DAR ES SALAAM: A Tanzanian government cabinet minister told parliament on Thursday that the country is working to fight against poaching.
“The government is continuing reinforcing anti-poaching efforts and at the same time fighting illegal ivory trade,” Hamisi Kigwangalla, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism told the House in the capital Dodoma.
Tabling his ministry’s budget estimates for the 2020/2021 financial year, Kigwangalla said the 2019 wildlife census showed the number of elephant carcasses spotted in protected areas and in wildlife management areas decreased from 14 in 2018 to three in 2019.
He said the census also showed an increase of elephants from 59 in 2014 to 1,200 in 2019 in the Mkomazi National Park in northern Tanzania.
The minister said a total of 9,085 suspected poachers were arrested in the 2019/2020 financial year and various legal actions were taken against them.
An aerial wildlife census released in February 2020 showed that there were 15,501 elephants in Tanzania’s Selous-Mikumi ecosystem, covering about 110,000 square kilometers.
The aerial wildlife census was led by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and the Tanzania National Parks between October and November 2018.
The elephant population in Tanzania, famed for its wildlife reserves, shrank from about 110,000 in 2009 to little more than 43,000 in 2014 due to rampant poaching, according to a 2015 census.