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Poaching before and after Independence

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Most protected areas in Africa share the common characteristics which are lowest support from local communities living around them and historical poor public relations (Kideghesho et al., 2006). The demotion of natives through conventional conservation policies and laws enacted by colonial and later conceded over to post-colonial governments endorsed this situation since they ended all their customary rights and management approaches (Campbel et al., 2001). The natives were not only banded from any political discussion relating to wildlife conservation matters (Gibson and Marks 1995), but also from hunting species of socio and economic status like antelopes, buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) (Kideghesho et al., 2006).

Local people were forceful expelled from their land since the enacted policies abstracted them as a problem in conservation initiatives hence fences and fines approach was introduced (Tumer and Hulmer, 1997). Local people expected that after independence postcolonial government will restore their lost customary right but since they needed economic support they still embraced the colonial policies, hence this justified their resentment towards wildlife resources (Neuman,2002; Nelson,2003). They violated laws and poached wild animals to unsustainable levels, which triggered the Tanzanian government to adopt stricter ways of dealing with people who did not abide to laws but it did not halt illegal activities (Bonner,1993;Neuman (2002). In1970s and 1980s the situation was worse since the natural resource sector of Tanzanian received only 1.2% of national development budget, this underfunding was due to economic recession that many of African countries went through (Kideghesho,2006). This situation lead to poor staffing and inadequate equipment, this accelerated the poaching rate and the most affected animals were rhino (Diceros bicornis) and elephant (Loxodonta africana) (Wasser et al.,2007). For example in Selous Game Reserve alone 50% of these species were lost while in Serengeti rhino were driven to the edge of extinction and elephant population reduced by 80% within a period of ten years 1975 – 1986 (Baldus et al., 2003; Dublin and Hamilton, 1987). Hence failure of fences and fines approach, which lead to adoption of community based natural resource management approach. The approach acknowledged local communities as crucial to wards conservation initiatives, though it faces many challenges which cause to fail to end illegal hunting. One of the big challenge is that the benefits produced by this approach does not offset that of illegal hunting (Gadd, 2005).

Recently the Tanzanian government together with community based natural resources approach it has introduced paramilitary approach were by law enforcement unit and other workers of natural resources sector are given military training so as to fight against poaching(Kideghesho,2006). Though that is still not enough to fight against poaching, and lead government of Tanzania to make a serious efforts to contain this problem through wildlife law enactment and enforcement (Ogden et al., 2009). Law enforcement patrols attempt to control illegal hunting, but expected economic benefits from the sale of bush meat are far greater than the costs associated with a low probability of arrest due to lack of valid forensic evidence (Hofer et al., 2000).

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