Archives of Zoological Studies Category: Agriculture Type: Original Article
Human Wildlife Conflict in Tanzania with a Focus on Elephant and Lion
- Victor A Runyoro1*, Maurus Msuha2, Simon Mduma3
- 1 Environmental Reliance Consultants Limited, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic Of
- 2 Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, United Republic Of
- 3 Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic Of
*Corresponding Author:Victor A Runyoro
Environmental Reliance Consultants Limited, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic Of
Received Date: Mar 03, 2019 Accepted Date: Mar 20, 2019 Published Date: Mar 27, 2019
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Extent and nature of HWC
Appendix 3: Total area of crop fields damaged and number of households involved (2011-2015) in Tanzania (Source: Summary from raw data at TAWA, February 2017).
In response to problems impacted on people by wildlife, the animals are often killed in retaliation, by either poisoning, trapping or shooting and through government-sanctioned lethal control programmes. Despite the information on retaliatory killing of wildlife being sparse and not entirely available on official records because it was mostly done secretively , few cases of carnage were reported in western Serengeti during the current study particularly on elephants. Reports from elsewhere in Tanzania indicate that 28 lions were killed between 2004 and 2008 in villages neighbouring the Selous-Niassa corridor, in retaliation against various costs inflicted by the animals . Lions were repeatedly killed in the south-eastern part of the country using poison and sometimes trapped with fishing nets then speared . Lack of documentation on retaliatory killing of elephnts and lions, which is normaly done secretively, was not an exceptional phenomenon to Tanzania. In Kenya, a total of 14 elephants, which were found dead with tusks intact between 1992 and 1993 implied that the killings were either retaliatory, defence or for ritual purposes . Lion numbers in Nairobi National Park were suspected to decline through retaliatory killing from approximately 35 animals in 1998 to 9 in 2005 to introduced compensation scheme . At Etosha National Park in Namibia, despite that the park was completely fenced since 1973; around 30 to 40 lions were shot or poisoned on commercial ranches every year between 2000 and 2005.
Causes of the conflict
Observation made in this study on relationship between settlement patterns closer to protected areas and HWC conflict level was consistent with previously studies conducted within the same study area and elsewhere [26-31] The fact that there was a negative correlation between human density and elephant numbers in the eastern and southern African countries were elephant ranged (Pearson correlation =-0.281; n=16; Correlation significance =0.292), implies that the larger the human density, the more habitat destruction it was, thus the higher escalating HEC and the ultimate retaliatory killing incidents of elephants.
Local increase in wildlife particularly elephant and lion within the study area has also narrowed the gap between wildlife habitats and human settlements. Elephant numbers within Serengeti Ecosystem excluding Masai-Mara National Reserve in Kenya swelled from 1,357 in 1994 , to 6,087 in 2015 . The lion population in Grumeti Reserves increased exponentially at an average rate of 21% per year between 2003 and 2014 . The fact that HEC in western Serengeti became apparent since early in 2000s  could be associated with swelling wildlife populations. In Kruger National Park when culling was stopped in 1995, elephant population soared from around 7,000 in 1996 to 12,000 in 2006 which coincided with an increase in HEC in surrounding areas [35,36]. HEC in Botswana was associated with relatively high elephant populations, which accounted for about 31% of the continental total . Increase in the elephant number to the northern part of Namibia, which was partly attributed to movement of animals from Botswana also escalated HEC levels .
Appendix 4: Amount of consolation payment for damaged crops requsted, approved and actual amount payment paid by December, 2016 (2011-2015) in Tanzania (Source: TAWA, 2017).
Electric fencing approach, which is currently not practiced in Tanzania , has proven effective in reducing human-elephant and lion conflict to an acceptably low level elsewhere in the east and southern Africa countries [23,43-49]. The approach is however, confronted with various challenges among them being the relatively high monetary cost involved in terms of investment, maintenance and monitoring than many other preventive methods [44,46,50-52] and prevention of wide ranging especially for species, which populations are no longer viable in small reserves . Other shortcomings of the approach are; preventing the animals from accessing seasonal resources outside the confinement , potential for impairing opportunities for genetic exchange and the ultimate inbreeding , interference with ecosystem structure and functions in case of populations’ growth beyond carrying capacity within the enclosure  and potential for hindering the local people from accessing traditional resources .
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study revealed that no single method would be effective to mitigating HWC in Tanzania on its own. In other southern Africa countries where electric fences have been properly designed, regularly maintained and supported by local communities the approach has proved effective as a single solution. However, there are currently two schools of thoughts on the application of electric fence as a conservation tool. One group argues that in the face of burgeoning human population, electric fencing would be a powerful tool to preventing wildlife from upsetting people as well as decreasing retaliatory killing of the animals (www.nature.com/news/fences-divide-lion-conservatinists, visited on 28th September 2017). The other camp contends that as long as many wild animals wander between protected areas and public land, the ability of wildlife to move across landscapes particularly in Africa’s dry-lands will be threatened by those barriers [51,52]. In view of the above, the conservation policy in Tanzania needs review to integrate traditional preventive measures with novel methods. This integration should include the use of electric fences, reinforced chain link fences around livestock kraals, well equipped and functional game posts, community task forces with guard dog programs, chili-integrated techniques and small drone programmes.
• Many villages adjacent to protected areas are lacking rational land use plans. Where these are in place, the spatial delineation of land uses does not adequately buffer the community from wildlife conflict. In addition, land use plans where they are in place, have not been implemented and enforced. Therefore, where the opportunity still exists, land use planning and implementation must be used as a primary recourse to proactively avoid conflict.
• Land use planning should include the regulation of immigrants from other areas into vacant land neighbouring protected areas.
• Where dense settlement and human activity directly adjoins protected area and sharp edges have already occurred, the Wildlife Policy should be reviewed to allow and support the erection of electrified fences along those boundaries. Where this is implemented it should be done in compliance with the environmental impact assessment regulations and guaranteed maintenance support. In this instance, communities should also be adequately sensitized so they can see themselves as partners in making such infrastructure a success and mutually beneficial.
• Where settlement is much less dense or some distance from the boundary of the protected area, other deterrent measures including chain link protected bomas, guard dog programmes, chilli bombs and functional game posts must be encouraged and supported.
• Data emanating from human wildlife conflict incidents and the effectiveness of mitigation measures needs to be systematically collected and analysed periodically so that proper adaptive management of the situation can be practiced.
• In order to effectively evaluate HWC programs, there is a need to establish clear objectives for reducing conflict and define levels of acceptable losses to wildlife.
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Citation:Runyoro VA, Msuha M, Mduma S (2018) Human Wildlife Conflict in Tanzania with a Focus on Elephant and Lion. Archiv Zool Stud 1: 007.
Copyright: © 2019 Victor A Runyoro, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.