Protecting Wildlife Corridors in the Greater Tarangire Ecosystem

Purpose

Zoo conservationists work with partners in the Greater Tarangire Ecosystem to protect the main migration corridors for African buffalo, elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, and other important species while also working with communities to protect their livelihoods and create a win-win for wildlife and communities.

About

The Tarangire ecosystem in northern Tanzania supports approximately 85,000 animals, which migrate on an annual basis between national parks and community lands. This migration is the third- largest in East Africa, and includes large populations of elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, and African buffalos, as well as important populations of predators, such as lions, wild dogs, leopards, and hyaenas. In total, the ecosystem sustains at least 26 species of carnivores and 24 species of hoofed animals, making this one of the most diverse ecosystems for large mammals globally.

Threats

Wildlife have historically migrated throughout the Tarangire ecosystem to access high-quality vegetation and water as the seasons change from wet to dry. These essential resources are not sufficient in Tarangire National Park alone, so wildlife’s survival is dependent on the migration to surrounding areas on community lands.

Although many of the residents who live adjacent to the national park are livestock-herders and have traditionally tolerated and co-existed with wildlife on their land, this large-scale movement of wildlife is increasingly threatened by habitat change from agriculture and human settlement.

Conservation Efforts

Zoo conservationists work closely with a local partner organization, the Ujamaa Community Resource Team, and other organizations to protect land exclusively for livestock grazing and wildlife. Using Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy, a community can permanently safeguard a part of their land for a specific purpose, such as grazing, wildlife use, and tourism. It’s a win-win for wildlife and local communities that are eager to protect their grazing land from agricultural expansion.

To date, more than 1 million acres of community land has been set aside via these certificates. The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that the main migration corridors in the ecosystem are protected through a contiguous set of protected land, allowing for uninterrupted movement of livestock and wildlife across the Greater Tarangire Ecosystem.

Staff

Charles Foley, Ph.D.
Senior Conservation Scientist
Tanzania Conservation Research Program
Lara Foley, M.S.
Research Coordinator
Tanzania Conservation Research Program

Partners

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The Tanzania Conservation Research Program

 

Lincoln Park Zoo researchers and partners protect threatened wildlife and help people and wildlife coexist in Tanzania, Africa.

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