Wild mammal survey of Empakaai Crater area

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Faunal surveys have the useful function of providing a data baseline from which future ecological changes can be recognized and interpreted. This is especially important now that expanding human populations are imposing increased demands on a finite amount of land. One way to accommodate these needs is to make the best use of each ecological unit. Some areas are well-suited to cultivation and settlement, while other areas are best used as water catchments, or nature reserves. In 1959 the Crater Highlands and the adjacent semi-arid lowlands to the west were put under the control of the newly created Ngorongoro Conservation Unit. The purpose was to conserve, manage, and develop the land for the most valuable long-term uses. The experiment has since proven to be a success, although progress has been slow because of financial restraints. The administration was transformed, on 1 July 1975, to the parastatal Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, although the goals remain the same. As part of the ecological inventory of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, an annotated list of mammals was compiled (ole Saibul.l, 1967). It recorded 114 mammal species from a variety of habitats ranging from montane forest to semi-arid lowlands. The habitat in which each species commonly occurs was mentioned, but because of the large area covered (8,200 sq km) the particular localities of occurrence were not described. Current plans to develop the Empakaai Crater Nature Reserve for tourism, and the adjacent Maasai cattle ranching area for livestock production, require more detailed knowledge of the mammal distribution for assessing the ecological conditions. The present paper, although far from being complete, is a contribution toward the faunal inventory, providing information about the most important and the more easily seen mammals. This survey was a small part of an ecological study of the Empakaai Crater ecosystem, which was done from July 1972 through March 1974. Frame et al. (1975) reported the study’s results and the development recommendations. Follow-up visits were made through 1977.
Available in Print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, ( EAF FOS F73)
Wildlife research, Embagai Crater, Embagain Crater (Tanzania)
Frame, G. W., (1982) Wild mammal survey of Empakaai Crater area