Arusha — ELEPHANTS in the Tarangire National park are multiplying at a pace of seven per cent per year, the highest record in annual Jumbo production rate on the African continent.
The Director of the Tarangire Elephant Project, Dr Charles Foley who has been studying the large mammals in the park for about twenty years now, stated here on Friday that the elephant growth in the eco-system clocking at 175 mammals per year, may be the fastest in Africa, but the Jumbos’ population in Tarangire is still low.
“The Tarangire Eco-system also encompasses the Lake Manyara National Park which measures a whooping 20,000 square kilometres, which means that the Jumbos’ density is very low by comparison,” explained Dr Foley, who is also the Assistant Director of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) programme in Tanzania.
There are about 3200 elephants in the Tarangire eco-system at the moment, taking into account the seven per cent annual increase topped onto the 2500 jumbo population counted during the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) census of 2009.
Tanzania with a count of 110,000 elephants is second after Botswana (123,000), for having the largest number of Jumbos in Africa. According to Dr Foley, Selou Game Reserve with 45,000 elephants has the highest concentration of the large mammals in the country, followed by Ruaha National park with 35,000 jumbos.
Tarangire National Park, mapped within Monduli, Babati and Simanjiro Districts in Arusha and Manyara regions, is the sixth largest national park in the country after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi.
The park was named from the all-season Tarangire River which crosses through the eco-system. The River is the only source of water for wild animals during drought spells. The park is linked by a wide wildlife corridor to Lake Manyara, and during dry seasons thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Lake Manyara.