September visit to Mtandika corridor

In September, we visited the Mtandika corridor, on the northern side of the Udzungwa Mountains, where Abbas Lukinga, MS student at Sokoine University of Agriculture, will carry out his fieldwork supervised by Professor Ben Mutayoba and in collaboration with UEP. After speaking with villagers, Abbas learned that there are still five active routes used by elephants to cross the tarmac road, as they move southwards to Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Abbas observed that livestock keepers are using these same routes for their cattle and goats, with some very obvious effects: overgrazing along the corridor route, which may negatively affect smaller ungulates such as klipspringers that also use the elephant pathways, and over-intensive use of particular watering points along the Ruaha River. This use of elephant corridors to move livestock may also impact on parasite transmission between livestock and wildlife. Abbas’s study will aim to explore these human-wildlife-livestock interactions while he and his team survey the Mtandika region to learn about elephant movement between Ruaha and Udzungwa. Stay tuned.

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