Thursday 13 February 2020

Game numbers up and down in Selous-Mikumi

Tanzania recorded a slight increase of elephants and a considerable surge in zebra and hippopotamus populations in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem between 2014 and 2018, a new report shows.

The report of the aerial wildlife census that was conducted between October and November 2018 covering 27 wildlife species indicates that elephants have increased by 284, zebra 6,190 while number of hippopotamus rose by 7,843.

It covered a total area of 104,143 km² that embrace Mikumi National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Kilombero Game Controlled Area and Selous-Niassa wildlife corridor.

Current statistics from the report have it that, the surveyed area has 15,501 elephants, up from 15,217 that were recorded in the previous study conducted in 2014.

This means that there is no further decline in the elephant population in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem, and that the stabilising of the number of elephants combined with few incidences of fresh carcasses indicates that poaching has been brought under control.

Wildebeeste numbers, however have fallen by 72 percent over the last 22 years, and 'lesser' antelope by a whopping 97% in the same period. The very high carcass ratios suggest a lot of bushmeant hunting is taking place. However the carcass ratio has dropped significantly by the time this last survey was conducted.