|AREAS OF FOCUS
|NO OF PAINTED WOLVES IN AREA
|Eblate Ernest Mjingo, Emmanuel Masenga
TAWIRI’s mission is conducting and coordinating wildlife research and sharing scientific information with the stakeholders for sustainable biodiversity conservation.
TAWIRI (Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute) is responsible for all wildlife research throughout Tanzania, and works closely with other government conservation authorities as well as NGOs and the private sector. They are responsible for monitoring population status of various species, as well as monitoring wildlife disease, human-wildlife conflicts and other threats to wildlife. TAWIRI monitors the painted wolves of the Serengeti, currently numbering approximately 250, and the population is growing. The current research project has been ongoing for 12 years. Monitoring is challenging due to the vast areas, lack of funding and GPS collars frequently break.
The considerable threats to the population include conflict, which is a major issue with the largely pastoral communities that live in the area. Disease has been a challenge, with losses of packs to distemper in 2018 and 2020. Competition with other carnivores is a major issue, including lion, hyena, and leopard. Due to their huge movements, the painted wolves are often caught in snares, either as bycatch from the illegal bushmeat trade, as well as deliberate poisoning and snaring in conflict situations.
TAWIRI undertakes research on the painted wolves in the Serengeti ecosystem. They are also responsible for removal and relocation of painted wolf packs that are involved in conflict. To date they have relocated six packs. Their research focuses on the success of reintroductions, movement ecology, and threats (in particular disease and HWC). At the moment their research is focused on the Serengeti ecosystem, although they are hoping to expand monitoring of painted wolves to Nyerere National Park as well as Ruaha and Tarangire National Parks.
TAWIRI provides research information to other government conservation authorities responsible for protection and conservation activities. This work includes monitoring, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, community-based engagement in villages and schools, anti-poaching, diseases surveillance and snare removal.