Serengeti Conservation Project

Protecting East Africa’s legacy landscape

FZS History - Grzimek Bernhard and Michael
Bernhard Grzimek and his son Michael at work in the Serengeti. Photo courtesy of Okapia
“Serengeti shall not die” is the title of Bernhard and Michael Grzimek’s academy award-winning 1959 documentary and represents Frankfurt Zoological Society’s (FZS) goal and vision to this day; the Serengeti remains at the core of our conservation work in Africa. 
FZS is continuing its engagement in close collaboration with Tanzania National Parks, by providing critical financial and logistical support, information on resource protection, ecological and threat monitoring, and park management in the Serengeti National Park. 
The Serengeti ecosystem is a world-renowned natural landscape. The Great Migration of wildebeests, zebras, and Thomson's gazelles that takes place there is the largest ungulate migration on earth. With resilient populations of predators and iconic wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, and rhinos, the Serengeti National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

What we do

To help ensure the effective long-term protection of elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife, FZS supports the Serengeti park authorities in coordinating anti-poaching and monitoring activities and in improving intelligence gathering capability in order to counter wildlife crime. FZS also engages with stakeholders to secure sustainable funding for a de-snaring program, and supports the management of the adjacent Maswa Game Reserve.

The bird’s eye view
Ever since Bernhard and Michael Grzimek set out to count the wildebeest of the Serengeti, zebra-striped aircrafts have become a trademark of FZS's conservation work. Aerial support in the Serengeti National Park includes a dedicated spotter plane called Aviat Husky, which is used for regular aerial patrols with the park wardens, and a Cessna 182 for logistical support. The pilots fly to observe environmental changes and incidents, communicating their findings to the "Serengeti Operations Room" on the ground where TANAPA and FZS work together and deploy rangers.

Keeping conservation going
FZS maintains Serengeti National Park's anti-poaching car fleet, as mobility is key to deploying ranger patrols throughout the park. Keeping service time down, and the patrols out in the field is an essential contribution to protecting the ecosystem. FZS also assists the park with improvements and maintenance of the extensive digital radio system.

Saving the Serengeti rhinos
As in many other areas in Africa, the Black Rhino was almost poached to extinction in Serengeti in the 1990s. Because rigid protection measures were put in place, the population of this endangered species grew again. We continue to support monitoring and protection of the Serengeti rhinos as the poaching threat persists. We provide training, equipment, logistical support and vehicle maintenance to a specialised ranger unit.

Community work
Empowering local communities is a key component of our conservation strategy. The Serengeti Conservation Project works hand-in-hand with our community project,Serengeti Ecosystem ManagementThe Serengeti Ecosystem Management (SEMA) office works to promote alternative ways for communities to earn income and to benefit from the area’s protection, creating incentives for conserving the Serengeti ecosystem. FZS encourages people living in the ecosystem to become actively engaged in conservation and in finding sustainable livelihood opportunities.