By Marc Nkwame
Arusha — The Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute(TAWIRI) intends to start the second phase of elephant census in the Northern Circuit that comprises Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara national parks.
The Director General for the Arusha-based TAWIRI, Dr Simon Mduma, revealed the information while speaking at a brief ceremony to receive Modern Research Equipment and vehicles from the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) for the institute's projects.
"In the backdrop of raising concern over acts of increased poaching and related illegal ivory trade, TAWIRI embarked on extensive wildlife census in local national parks, conservation areas and game reserves and having accomplished the tasks in Ruaha NP and Selou Game Reserve, we are now moving north," stated Dr Mduma.
The Serengeti-based Frankfurt Zoological Society, in marking the International Wildlife Day on Monday, donated research equipment and vehicles all being valued at 200,000 Euros, equivalent to over 400m/-.
These include Aerial Survey tools and machinery, auxiliary power generators, plane fuel filters, camping gear and office computers with related accessories.
The FZS also handed over, to TAWIRI, two vehicles including a 26-seater Toyota Coaster Bus with registration DFP-7326 and a Four-Wheel-Drive Ford Ranger, Double-Cab truck bearing plate numbers DFP-5965.
The FZS Programme Manager, Mr Gerald Bigurube, said it was vital for a national research body like TAWIRI to be fully equipped with modern technology and facilities, if whatever information it churns out must be correct and timely.
"It is very important to produce reliable, accurate and timely data on wildlife and related environment in the country at a time when climate change, emerging diseases and even poaching incidences are becoming notorious," stated Dr Bigurube who once served as the Director General for the Tanzania National Parks.
TAWIRI produces researched information on flora and fauna for the consumption of conservation bodies like the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and the Wildlife Department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.