Xinhua
January 23, 2019

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzanian wildlife authorities said on Wednesday a report
showing estimates of wildlife species in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem will
be released early next month.

The report follows an aerial wildlife census in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem
that was launched in October last year, targeting large mammals including
elephants and buffalo.

“We are anticipating the final report giving estimates of wildlife species
will be communicated to the public in early February 2019,” Simon Mduma,
the Director General of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI),
the leading organization in the census, told Xinhua in an interview.

The census was conducted by state-owned TAWIRI, the Tanzania Wildlife
Management Authority, and the Tanzania National Park, in collaboration with
Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Mduma said the aerial census was conducted in October through November 21,
2018, covering an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers.

He said the institutions that conducted the census faced a number of
challenges, adding that one of the major challenges was “procuring and
distributing aviation fuel which requires great care in shipping and
storage.”

“Other challenges that were encountered included changes of weather like
strong winds, rainfall and low cloud which negatively affected the counting
exercise,” Mduma said.

He said such elements caused delays in completing the census, finalizing
data analysis and report writing.

Aerial wildlife censuses in the Selous-Mikumi Ecosystem have been conducted
every three to four years since 1976.