Anti-poaching patrols paying off for safari wildlife in Tanzania
November 23, 2006
Employing a sampling technique used to estimate the abundance of fish, an international team of scientists showed that poaching is down significantly in the Serengeti since the mid-1980s due to law enforcement efforts.
Ray Hilborn, University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences and lead author of a paper, says that by their increasing abundance, the "animals are 'telling' us poaching is down now that there are 10 to 20 patrols a day compared to the mid-1980s when there might be 60 or fewer patrols a year." Hilborn says that since wildlife populations are not declining, recent estimates of poaching in the Serengeti cited by National Geographic are too high.
Photo by R. Butler
"We show that a precipitous decline in enforcement in 1977 resulted in a large increase in poaching and decline of many species," wrote the researchers. "Conversely, expanded budgets and antipoaching patrols since the mid-1980s have significantly reduced poaching and allowed populations of buffalo, elephants and rhinoceros to rebuild."
"Antipoaching is effective in protected areas," Hilborn added.
This article is based on a news release from the University of Washington.
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