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THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT IN TANZANIA LESSONS FROM THE RUAHA ECOSYSTEM

Authors:
  • Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology
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... The river is also an important refuge for wildlife and livestock during the dry season (Abade et al. 2014). The climate of the area is mainly semi-arid, with mean annual rainfall ranging from 500 to 600 mm (Walsh 2000;SPANEST 2016). Precipitation occurs from November to March/early April. ...
... According to focus group discussions in participating villages, communities supported its creation expecting tangible benefits in return for giving up on illegal hunting and encroachment. Initially, communities benefited from a hunting quota allocated to them by the wildlife division in the southern part of the LMGCA (Walsh 2000). We argue, therefore, that supporting the WMA creation was based on the promises made to communities on subsequent benefits that would accrue from wildlife. ...
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Participatory approaches to conservation are viewed as a plausible alternative to the old ‘fortress conservation’ approach. The design and implementation of these approaches in developing countries have tended to embrace community participation through decentralized governance mechanisms in the past three decades. However, sustainable conservation approaches that maintain community livelihoods while conserving biodiversity are challenged with meeting both objectives. In addressing this challenge, little attention has been given to an empirical analysis of community’s satisfaction levels on how they participated in the design and implementation of this approach. In this article, we use a mixed method approach using both quantitative and qualitative data to examine levels of satisfaction and participation of local communities in the Idodi-Pawaga Wildlife Management Area (WMA), south-western Tanzania. We find that social economic factors (e.g. age, household size, gender, number of years living in the same location and participation/non-participation) influence, in different ways, the satisfaction levels of community’s participation towards the WMA creation. Due to inadequate participation, we find that the WMA design and implementation process failed from the beginning to actively involve the local communities and this has resulted in the near absence of the promised economic benefits from wildlife conservation. We suggest that participation should go beyond the simple information sharing to actively engage the local communities in key planning activities from the beginning of any WMA programme. It is also important to take into consideration their levels of satisfaction with the process of decision-making if meaningful decentralized governance is to be achieved.
... The climate of the Rungwa-Ruaha ecosystem is primarily semi-arid to arid with mean annual rainfall ranging from 500-600mm (Walsh 2000;SPANEST 2016). Rainfall occurs between December to January and March to April and tends to increase with altitude (Abade et al. 2014;SPANEST 2016). ...
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Convivial conservation is presented as an anti-capitalist approach and alternative to current mainstream conservation as well as proposals for 'half-earth' and 'new conservation' approaches. This paper reviews these approaches and situates them in the global South conservation and development context. Using the Ruaha-Rungwa Ecosystem in Tanzania as a case study, it examines elements of the convivial conservation vision in relation to three critical conservation problems: path dependencies of state conservation agencies; heavy reliance on tourism revenue; and political interests in community conservation areas. The analysis draws on empirical data obtained from published studies and extensive field-based research by the first author in the study area. It demonstrates that while the convivial conservation approach may be considered a radical and plausible alternative to the 'half earth' and new conservation proposals, its implementation in the global South will remain challenging in the face of the existing conservation problems. The paper suggests a socio-ecological justice approach that complements the convivial conservation vision through a systemic incorporation of the rights and responsibilities of different conservation stakeholders from the perspective of procedural, recognition, distributive, and environmental justice.
... These areas are therefore critical to many potential wildlife corridors (Riggio and Caro, 2017), which are particularly important for securing functional connectivity for leopard and other large carnivores (Fattebert et al., 2015). However, despite their potential to contribute to conservation goals, community-managed areas in Tanzania appear to have achieved mixed success in engagement of local communities (Walsh, 2000) and poverty reduction (Keane et al., 2020). Challenges of this kindwhich are also faced by similar initiatives elsewhere on the continentmay limit the efficacy of community management as a long-term conservation tool if left unaddressed. ...
