Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Permits for elephant hunting reduced to save the species
The government has adopted new ways of preventing wanton killings of elephant species in Tanzania by increasing issuing permits for their hunting. Thanks to the government and since the permits to allow such killings has been reduced, then if someone feels like going for hunting expedition, then should he or she try other species because in efforts to save jumbos, the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) has reduced the number of elephant hunting permits issued per year. “We are issuing only 100 elephant hunting licences per year,” said Ms Nyangabo Violet Musika, the Officerin- Charge at Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), during a media briefing session in Arusha, adding that the annual hunting season in the country runs between July and December. A recently released wildlife census report indicated that there are 43,521 elephants in Tanzania, but as it seems 70,000 had been lost over the past six years, prompting TAWA to initiate spirited control measures. The Officer-in-charge explained further that, TAWA which manages all game reserves in the country currently totalling 18, collected 80 per cent of wildlife-related revenues from hunting concessions and 20 per cent of earnings are generated from photographic safaris. “But 65 per cent of all earnings are sent back to the local villages surrounding game reserves.
TAWA gets only 20 per cent while the remaining 15 per cent is channelled into district council coffers,” she explained, pointing out that the government has ensured that local residents got the lion’s share of earnings raised from wildlife-related products. Reports indicate that Tanzania had around 110,000 jumbos by 2009, placing the country in the second position after Botswana, which by then had close to 150,000 elephants. However, the number of trumpeting jumbos in Tanzania drastically dropped from over 100,000 five years ago to the current 45,000 average, indicating a loss of more than 60 per cent in the animals’ population. About two years ago, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), in conjunction with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), conducted a special wildlife census targeting jumbos. The ‘Great Elephant Census’ covered all of Tanzania’s key elephant eco-systems as part of the initiative funded by Paul G. Allen to assess the current state of elephant populations across the African continent. The Malagarasi-Muyovozi eco-system recorded the highest jumbo disappearance at 81 per cent, followed by Ruaha- Rungwa at 76 per cent and Selous-Mikumi with 66 per cent loss.