Combating Poaching and Illegal Logging in Tanzania: Voices of the Rangers-Hands-on Experiences from the Field

Challenges in managing Ugalla Game Reserve The major problem is illegal logging, especially during the wet season, when flooding makes it hard for the rangers to access the area. Loggers normally de-bark trees to dry them, then cut logs and make big pieces of timber, which in the wet season they normally transport using the water flow of the Ugalla River. During the dry season, the illegal loggers enter the reserve on bicycles. They normally come from the neighbouring villages, and are well aware of the tactics and whereabouts of the reserve rangers, who often reside in the same villages. This fact most certainly makes it possible that some rangers cooperate with the perpetrators, either due to family affiliations or for personal financial gain. The illegal loggers enter deep into the reserve, de-bark trees to dry them, and then return later to cut them down, normally using sawpits to cut the logs into planks. They also cut down trees to retrieve honey from the beehives inside the trunks. In order to transport and protect the honey they normally cut big pieces of bark from nearby trees.

Loggers simply cut down protected trees to get to beehives and the honey higher up in the tree.

Ranger from Friedkin Conservation Fund in Ugalla Game Reserve inspecting tree cut by illegal loggers for honey collection.


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