1,082 arrested for poaching, 18 jailed

Park wardens drive through Mikumi National Park.

Park wardens in Mikumi National Park: across Tanzania 1,082 suspected poachers have been nabbed in an ‘intensified war on poaching.’ Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Tanzania has arrested 1,082 suspected poachers in an ‘intensified war on poaching,’ says Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Lazaro Nyalandu.

As of March 2015, 988 poaching cases were opened and 424 cases successfully went before the court, says Nyalandu, speaking to parliament in Dodoma.

In the end, 18 poachers have been jailed and just over 268 million TSH ($128,000 USD) has been paid into government coffers by culprits.

“Some of the steps that the government has taken in fighting poaching includes collaborating with Botswana, Gabon, Ethiopia and Chad as top nations in fighting poaching in the continent,” says Nyalandu.

“The number of elephants has fallen dramatically in the past year, which is a matter of great concern for us,” Nyalandu stated earlier this week in Mozambique.

Nyalandu was in Mozambique to sign an agreement to protect the cross-border wildlife corridor between the two countries.

The number of elephants in the Selous Game Reserve alone plunged from nearly 40,000 to just over 13,000 from 2009 to 2013.

To the south, 48 percent of Mozambique’s 20,000 elephants have been killed for their ivory in the past five years.

Nyalandu says findings of a new elephant count will be released next week.

Read more: Who is killing Mozambique’s elephants?

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