In 2020, the DWTS worked on the Biodiversity Monitoring Framework (BMF) for the Mudumu National Park (MNP). A team led by Dr. Fabiano Ezequiel developed and implemented a monitoring strategy in the park on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT).

Ms Eva Kasinda (in white) and Ms Maria Shimhanda (far right) from DWTS providing training on vegetation monitoring to MEFT staff

The project’s purpose was to develop a comprehensive BMF for MNP, which included field equipment installation and staff training. In addition, UNAM’s Computer Science Department, led by Dr. Victoria Hasheela-Mufeti, contributed to the development of a Data Base Management System.

Mr. Jim Kairu (left) was in charge of training, measuring, and monitoring grass biomass

During fieldwork, the team assisted park staff with the deployment of camera traps, then assisted with the processing of photos to conduct basic analysis, such as determining species richness and distribution patterns, and trained personnel on conducting vegetation, mammals, and fish assessments, as well as the use of hand-held Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Students from the DWMTS are now studying masters and doctoral degrees in MNP thanks to this project and a long-standing collaboration with UNAM and MEFT. Mr. Nauyoma Lineekela is one of them. His research is titled “Assessment of the conservation status of roan (Hippotragus equinus) and sable (Hippotragus niger) using ecological and genetic criteria in MNP”. The overall goal of his investigation, according to him, is to better understand the occupancy, current demography, and patterns of genetic diversity of roan and sable populations in MNP.

Currently, the department offers MSc and Ph.D degrees in Wildlife Management and Tourism Studies. In future, it will offer a variety of short courses on topics such as wildfire, remote sensing, GIS, the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme, aquaculture, human-wildlife conflict, and botany.

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