Bushmeat trade pushing species to the edge in Tanzania

by Feb 8, 2011Bushmeat

Hunters are decimating species in the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, a part of the Eastern Arc Mountains in Southern Tanzania, according to a new report compiled by international and Tanzanian conservationists. Incorporating three research projects, the report finds that bushmeat hunting in conjunction with forest degradation imperils the ecology of the protected area.

“Some species in this region are on the brink of extinction from one of their last remaining strongholds, especially the Udzungwa red colobus, a monkey species found only in these mountains and nowhere else in the world,” said Arafat Mtui, Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Center coordinator, in a press release.

The report also finds that duikers, a small antelope, are in danger of vanishing from the forest due to hunting, and that the Angolan colobus may already have disappeared from the forest. Historically, hunting and other human impacts have long taken a toll on the forest: wiping out elephant, African buffalo, leopard, and bush pig.

“The Udzungwas [Mountains] are the pearl of the Eastern Arc Mountains because they contain the largest forests and have extraordinary numbers of plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth, including two species of monkeys,” stated Francesco Rovero of the Trento Museum of Natural Sciences, who led the preparation of the report. “Unfortunately, while some of the forests are protected by the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, there are important forests such as Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve that have not been granted adequate protection.”

Article continues: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0206-hance_udzungwa.html