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COMMUNITY INITIATIVES Created November 01, 2012

You Can Save African Wildlife

Location: Arusha, Tanzania - Map It STATUS: Active

 Northern Corridor Campaign

BWB is currently working with The Wild Nature Institute on an integrated science, education, and advocacy campaign to protect the last remaining wildlife movement corridor for rapidly declining herds of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles and other migratory animals in a biologically rich area of northern Tanzania.  Due to severe poaching and lack of land management (natural habitat being converted into agriculture), the great herds of East Africa have declined more than 70% in just the last 10 years, but a timely intervention over the next few years will make a huge impact.

The Plan

 The Wild Nature Institute is in the process of creating a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with the local Masai villages in the migration corridor.  The formation of WMAs has been incredibly successful in six other regions of Tanzania by significantly increasing the health of wildlife populations and creating a grassroots ecotourism economy – in a WMA, the federal government relinquishes much of the responsibility for tourism and wildlife protection to the local villagers, and the villagers in turn earn direct monetary compensation from the ecotourism businesses.  Without a WMA, the local people receive no economic benefit from the wildlife on their lands, so they have no incentive to protect them.  With a WMA, the Masai people, whose traditional livelihoods are threatened by the same external forces that are causing the disappearance of the great herds, will benefit economically by protecting their grazing lands from outside poachers and unscrupulous land-grabs.

Funding Needs

The Principal Scientists for the Wild Nature Institute are currently supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, BWB, small grants from American zoos and private donations, but for the WMA to really take off, a targeted capital investment is needed.   By implementing this plan over the next five years, we can leave a lasting conservation legacy by protecting one of the only remaining great migrations in Africa.

If this project were to occur in the US, the cost would be in the tens of millions, but because of strong local desire for a WMA, the proven road map to WMA creation, and the low operating expenses in Tanzania, this project will be successful at a fraction of the cost.  Estimated costs are $100K/year. The reward is the conservation of a critical movement corridor that, if lost, would surely spell the extinction of the great migratory herds of this region.


You can download a one-page plan that outlines the objectives and annual general costs of the Northern Plains Corridor Campaign, as well as an article that the Principal Scientists of the Wild Nature Institute recently wrote for a popular African environment and tourism magazine outlining the problem and solution.

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