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Roadkill rates alarming as 380 animals, birds perish

THE public has been urged to join up forces to curb road carnage in animals and birds, as alarming figures of wildlife road deaths emerge.

In just 58 kilometres of 47 transects of Tarangire Manyara Ecosystem (TME) in the northern part of the country, a record animals and birds were killed by vehicles plying in the area last year alone.

The Director of Centre for Wildlife Management Studies, Dr Bernard Kissui unveiled the figures at Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Thursday, saying the road kills have a lot of impact in the wildlife as it means that on average each day animals and birds are killed.

“Road kills of animal counts are at an alarming rate; just last year (2019) 380 animals were killed by vehicles as per our data. The bloody spot is at Kwakuchinja.

This has to be stopped by joining forces among stakeholders,” said Dr Kissui who is a specialist in research on animals.

He noted that there is a huge problem that must be addressed by both the government and private sector, and proposed that in the wildlife corridors be constructed flyovers or underpass so as to get rid of the souring killings.

Dr Kissui was also of the opinion that some speed humps and cameras should be fitted on the areas so as to record the incidents and authorities take necessary actions, put warning sign posts, on the areas and warned that the situation is a multisectoral issue.

In a field visit by journalists from the Journalists' Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) that was supported by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr Kissui said that other species that are in danger and are being killed are aves and reptilia.

He said that some of the causes are attributed to high speed and carelessness of drivers, animals' attitude in moving around especially at night, adding that most lions are killed during rainy seasons. He said that elephants are also killed in their corridors

The field visit was preceded by three-day training to 30 journalists across the country on biodiversity conservation reporting.

The training built their capacity to communicate biodiversity conservation messages and raise awareness and passion for reporting conservation issues.

USAID and JET support journalists by providing a five-month mentorship programme, field visits and story grants.  The project was a success; it helped create awareness not only on conservation matters but further on tourism.

The Burunge WMA is located in Tanzania's wildlife-rich northern tourist circuit and is close to both Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. It is roughly 18 kilometres from the main gate of Tarangire National Park, 20 kilometres from Majimoto and Tarangire airstrips and less than 10 kilometres from the southern boundary of the Lake Manyara National Park.

The WMA is bisected by the Arusha-Babati-Singida-Dodoma Highway.

It occupies the land and the migratory corridors between Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and the adjacent Manyara ranch, making it an area of high conservation significance.

The area is widely known for its large buffalo population that moves in and out of Tarangire.

The presence of Lake Burunge in the WMA attracts the migration of water birds such as greater and lesser flamingos and a range of ducks and shore birds.

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has asked leaders and the ...

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Author: DEUS NGOWI

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