Tanzania conservation news – TAWIRI report sees President Kikwete get into the frame of anti poaching

The Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, in short TAWIRI, has handed over a shocking report to President Kikwete earlier this week, showing a massive decline in elephant populations in the Selous Game Reserve and the Mikumi National Park, with estimates going as high as 30.000 elephant having been wiped out by poaching over the past years. The report, named the Tanzania Elephant Management Plan, painted a grim picture of game numbers following regular counts since independence, clearly causing enough concern at the Presidents Office to have the head of state give an immediate directive to TAWIRI to take the necessary action to ensure the survival of the Palahala or Roosevelts Sable Antelope, which has been decimated for its horns and skins. At the same time President Kikwete also demanded explanations what had led to the drastic decline of elephant populations and what measures were being taken or prepared to reverse the trend.
Conservationists will welcome this ray of hope from the highest office in Tanzania and two regular sources had this to say overnight: If the President is serious about it there is a lot which can be done. Last year they formed a task force which includes army units to combat poaching. If we are united in this we can win that fight while the other one said: If this directive is true it is good news. But let us not forget about the pending issues we have, the routing of the railway, the ongoing plans for the road across the Serengeti and a whole long list of other issues, Uranium mining, damming the river in Stieglers Gorge, the Coelacanth marine park issues, Lake Natron and so on. I think the president has to do more to convince us that his sudden conservation affinity is real and there to stay.
That all said though, the presidential directive is still a commendable and much appreciated effort, not to be underestimated, but to be followed through with conservation bodies and individuals helping TAWIRI to keep the spotlight on the problem of poaching and the need to facilitate anti poaching and conservation measures full heartedly. Watch this space.

One Response

  1. Great news!!…no doubt, but of course we will keeping an eye on this issue and the others mentioned.