By Wolfgang H. Thome
A report from researchers and scientists, released earlier this week in Tanzania, paints a gloomy picture over the future survival of the endemic red colobus monkeys of the Udzungwa Forest National Park. The subspecies, apparently only found in this part of Southern Tanzania, are under severe threat according to the publication, due to hunting for bush meat and reckless cutting of large swathes of these forests, reducing the habitat needed for the subspecies to survive.
The report also claims that for several years now no effective protection measures or anti-poaching operations have been in place and that the same was true for stopping "tree poachers" from cutting precious tropical hard wood for commercial sale.
Researchers and conservationists also pointed out that the Udzungwa Forest – as were others neighboring them – were traditional water towers and that the rapid deforestation could have a potentially disastrous effect on the dams and hydro-power generation depending on streams and rivers originating in these forests.
Tanzania has been under sustained scrutiny over failed anti-poaching measures and the illicit trade in tropical woods, but other than official denials and statements to the contrary, little evidence can be found that the country is making a concerted effort to stopping these activities and bringing the culprits, their buyers, and the financiers to book. More....