Wildlife conservation status in Zanzibar

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University of Dar es Salaam
There has long been a lack of information on the status of Wildlife in Zanzibar, despite the fact that at least - our large mal taxa ire endemic: red colobus, red duiker, blue duiker and suni. This study investigated wildlife distribution patterns of seven mammal species and evaluated threats to both habitats and animals themselves. The three sympatric bovidae were studied in greater detail as to density, habitat and feeding preference. Information on land use pattern was used to propose long term conservation strategies for wildlife in Zanzibar. Only Zanzibar Island was studied; no Information was obtained for Pemba, Tumbatu or Uzi. Zanzibar Island can be divided Into two ecological zones: The fertile, densely populated west with little natural vegetation or wildlife, and the shallow soil coral rag thicket communities of the east which support a low density of shifting cultivators. Results from discussions and field work on wildlife distribution patterns across the island show that the eastern zone has higher population densities of all the seven mammal species. Sykes monkey is the host abundant followed by bush pig, blue duiker, red duiker, red colobus and lastly the leopard. Uncontrolled hunting and extensive harvest of forest products for fuel coupled with habitat encroachment by shifting cultivation are major threats to wildlife tatus. More intensive study was conducted on three study areas: Jozani Forest Reserve, Mapopwe Forest and Mtule Thickets. Physiognomic characterization of the natural vegetation shows that the study areas can be subdivided into four habitat types: Ground Water forest, Dry Evergreen Forest, Thicket with emergent and Bushed Grassland. Cephalophinae and Ideotraginae are difficult to study and as such their census data will usually be under estimated. Bovids population densities were determined by transact count backed-up by a Relative Faecal Presence Index. Thicket habitat type is the most preferred where suni maintain a density of , G.9/km2 followed by blue duskier 5.0/km2 and red. duiker 4.3/km2. Calculation of population densities from Relative Faecal Presence Index (RFPI) was found not practical because both suni and duiker maintain lavatories which make it hard to eliminate -the possibility of multiple defaecation. The two methods differ in absolute numbers but the general trend is the same that all the three species shah similar habitat preferences and suni-is most predominant followed by the blue duiker and red duiker. Findings from feeding trials, direct observations and analysis of rumen contents revealed that the Zanzibar bovids are strictly browsers, seiecting for dicatyledonous leaves, fruits and seeds. Based on the results of this study recorauendations were Made for future conservation strategies. These centered on policy, administration and information. The Mapopwe - Jozani complex, being an. area of Little agricultural usage and high biological richness was proposed to be a National Park with a buffer zone to allow a certain level of controlled exploration. Generally, the status of wildlife in zanzibar is unsatisfactory and on close examination the main difficulty lies in persuading people to take appropriate action.
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Wildlife conservation, Zanzibar
Swai, I.S (1983) Wildlife conservation status in Zanzibar, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )