TANZANIA: 13 ELEPHANTS TO BE FITTED WITH SATELLITE COLLARS

DAR ES SALAAM-- Thirteen adult elephants will be fitted with satellite collars in the next 10 days in Tanzania's Mikumi National Park and Selous Game Reserve, WWF Tanzania said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement said the fitting with satellite collars of the 13 elephants will bring to 20 the total number of elephants fitted with the global positioning system (GPS) satellite collars on adult elephants in core areas and outside the core areas of the Selous ecosystem.

"The fitting of satellite collars with improved technology will facilitate the collection of data for effective monitoring and security provision to large mammal movements and especially the elephants that have, in recent years, been decimated by poaching," said the WWF statement.

The statement added that the fitting of GPS collars will also strengthen elephant conservation efforts in the Selous Game Reserve by alerting field teams where each elephant family with elephants fitted with GPS collars were heading to and help move them away from croplands and reduce the risk of human-elephant conflicts.

"It will also identify critical habitats, seasonal dispersal areas and corridors for elephants that may require enhanced protection," said the statement.

Amani Ngusaru, WWF Tanzania Country Director, said WWF was supporting the Selous Game Reserve to attain zero poaching.

"We are excited to be part of this important exercise and to support the government's efforts in the conservation of elephants in the country," he said.

Ngusaru added the use of satellite collars was a proven technology as an effective measure to monitor wildlife movements and at providing a security function.

He said the Greater Selous ecosystem required special attention of all concerned conservation partners because it was the only area that can guarantee a sufficient space for elephants and other wildlife.

The collaring exercise which began in December 2017 targeting 60 elephants was being done in phases depending on prevailing weather conditions.

WWF was doing the collaring in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK