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Ngorongoro rhinos rebound
2017-06-06 16:12
THE CITIZEN Monday 5 June 2017
The number of rhinos being protected at the Ngorongoro Crater has increased to more than 50 due to conservation relentless efforts
By Mussa Juma @TheCitizenTz
Arusha. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) had a total of 108 rhinos in 1968 but the number dropped sharply to only 25 in 1977, less than ten years later, due to poaching.
This was revealed by Dr Humphrey Kiwia, a lecturer on wildlife conservation with the University of Dar es Salaam during an interview with The Citizen.
Most of the rhinos in Ngorongoro then roamed freely in their natural habitat within the vast 8,000 square kilometre NCA, including the crater where the reintroduced animals are now found.
He said although efforts are underway to re-introduce the highly endangered rhinos in NCA and other parts of the country, he was worried of their safety and that of the elephants because of the increasing incidences of the animals being felled down for their trophies.
He appealed to the government to intensify the fight against the poachers, targeting mainly the rhinos and elephants because their trophies fetched good money in the Asian markets due to the rising demand there.
Dr Kiwia, who is a rhino researcher, however, lauded the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) for efforts being done to enhance the protection of the highly endangered animals.
Currently, according to him, the number of rhinos being protected at the Ngorongoro Crater has increased to more than 50 due to relentless efforts made by the government through the conservation agencies.
However, the chairperson of the Land, Natural Resources and Tourism Committee of the National Assembly Eng. Atashasta Nditiye said the danger of Tanzania losing all its rhinos, elephants and other endangered animals was real due to their killing by poachers.The deputy minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Eng Ramo Makani said the government would use all the resources and energy to protect the rhinos regardless of the costs.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
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