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Serengeti De-Snaring Programme

Poaching remains a major challenge to conservation in Tanzania. In Serengeti, tour operators are now supporting Tanzania National Parks through Frankfurt Zoological Society, by funding the Serengeti De-Snaring Programme.

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Snaring is a prevalent form of poaching throughout many protected areas in Africa. Photo: Patrick Eickemeier/FZS
Frankfurt Zoological Society has engaged with stakeholders to kick-start the de-snaring programme. With initial stakeholder funding, two anti-snaring teams have been set up and are already operating in Serengeti National Park.

The teams consist of a retired TANAPA ranger as team leader. An active TANAPA ranger is with each group to provide security. The team members have been recruited from villages in the Serengeti ecosystem, in an effort to target ex-poachers and use their experience to fight snaring. The teams cooperate closely with the Serengeti National Park authorities and go out to the field to collect snares before they do harm.

Snaring targets species like the abundant wildebeest, to be sold as bush meat. But they are deadly traps for many other animals and some that are not even targetted, like predators or elephants.

Supporting the fight against poaching

The operations have already been successful at a very early stage. To expand the programme and to cover larger areas in Serengeti, the programme seeks the support of tour operators in particular who rely on the wildlife and the intact ecosystem as the basis of tourism in the area. The initiative can demonstrate how collaborative effort can help to conserve Tanzania’s wildlife heritage.

A Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of initiating a de-snaring programme has been agreed among Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Frankfurt Zoological Society and Serengeti National Park operators from the private sector.

This collaborative effort involves the setting up of one de-snaring team as described in the attached MOU but with the objective to add more teams and target a total number of eight teams in the future, subject to finance. Thanks to generous financial support by an operator, one suitable new vehicle has been imported and is being converted while operational support has been provided by FZS and TANAPA which includes personnel but also an FZS vehicle that has been allocated to the programme.

As funding for the programme will come from voluntary donations based on a bed night fee for hoteliers and camp operators this is an appeal to all those interested to come on board with this programme which will be of huge benefit to all stakeholders in tourism.

The advantages are:

  • The kudos of being founding member of a unique and useful initiative in conservation
  • Recognition for joining and committing to a very good cause that has marketing potential
  • A chance to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility as success will have a significant impact in conserving wildlife and creating a sustainable future for the tourism value chain
  • Immediate impact on anti-poaching as TANAPA rangers can in future focus resources currently used for de-snaring on the primary effort to patrol and apprehend poachers
  • The broader impact of Tanzania being recognized internationally for its conservation measures through this programme and spotlighting its iconic national park and others where this initiative can be applied later
  • Regular reports from the field team will be made available both to inform you and also for your use in reaching a wider audience to generate further support for these efforts.