How do human pressures affect protected area effectiveness in western Tanzania?


Across the globe, human-induced pressures are in large part causing losses in biodiversity. Protected areas (PAs) are key conservation tools, but in the face of biodiversity loss their ecological effectiveness is increasingly contested. In East Africa, there are wide and varying PA networks, yet some of these have faced severe declines in large mammal populations over the last decades, with habitat loss and direct exploitation being identified as the main drivers thereof. Giliba et al. (2022) aimed to understand and assess the ecological effectiveness of PAs in western Tanzania, specifically in the Katava-Rukwa Ecosystem (KRE). The authors investigated changes in land use and population density of six large mammal species over time and across different protected areas and conservation categories, from unprotected to strictly protected areas.

Six surveys from 1991 to 2018 were analysed by the authors, involving remote sensing and aerial wildlife surveys to understand the spatial and temporal…

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