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Tanzania Journal of Science

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Assessment of anti-poaching effort in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

CL Nahonyo

Abstract




Anti-poaching effort in Ruaha National Park for the period between January 1996 to June 1999 was evaluated in terms of strength, frequency and duration of patrols, area covered and success of patrols. It was found that the park spent 72.4 US$ km-2 year-1 on law enforcement. There were 72 rangers each required to patrol on the average 143 km2. A total of 1,255 patrols were conducted; patrols ranged from 14 to 43 trips per month and each lasted between 1 to 25 days and most were foot and vehicle patrols. Patrol units had 2 to 11 rangers while the average patrol effort ranged from 36 ranger-days 100km-2 year-1 to 120 ranger-days 100 km-2 year-1. The success of sighting poaching signs varied from 4.3 signs 100 ranger-days-1 to 10.5 signs 100 ranger-days-1. Patrol units on foot were more likely to sight poachers than those on vehicles. Armed patrols were more likely to encounter poaching gangs during the dry than wet season possibly because visibility was better in the dry season. About 90% to 100% rangers were armed during patrols. Over 60% of encountered poachers were arrested. Increasing the number of armed patrol units is likely to increase success in sighting and arresting poachers through improving patrol efficiency. However, this should be coupled with increased funding; patrol vehicles, ranger force and improved road system

Tanzania Journal of Science Vol. 31 (2) 2005: pp. 13-22



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjs.v31i2.18416
AJOL African Journals Online