Losing battle against Elephant Poaching in Tanzania

If it’s a war, then conservationists are surely losing it. One third of all unlawful ivory captured in Asia originates from Tanzania, and this tourist destination has unfortunately lost over half of its population of elephants within the past 5 years, in accordance with the Tanzanian Elephant Protection Society – TEPS.

You will find 60 000 remaining however, in case poaching continues without any resistance, then Tanzania may end up without any elephants come 2020, TEPS cautioned in the anti-poaching conference held last month in Dar es Salaam.

The challenge is specifically noticeable inside the Selous Game Reserve, that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1982 while it had over 100 000 elephants living in that area. By 1989 the population of elephant had reduced to 30 000.

Benson Kibonde has spent more than Thirty years safeguarding this park, and was the Chief Warden of Selous from 1992 up to 2008. Throughout his period, the population of elephant actually more than doubled, rising back to 70 000, appreciation also partly to an intercontinental ban on the selling of ivory.

However something went severely wrong right after Kibonde stopped working in the Selous to be a trainer at Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute. Several Pay checks went unsettled for several months, the infrastructure fell into poor condition and the employee morale fell, in accordance with Kwilabya plus other rangers. The number of elephants also dropped to only 13 000 animals.

Kibonde was recalled from retirement, and since 2012 has been back in control of Selous.

While in Dar es Salaam the commercial capital of Tanzania, he said that In accordance with the poachers they have been detaining lately, he guarantees that they are local as he used to understand long ago. He added that it is still conventional. And he thinks they can stop them through traditional strategies

The strategy which Kibonde used since the 1990s, as well as the one he intends to even use now, basically involves making sure that there are rangers everywhere. He implements this through providing the scouts backpack, a map, a small tent, GPS as well as a rifle, and sending them out on random patrols.

He explained They visited areas of the reserve which had never been explored before. That was when they realized that they still had some rhinos, since they bumped into a couple of them.

We have to devote men on the ground, which is the only thing which will save these elephants.

Eradicating corruption in the Management of the Selous Reserve

At the moment, the Selous has approximately 285 rangers, however the actual number on ground in the bush at a time isn’t more than 150, and these cover the entire 55,000 sq km of wilderness, an expanse which is more than two times the size of the adjacent Republic of Rwanda.

To increase on these numbers, the government of Tanzania not too long ago announced intentions to train 1,000 brand-new park rangers as well as purchase 4 helicopters, with most of the money being acquired from the Howard Buffet Foundation.

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