Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC)
Kilombero Valley Biological Surveys
The Kilombero Valley is situated between the Selous Game Reserve and the Udzungwa Mountains and constitutes an important migratory route for many large mammal species. However, agricultural immigration has proliferated over the past decade, leading to extensive habitat fragmentation and degradation, leaving only two remaining viable corridors: the Nyanganje Corridor and the Ruipa Corridor.
Frontier-Tanzania have been working for a client, The Kilombero Valley Teak Company in an area of miombo woodland, where we have been assessing the permeability of teak to the movement of large mammals at three study sites, each within teak plantations of eight years or older. Recommendations to conserve areas of high species diversity were made from these results.
At present, research is being conducted in a variety of habitats including miombo woodland, grassland, shamba and teak plantations and involves the monitoring of large mammal movements. The methodology enables the identification of seasonal and annual variations of habitat utilisation by different large mammal species ranging from the small Dik Dik to the African elephant. Small mammals, amphibians, butterflies and reptiles are also recorded using trapping stations. So far, this has led to the production of technical reports and management recommendations, training in biodiversity surveying & monitoring and a BTEC in Tropical Habitat Conservation.
This project recently received funding from DEFRA (Darwin Initiative) and aims at refining our knowledge regarding biodiversity, land use and large mammal movements through the Ruipa corridor by means of biodiversity surveys and mapping. On the basis of this data land management plans will then be put in place for each major stakeholder in the region, including government departments, private land-owners, and local communities.
Mafia Island Marine Park Biodiversity Surveys
This project aims at identifying key sites of biological diversity and conservation value while raising local awareness of marine conservation issues. Frontier-Tanzania is working in partnership with The University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. We recently returned to the island after leaving it in 1995, following a six-year programme of surveys and training, developing a management strategy for the park. This culminated in the creation of the Mafia Island Multi-User Marine Park. The recent project aims to quantify the value of marine parks as a conservation tool, investigating the success of the Mafia Island Multi-User Marine Park. This is achieved using baseline data surveys of the reefs that include mapping coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves around the island, identifying resource-use patterns and how dependent local communities are on these resources. Comparative studies are being conducted to assess the success of the marine park and the status of fish stocks after 15 years of implementation. Survey results from replicate fish composition studies are being compared with previous data from Mafia Island collected in 1989-1995. Work is continuing with local communities to build awareness of the vulnerability of marine ecosystems and form sustainable management recommendations. Marine monitoring systems are being formed with local scientists, students and fisheries officers. Hopefully this information will enable protected area managers to improve management strategies and promote non-destructive resource use.
Expedition Management: Tanzania and Madagascar
This adventurous 4 week expedition combines training in expedition and research skills with conservation of endangered wildlife and threatened habitats. The emphasis is on the execution of low impact rapid biodiversity assessments from mobile camps.
Research Training: background to biodiversity conservation, baseline biodiversity surveys, habitat mapping and species collection.
Expedition Training: research skills, expedition planning, navigation, communication, health, safety, hygiene, first aid, emergency evacuation, camp location and management, logistics, culture and heritage.
The expedition management team has discovered some fascinating new species, particularly reptiles and amphibians, in unexpected areas. Most recently Frontier-Tanzania discovered an isolated population of Red Colobus Monkeys in a fragmented area of forest which is situated outside reserve boundaries and was previously unknown. Furthermore, Frontier-Madagascar has located an area of dry deciduous forest on sandstone geology which, until now, was not known to exist outside any present reserves.