DAR ES SALAAM, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian wildlife authorities said on Tuesday the government has set up a national rhino management plan aimed at facilitating smooth rhino tracking in the Selous Game Reserve.
Alex Lobora, a senior researcher with state-owned Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), said the plan was part of efforts aimed at protecting black rhinos located in the reserve, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its wildlife diversity and undisturbed nature.
"Currently, TAWIRI is preparing a national strategy for ensuring that black rhinos continue to survive in the country and to continue promoting tourism," Lobora told a technical and coordination meeting in Morogoro region in Tanzania.
The meeting was jointly organized by WWF Tanzania, TAWIRI and the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
"In the existing rhino strategic and management plan we have set ten strategies, these strategies have come from stakeholders and have focused on the challenges that rhinos face in their environment," he said.
The Ruvuma Landscape Coordinator for WWF Tanzania, James Nshare, said that the main purpose of the meeting was to generate the best rhino tracking methodology and a joint action plan for rhino.
"WWF works with stakeholders in the government and other partners to ensure that rhino conservation is improved and well-coordinated in the Selous Game Reserve," said Nshare.
Singira Parsais, Selous Game Reserve ecologist and rhino coordinator from TAWA, said the miombo woodland forest in the Selous Game Reserve was making rhino tracking process difficult.
"This environment also made it difficult to recognize the population of the rhinos and their protection too," added Parsais.
Tanzania had about 10,000 black rhinos towards the end of 1960s. However, their population started to diminish in the early 1970s following strong poaching pressure that almost exterminated the species.