Elephant poaching declines in Tanzania's national parks: official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-23 01:06:44|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- There has been significant success in Tanzania's war against poaching with the number of elephants killed last year dropping to 23 from 194 in 2017, said the government on Tuesday.

Adolph Mkenda, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said that the decrease is due to enhanced anti-poaching activities involving multi-sectoral organs.

"In the entire year, some 211 elephant tusks were seized by authorities together with 20,000 rounds of ammunition," Mkenda said in the country's capital, Dodoma, when opening a capacity-building workshop for anti-poaching officers from the police force, Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau and national wildlife management authorities.

He said information from wildlife conservation agencies indicated that there was an increase in the number of wildlife in many parks and reserves, including the Selous Game Reserve which has been devastated by poaching in recent years.

Late last year, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and Tanzania National Parks embarked on an aerial wildlife census within Selous-Mikumi ecosystem to establish the number of wildlife as well as poaching activities.

The exercise conducted in collaboration with Frankfurt Zoological Society was part of the Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development Program that is funded by Germany's KfW Development Bank.

The census organizers noted that the most recent surge in poaching from 2000 to 2010, driven by soaring demand for ivory, largely reduced elephant population.

Selous Game Reserve was placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2014 mainly due to the poaching threat.