19 more are planned.
Hopefully this will provide an example to other countries they can follow. Eco-tourism can provide an income for locals, and it’s the largest economic sector and money earner for Tanzania.
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