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African wildlife researchers urged
to work on poaching, climate change

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- African wildlife researchers are urged to diversify research areas to include new challenges of poaching and climate change.

Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki on Saturday stressed the need for researchers to gather collect right information and advice governments on better ways of conserving wild animals like jumbos and rhinos, which are the target for poachers.

He was speaking at the 9th Biennial Scientific Conference held in Arusha, northern part of Tanzania, which was organized by the Arusha-based Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and was attended by wildlife researchers from different countries in Africa and the world at large.

“There is a need for coming up with alternative ways that will help addressing increasing number of human settlements close to conserved areas,” Kagasheki said, adding that this is an area that needs to be worked on as if this trend left unattended there are dangers wildlife to disappear.

He called on researchers to ensure that their research findings reach out decision making bodies and people at large.

“It is time for wildlife researchers to diversify your researchers rather than relying on traditional research areas and priorities,” he said, “I understand that most long-term research works have concentrated on selected protected areas in the country, northern Tanzania in particular. And these studies have been mainly on some groups of animals or subjects.”

Allan Kijazi, Director General of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), said the conference has come at the time when the wildlife sector is under serious threat.

“Poaching and climate change are becoming serious enemies of this important sub-sector,” Kijazi said, adding that the country’s wildlife watchdog is closely working with scientists on the best ways that would help to address poaching.

TAWIRI’s director general Simioni Mduma said the biennial Scientific Conferences on wildlife science, management, and related disciplines with the aim of improving wildlife management in Tanzania and Africa in general.

He said the theme of this years’ conference is “Sustaining Wildlife Conservation in Growing Socio-economic Demands”. And its sub-themes include Human-wildlife interaction, Ecosystem health (disease ecology, zoonoses, one health and eco-health), ethno- botany and vegetation ecology, wildlife ecology and Ecological interactions.

Other sub-themes are wetlands and water resources conservation, climate Change (Impacts, Mitigation and adaptations) and beekeeping research and development, he said.

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