EDITORIAL: Protecting wildlife costly, but…

Sunday September 16 2018


The government has resorted to technology to curb rhino poaching which threatens to wipe the pachyderms off Tanzania’s wildlife map. This includes fitting rhinos with collars equipped with electronic devices for the animals’ safety at a total cost of Sh2.5 billion.

The collars facilitate tracking the beasts in the wilderness using global positioning system (GPS) technology, thus helping game wardens to keep skulking poachers at bay.

Threatened with extinction for their treasured horns, rhinos must be protected at all costs, we are told.

But as noted in a report we carried earlier this month, “...the population of the critically-endangered black rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater is rising, thanks to intensified patrolling against poachers…”

While wildlife officials will not reveal numbers (perhaps for fear of tempting poachers), past records show that the rhino population in Ngorongoro declined from 108 in 1968 to 25 in 1977. Thanks largely to intensified anti-poaching activities, rhino, elephant and lion numbers are steadily increasing.

If it takes ranger vigilance and GPS technology to prevent the extinction of endangered species – while simultaneously raising their numbers – then let us continue doing that by all means.