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An ambitious study that seeks to apply advanced technology to prevent elephants from destroying crop farms has kicked off in Western Serengeti to address human-wildlife conflicts.
The ongoing study is anticipated to relieve people in villages adjacent Ikorongo and Grumeti game reserves and the Ikona Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Mara region.
The Singita Grumeti Fund (SGF) is conducting the study in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and other conservationists. The research will see a number of elephants being fitted with GPS enabled satellite collars that would be tracking their movements in and outside the reserves.
“The major objective of the research is to address human/ wildlife conflicts .We want to understand the movement of elephants and use the information to prevent the problems before they happen,” SGF Ecologist and Head of Research and Monitoring, Mr Noel Mbise said in an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ over the weekend.
He said, a better understating on the movement of elephants that invade and destroy crop farms is imperative in mitigating human/wildlife conflicts more proactively.
The study is funded by SGF, an organisation that is heavily investing on wildlife conservation and community development activities in more than 20 villages bordering Ikorongo/Grumeti Game Reserves and the IKONA WMA.
The villages are located in Serengeti and Bunda districts. Herds of elephants that invade and destroy crop farms remain the major challenge in villages.
For many years, local communities living near game protected areas in Mara region blame rampaging elephants as the source of frequent food shortage they have been facing. Local leaders say herds of stray jumbos had at times scared children from going to school.