Tanzania to release wildlife census report in February: official



Date Published

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzanian wildlife authorities said on Wednesday a report showing estimates of wildlife species in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem will be released early next month. 

The report follows an aerial wildlife census in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem that was launched in October last year, targeting large mammals including elephants and buffalo. 

“We are anticipating the final report giving estimates of wildlife species will be communicated to the public in early February 2019,” Simon Mduma, the Director General of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), the leading organization in the census, told Xinhua in an interview. 

The census was conducted by state-owned TAWIRI, the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority, and the Tanzania National Park, in collaboration with Frankfurt Zoological Society. 

Mduma said the aerial census was conducted in October through November 21, 2018, covering an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers. 

He said the institutions that conducted the census faced a number of challenges, adding that one of the major challenges was “procuring and distributing aviation fuel which requires great care in shipping and storage.”

“Other challenges that were encountered included changes of weather like strong winds, rainfall and low cloud which negatively affected the counting exercise,” Mduma said. 

He said such elements caused delays in completing the census, finalizing data analysis and report writing. 

Aerial wildlife censuses in the Selous-Mikumi Ecosystem have been conducted every three to four years since 1976.