DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian
ecologists on Friday raised concern over the blocking of
wildlife corridors linking the protected areas with the adjacent
The ecologists working with the Arusha-based
Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) said the growing problem should
urgently be jointly addressed by all stakeholders, including
local governments and the surrounding communities.
Maria Saidia, head of conservation department at the Arusha
National Park, said: "The blockage of our only remaining
wildlife corridor is a matter of concern."
A wildlife corridor is a link of wildlife habitat, generally
native vegetation, which joins two or more larger areas of
similar wildlife habitat.
Corridors are critical for the maintenance of ecological
processes including allowing for the movement of animals and the
continuation of viable populations.
She said the 322 square kilometer park near Arusha city has
only the Kisimiri route used by the animals to move to and from
the adjacent nature reserves such as Mount Kilimanjaro and the
game-rich Longido and West Kilimanjaro plains.
Ecologists at the Tarangire National Park expressed similar
concerns, saying a wildlife corridor which once linked it with
Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA)
and other areas has been effectively blocked by human
activities, including farming, construction of structures and
grazing of livestock.
In the past, they said, the corridor stretched between
Makuyuni township in Monduli district and the Minjingu phosphate
mines in Babati district.
At Lake Manyara National Park, the problem has been
encroachment by human settlements from the fast-growing Mto wa
Mbu township and settlements at Jangwani, the north-eastern side
of the lake whose northern half is a protected area, they said.
Pendaeli Shafuri, an officer in charge of community outreach
at the Arusha National Park, said in addressing the problem, the
local people were being sensitized on the need to reduce
pressure on the fragile ecology of the park.
"We will also assist the villagers in preparing appropriate
land use plans friendly to being a neighbor to a protected area
such as the national park," said Shafuri.