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University of Colorado Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


Elephants are threatened and their habitat, wildlife corridors and overall space to roam is diminishing due to an increasing human population. As more and more space is being utilized for human development, it has begun to interfere with existing migratory corridors. This is a problem because elephants tend to destroy farmlands on their route, destroying villagers’ livelihoods, and also on occasion, may kill or hurt humans. As a result, there is a human elephant conflict. This study focused on human elephant conflict in Esilalei as well as GPS mapping evidence of elephant migration along the projected corridor between Lake Manyara National Park and Manyara Ranch, and from Tarangire National Park to Manyara Ranch, sometimes passing through Esilalei before traveling to the Losimangori Mountains. In the village of Esilalei, 40 interviews were conducted with Maasai warriors and babas. The findings of these interviews reflected an ongoing human elephant conflict, and the leading conflict that most villagers had with elephants was crop-­‐ raiding. Opportunistic interviews were also conducted during tracking with farmers, pastoralists, rangers and one key informant interview at Manyara Ranch. With the help of an expert, evidence of elephant presence was found and marked using a GPS to attempt to construct a corridor. Findings can conclude that elephants do travel to Manyara Ranch, both from Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. There was an abundance of evidence found leading from Manyara Ranch and Esilalei area to the Losimangori Mountains. Interviews confirmed that elephants travel outside of protected areas or National Parks during the rainy, or wet, season. The goal of our study is to complete mapping the corridor and find the direction of travel within the iv Tarangire-­‐Manyara ecosystem. In the future, we hope our findings will be of assistance to help conserve this migratory route and species, but more importantly, we hope our study can serve as a little piece in the much bigger puzzle that is: human elephant conflict.


Animal Sciences | Climate | Environmental Health and Protection | Human Geography | Nature and Society Relations


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