Drying up Tarangire River threatens over 300 jumbos (Tanzania)


The Daily News

Date Published

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Shrinking water level is posing serious threat on Tarangire National Park, the eco-system with the highest concentration of largest Jumbos in the country.

“This Park, with its entire wildlife species, solely relies on River Tarangire, which cuts through the reserve, but lately the water levels have been dropping alarmingly . . . we have traced the problem back to its source, in Dodoma’s Kondoa District,” explained Tarangire National Park Conservator Herman Batiho.

He added: “We therefore plan, in the next fiscal year, to take it upon ourselves and travel to Kondoa to harness the source of Tarangire River with protection strategies that will involve local communities.”

Mr Batiho pointed out that Tarangire is the ecosystem of high importance, serving as the breeding point of the country’s largest elephants whose concentration is described as the highest in East Africa, “We have over 350 jumbos here and counting.” 

Measuring 2,850 square kilometres, Tarangire, located in Babati District of Manyara and partly in Arusha’s Monduli District, is the sixth largest national park in the country. Established in 1970, the park was named after Tarangire River that crosses the conservation.

Tree climbing pythons and lions are among the park’s attractions. Tarangire River happens to be the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the ecosystem during the annual dry season.

The Tarangire ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras. During the dry season, thousands of animals concentrate in the national park from the surrounding wetseason dispersal and calving areas.

When it comes to fauna, Tarangire landscape is composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps. Vegetation is a mix of Acacia woodland, Commiphora-Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and Baobab trees.