The Annual Recap: Tanzania reports 90 percent reduction in poaching activities

The Annual Recap: Tanzania reports 90 percent reduction in poaching activities

Tanzania, under the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, has reported a 90 percent reduction in poaching as a result its multi-pronged anti-poaching campaign.

Nearly 100 poaching groups have been dismantled by Tanzanian authorities in the fiscal year 2020/2021, according to a statement from Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. As the Government continues to take steps towards creating a zero-poaching strategy, Mantra Tanzania Ltd. and the world-wide initiative - The Rhisotope Project - continue offering full support to ensure wildlife protection.

Let’s recap what has been done so far. The Rhino Project is an initiative between WITS University, top global nuclear scientists, researchers, South African rhino owners and the best wildlife veterinarians in the world to significantly reduce rhino poaching. In short, by placing radioactive material in rhino’s horn, an effective demand reduction and rhino protection tool are created.

On September 16th, the first phase of the Rhisotope Project was successfully completed. To prove this, Igor and Denver, two rhinos, were darted and sedated, at which point the cocktail of stable isotopes was introduced into their horn.

These animals were isolated into a separate camp or field where they were closely observed and the trained rangers took daily urine and faecal samples.

The analysis has shown that there was no movement of material. However, making scientific discoveries that can deal with a problem and save the species is only part of the deal. Another important job is to engage with the locals to help raise awareness of the issue.

Therefore on 16th and 17th of November an aquaponics unit, placed in Paterson, was launched. After the event, two lectures were held at schools of the region. The aquaponics unit, as well as the training programme, were implemented by La Pieus, a leading aquaponics installer at schools, community projects and sites around Africa. The CEO of LPA is an 18-year-old ecology activist Rikalize Reinecke, who started her own aquaculture and aquaponics farm in 2014.

“Aquaponics is the most sustainable farming method of the new century. This system gives you the opportunity to process food in your backyard and generate a small income. One system can feed a family of four to six people sustainably”, - said Ms. Reinecke.

The Rhisotope Project is currently undergoing the next stage and will soon be back with new findings.

Once the study is completed, the project will be extended to the whole of Africa and other continents. Conservation organisations will be able to benefit from the training programmes free of charge. The project could also be used to save other endangered species. “We are also starting to think about whether we can do it with elephant ivory and then maybe look at cycad plants.

These items have a high value, because of their rarity, but are smuggled. You can think of these isotopes as a tracking device that doesn’t run out. There are about 11,000 installed radiation points, there are border agents, custom agents that can easily track them”, mentioned Dr. James Larkin, Director of Radiation and Health Physics Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand and the founder of the Project.

The successful reduction of illegal activities of poaching groups also goes in the books as another win for Mantra Tanzania Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mantra Resources Pty Limited, which joined forces with the government to establish an initiative to prevent poaching.

Through the APU unit, they have been able to conduct proactive anti-poaching patrols and training to TANAPA conservation rangers which have contributed to the significant reduction of anti-poaching.

Since the launch of its anti-poaching initiative in 2013, Mantra has provided funding to train and equip 20 game wardens who regularly patrol the assigned area of 20,000 km2 adjacent to the Mkuju River project site.

Aerial surveillance of the area using unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with night vision cameras, GPS navigation, and video transmitters is also in place. Such initiatives play an important role in helping wildlife.

Moreover, it is very rewarding to see the results: for example, the elephant population in the Serengeti ecological system has increased from 6,087 in 2014 to 7,061 in 2020. And it is just the beginning.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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