Tourism players in Tanzania have called for sustainable wildlife conservation efforts to contain poaching of large mammals such as elephants.
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Chairman, Wilbard Chambulo, warned that if the poaching of elephants is not addressed, the beautiful creatures might be wiped off in the local parks.
Speaking in Arusha recently during the commemoration of Tanzania’s founding father, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Day, Chambulo pointed out that TATO would collaborate with Tanzania National Parks and Frankfurt Zoological Society in coming up with new initiatives to contain poaching.
“We are marking Nyerere Day in Arusha with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of conservation in the wake of declining wildlife population in the country,” he added.
The population of black rhinos in Tanzania, he said, was also under threat, warning that they might also be wiped off if wildlife authorities and concerned parties don’t intensify the war against poaching.
TATO CEO, Sirili Akko, said: “If Tanzanians do not conserve the wildlife, the country’s tourism sector will be dealt a blow in future.”
Akko noted that Nyerere left a legacy through championing the conservation of wildlife, and urged local communities to supplement the Tanzania National Parks’ efforts to combat poaching of wild animals.
Frankfurt Zoological Society Project Manager, Masegeri Rurai, commented: “We must do what we can to end poaching of wildlife in the Serengeti National Park and other Tanzanian parks.”
Community Outreach Department representative in the Serengeti National Park, Joyce Mungure, pointed out that poaching could be stopped if Tanzanians intensify the war on poaching.
Wildlife conservation in Tanzania suffered a major blow in August, when a leading conservationist, Wayne Lotter, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Dar es Salaam.
Lotter was a Director and Co-founder of the PAMS Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation that provided conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa.
The latest elephant census data show that elephant populations in Africa fell by 30 per cent between 2007 and 2014.
Tanzania experienced one of the biggest declines in elephant numbers, where the census documented a 60 per cent decrease in the population.