Monday 14 March 2016

Tanzania to form elite anti poaching force

Tanzania is working on a new security strategy that will help curb poaching of elephants and other crimes against wildlife within and outside protected areas. It is hoped to be operational by 2017

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Jumanne Maghembe said the new security strategy will involve training a special force that will be equipped with modern and high-tech surveillance equipment to detect elephant poachers and other criminals operating inside Tanzania's protected parks.

Conservationists estimate that more than 13,000 elephants were poached in Tanzania in 2015 alone.

A 15% increase in poaching was noted in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem that year.

Commemorating the World Elephant Day in August 2015, conservationists put the number of elephants killed by poachers between 2011 and 2015 at about 65,721.

Between 1970 and 1980 poaching and killing of elephants in Tanzania saw their population decline to 55,000. However, the international ban on the sale of ivory and other elephant products together with highly effective anti-poaching operations resulted in elephant populations increasing to an estimated 130,000 in 2005 and 110,000 in 2009, according to WWF in Tanzania.

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