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Tanzania, Australia

Elisa M.,Katavi National Park | Gara J.I.,Katavi National Park | Wolanski E.,James Cook University
Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology | Year: 2010

Several cases of the developing water crisis in semi-arid regions of Tanzania are described. Some cases have transboundary causes. These include Lake Victoria and the riparian population as a result of hydroelectricity developments in Uganda, the Serengeti ecosystem threatened by deforestation of the Mau forest and irrigation in Kenya, and several national parks threatened by irrigation projects within Tanzania. Some of these developments are given national priorities like in case of the Great Ruaha River. Other irrigation projects are driven by the local population to combat poverty. Most of these developments are in breach of state laws because there is no consideration of minimal environmental fows and all have profound negative impacts on people and wildlife downstream. The paper describes the previously unreported case of irrigation in the upper Katuma River that fows into Lake Rukwa, which lead to poverty increase, environmental degradation and a decrease in ecosystem services provision downstream. Governance at the watershed scale in a framework compatible with ecohydrology principles is needed. Such solutions are proposed. Source

Caro T.,University of California at Davis | Caro T.,Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute | Elisa M.,Katavi National Park | Gara J.,Katavi National Park | And 5 more authors.
African Zoology | Year: 2013

Many protected areas in Africa and elsewhere suffer from several external pressures making it difficult for management to set priorities. For example, aerial censuses show that many mammal populations in the Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem of western Tanzania are declining. Vehicle transect data collected from 1995 to 2011 and presented here confirm many of these declines within Katavi National Park itself. Two factors are believed to be adversely affecting large mammals in this national park: (i) reduced water flow caused by local damming of the Katuma River, for rice cultivation upstream of the park, and (ii) poaching. We used transect data, anti-poaching records and timing of dam emplacements to examine the importance of these factors for 23 species of mammalian herbivores and carnivores as well as two combinatorial measures of mammal species' abundances. Controlling for rainfall, we found that the number of mammals counted per year was associated with both poaching and dams, the importance of which depended on the species. Both factors appear to be adversely affecting mammal populations in Katavi National Park and we make recommendations to both management and policy makers for tackling these problems. More generally, our study shows that wildlife managers of protected areas in the developing world can readily collect information on wildlife trends and basic ecology and can use them for conservation planning. Source

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