By Wayne Lotter and Krissie Clark
The Ruvuma Elephant Project (REP) area is located in the United Republic of Tanzania and lies between Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania and Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. The area is dominated by miombo woodland with a mosaic of different land uses. Unfortunately, this mosaic of wildlife, forests, people with a variety of often competing land uses, as well as the presence of an international border close by, helps make it one of the worst impacted areas in Africa in terms of elephant poaching for the ivory trade. Despite the recent resurgence of elephant poaching in Tanzania and in particular within the Selous ecosystem which includes the REP area, the results show the project has managed to curb elephant poaching. It is believed that the local elephant population within the REP area should remain stable if current anti-poaching input levels can be maintained.The success of the REP may be attributed to various approaches and activities that are beyond the scope of conventional anti-poaching units or programmes. These include a strong focus on: working with communities to achieve their reciprocal support and participation; joint patrols and operations; and intelligence-led operations within and outside the protected areas. Paper.