Article
With large carnivores undergoing widespread range contractions across Africa, effective monitoring across mixed-use landscapes should be considered a priority to identify at-risk populations and prioritise conservation actions. We provide the first comparison of leopard population density within different components of a mixed-use landscape in Tanzania, via spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) modelling of camera trap data from the Ruaha-Rungwa landscape in 2018 and 2019. Population density was highest in highly-productive Acacia-Commiphora habitat in the core tourist area of Ruaha National Park (6.81 ± 1.24 leopards per 100 km^2). The next highest density (4.23 ± 1.02 per 100 km^2) was estimated in similar habitat in a neighbouring community-managed area (Idodi-Pawaga MBOMIPA WMA). Lowest densities were estimated in miombo (Brachystegia-Jubelnardia) woodland habitat, both in a trophy hunting area (Rungwa Game Reserve; 3.36 ± 1.09 per 100 km^2) and inside the National Park (3.23 ± 1.25 per 100 km^2). Population density was highly correlated with prey abundance, suggesting that variation in leopard density may be primarily driven by availability of prey, which likely varies with habitat types and anthropogenic impacts. Anthropogenic mortality may also have a direct influence on leopard in more impacted areas, but further research is required to investigate this. Our findings show that a hunting area with significant protection investment supports a leopard density comparable to similar habitat in a photographic tourism area. We also provide evidence that community-managed areas have the potential to effectively conserve large carnivore populations at relatively high densities, but may be vulnerable to edge effects.
... The climate of the region is semi-arid to arid, with an average annual precipitation of 500 mm, and a bimodal rainy season from December to January and March to April [29]. The vegetation cover is a mosaic of semi-arid savannahs and northerly Zambesian miombo woodlands [30]. ...
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Understanding large carnivore occurrence patterns in anthropogenic landscapes adjacent to protected areas is central to developing actions for species conservation in an increasingly human-dominated world. Among large carnivores, leopards (Panthera pardus) are the most widely distributed felid. Leopards occupying anthropogenic landscapes frequently come into conflict with humans, which often results in leopard mortality. Leopards' use of anthropogenic landscapes, and their frequent involvement with conflict, make them an insightful species for understanding the determinants of carnivore occurrence across human-dominated habitats. We evaluated the spatial variation in leopard site use across a multiple-use landscape in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape. Our study region encompassed i) Ruaha National Park, where human activities were restricted and sport hunting was prohibited ; ii) the Pawaga-Idodi Wildlife Management Area, where wildlife sport hunting, wildlife poaching, and illegal pastoralism all occurred at relatively low levels; and iii) surrounding village lands where carnivores and other wildlife were frequently exposed to human-carnivore conflict related-killings and agricultural habitat conversion and development. We investigated leopard occurrence across the study region via an extensive camera trapping network. We estimated site use as a function of environmental (i.e. habitat and anthropogenic) variables using occupancy models within a Bayesian framework. We observed a steady decline in leopard site use with downgrading protected area status from the national park to the Wildlife Management Area and village lands. Our findings suggest that human-related activities such as increased livestock presence and proximity to human households exerted stronger influence than prey availability on leopard site use, and were the major limiting factors of leopard distribution across the gradient of human pressure, especially in the village lands outside Ruaha National Park. Overall, our study provides valuable information about the determinants of spatial distribution of leopards in human-dominated landscapes that can help inform conservation strategies in the borderlands adjacent to protected areas.
... To assess the relationship of male and female pastoralists' income with household food security and nutrition status in Tanzania climates, with short rainfall patterns providing approximately 500 mm annually (Walsh, 2000;Arnold, 2001). ...
Article
Although previous work provides a significant baseline for understanding the impact of gender on household decision making and resource (i.e. income and food) allocation, there are gaps in evidence for important groups, including East African pastoralists. Previous authors have noted that pastoralists’ gender roles and relations appear to be resistant to change, potentially impeding household development. This paper attempts to assess the relationship between male and female pastoralists’ income control and household food security and nutritional status in Tanzania. We use three surveys: a household-level livestock health and economics survey, a household food security survey, and an individual woman-level survey on diet, nutritional status, and health. The surveys were administered to 196 pastoralist households from three tribes (Maasai, Sukuma, and Barabaig) in Tanzania in 2012-13. The results support what the majority of the previous studies find, that women’s income has a positive association with dietary diversity but also differ from the previous studies since women’s income has a negative association with household food security. While previous studies show that women’s income will have a larger positive correlation with household food security and dietary diversity than men’s income, our findings show that not only does men’s income have a negative association with household food security and dietary diversity, but also that women’s income does not have a statistically significant, larger positive correlation with household food security and dietary diversity than men’s income. We also find that chicken ownership and education for the head household in the pastoralist communities have a significant positive association with household food security and nutrition status.
... The climate of the region is semi-arid to arid, with rainfall peaks occurring between December to January and March to April, and an average annual rainfall of 500mm (Walsh, 2000). The temperature ranges from 15 to 35ºC (Darch, 1996). ...
