Poaching has gone down by 70 per cent in Tanzania

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Hamisi Kigwangala

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Government say efforts to curb illegal wildlife activities such as poaching is yielding fruits

Arusha. Wanton killing of animals for their trophies has dropped by over 70 per cent, thanks to enhanced anti-poaching drive.

The campaign has been beefed by use of intelligence in tracking down the poachers, the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Hamisi Kigwangala said here Sunday.

He admitted, however, that criminals behind the illegal wildlife trade have now turned to their remaining stocks of the animal trophies, mainly ivory.

“They have stocks of tusks and other trophies like the pangolin skins. They are struggling hard to sneak them outside the country”, he pointed out.

Dr Kigwangalla told journalists after opening a regional meeting on trans-boundary wildlife crimes that Tanzania has largely succeeded in the war against poaching.

He added the government has taken deliberate efforts against the menace in order to protect its multi-million dollar tourism industry which is wildlife-based by 90 per cent.

He specifically lauded members of the anti-poaching force for embracing modern intelligence gathering systems in cracking down the killing of the animals and illegal wildlife trade.

The head of the anti-poaching squad Robert Mande said until 2015 Tanzania was among the eight African countries where poaching was rife.

This, he stated, was no longer the case as the killing of the elephants alone has dropped by 55 per cent with no cases of killing of the jumbo reported in some protected areas.

The director of wildlife in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Maurus Msuha said through the use of ICT, game rangers were now able to monitor the movement of some animals.

The technology has been applied mostly to the elephants, among the most hunted down animals, with some fitted with electronic devices to monitor their movements.

Technologies used in combating wildlife crimes include those developed by the Sensing and Technology Centre (Restec) of Japan.

One of the advanced monitoring technologies can intercept poaching and illegal wildlife trade through intelligence-based systems and save the endangered wildlife.