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Changes in large herbivore populations across large areas of Tanzania

Stoner, Chantal, Caro, Tim, Mduma, Simon, Mlingwa, Charles, Sabuni, George, Borner, Markus, Schelten, Christiane
African journal of ecology 2007 v.45 no.2 pp. 202-215
census data, conservation areas, gazelles, herbivores, population growth, surveys, zebras, Tanzania
We collated aerial census data collected during the late 1980s to early 2000s for large herbivore populations in eight large census zones in Tanzania. Of the ungulate populations that showed significant changes in densities at the start versus end of this decade, most declined; very few populations increased significantly. Thomson's gazelle, Grant's gazelle, hartebeest, reedbuck, roan antelope, sable antelope, warthog and zebra, for example, declined in over 50% of the zones where they were surveyed. Interestingly, small-bodied species fared particularly poorly in many census zones, whereas elephant and giraffe generally fared well across the country. Most populations of all herbivores declined in some portions of the country (e.g. Burigi-Biharamulo, Katavi, Greater Ruaha and Tarangire census zones). These surveys suggest that, even in a country renowned for its protected areas and conservation commitment, some large herbivore populations need more conservation attention in order to remain stable.