Thesis
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Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivore conservation, harbouring roughly 10% of the world’s lions, and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, these large carnivore populations are threatened by intense retaliatory killing due to human-carnivore conflict on village land around Ruaha National Park (RNP), mostly as a result of livestock predation by lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas. Moreover, a current lack of ecological data on the distribution of these carnivores hinders the development of effective strategies for conservation and targeted conflict mitigation in this landscape. This study aimed to identify the most significant ecogeographical variables (EGVs) influencing the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape, and to map areas of conservation importance for these species. In addition, the study assessed the influence of EGVs on livestock predation risk by these carnivores in the village land around RNP, and generated a predictive map of predation risk. The relative importance of livestock husbandry practices and EGVs in terms of influencing predation risk within enclosures was also investigated. Proximity to rivers was the most important variable influencing the distribution of large carnivores in Ruaha, and contributed to predation risk of grazing livestock. The traditional livestock husbandry adopted in bomas appeared insufficient to alleviate the inherent risk of predation by large carnivores. The study produced the first detailed maps of lion, leopard and spotted hyaena distribution in the critically important Ruaha landscape, and identified likely livestock depredation hotspots. These results will target conflict mitigation approaches around Ruaha, by identifying particularly high-risk areas for livestock enclosures and grazing stock. Improving husbandry in these areas could help reduce livestock depredation and retaliatory carnivore killing, therefore reducing one of the most significant conservation threats in this critically important landscape.
... The study region is located at a transition point between ecosystems, from the northern Acacia-Commiphora zone dominated by semi-arid savannah vegetation to the southern Brachystegia zone characterized by miombo woodlands (Williams 2005). The climate of Pawaga and Idodi divisions is semi-arid to arid, with bi-modal rainfall patterns providing approximately 500 mm annually (Walsh 2000;Arnold 2001). The amount of rainfall increases along the northeast-southwest gradient of the divisions, with more precipitation in the southern villages creating a wetter environment than that found in the northern villages. ...
Article
Full-text available
East African pastoralists and their livestock are vulnerable to alterations in resource availability and disease transmission and frequently face poor access to livestock health services. Government veterinarians tasked with guiding health services must prioritize livestock health risks and allocate limited resources across disparate ecosystems with different disease threats. To identify livestock diseases of concern and strategies for improving herd health and resilience, we conducted community focus groups with pastoralists and interviewed pastoralist household leaders, village extension officers, and government veterinary officials in south-central Tanzania, an area experiencing rapid population growth and environmental change. All participants discussed pastoralist access to livestock health services, livestock disease priorities, and means to improve livestock health. Perceptions of diseases of importance differed among pastoralists, extension officers, and government veterinarians. Spatial differences in diseases of concern among study area pastoralists emphasized the need for locally adaptable livestock health service delivery. Although pastoralist strategies to improve livestock health differed by ethnic group, many pastoralists as well as extension officers and government veterinarians identified livestock health education and training for pastoralists and extension officers as a critical need. Policies designed at the regional, rather than the local, level may not reflect the disease concerns of the entire area. To effectively address veterinary health problems and make livestock herds more resilient to environmental change, conditions at the local level must be considered. Education targeted to pastoralist households and extension officers could achieve greater flexibility in the livestock health system and provide more reliable information about local conditions for governmental policymakers.
... The climate of RNP is semi-arid to arid, with rainfall peaks occurring from December to January and March to April, and an average annual rainfall of 500 mm [26]. Altitude across the landscape ranges from 696 to 2171 m asl. ...
Article
Camera trap surveys exclusively targeting features of the landscape that increase the probability of photographing one or several focal species are commonly used to draw inferences on the richness, composition and structure of entire mammal communities. However, these studies ignore expected biases in species detection arising from sampling only a limited set of potential habitat features. In this study, we test the influence of camera trap placement strategy on community-level inferences by carrying out two spatially and temporally concurrent surveys of medium to large terrestrial mammal species within Tanzania's Ruaha National Park, employing either strictly game trail-based or strictly random camera placements. We compared the richness, composition and structure of the two observed communities, and evaluated what makes a species significantly more likely to be caught at trail placements. Observed communities differed marginally in their richness and composition , although differences were more noticeable during the wet season and for low levels of sampling effort. Lognormal models provided the best fit to rank abundance distributions describing the structure of all observed communities, regardless of survey type or season. Despite this, carnivore species were more likely to be detected at trail placements relative to random ones during the dry season, as were larger bodied species during the wet season. Our findings suggest that, given adequate sampling effort (> 1400 camera trap nights), placement strategy is unlikely to affect inferences made at the community level. However, surveys should consider more carefully their choice of placement strategy when targeting specific taxonomic or trophic groups.
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