Trend of trophy hunting in Tanzania: case study of six species in selous game reserve

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Selous Game Reserve (SGR) is the most important destination for trophy hunting in Tanzania. Assessment of the trend of trophy hunting and its role in conservation was conducted for a 10-year period (2001-2010) using buffalo, elephant, greater kudu, impala, leopard and lion. The main objective was to assess ecological sustainability of trophy hunting and its role in wildlife conservation in Tanzania. Data were collected from secondary sources, including SGR trophy hunting database, trophy hunting sheets, Sectors’ annual reports and previous research records. Furthermore, a questionnaire survey to Sector Wardens and observations were used. SPSS and R-computer programs were used in analysis. Pearson correlation test was used to test correlation between parameters recorded. Trends of trophy qualities were tested using One Way ANOVA. Furthermore, a post hoc pair-wise test was employed to test which years’ records were different, if any. Results reveal that, at least 10 842 animals from the six study species were hunted during that period. Buffalo was the most hunted species followed by impala, together contributing 80% of hunts. Furthermore, buffalo was the most important for revenue (40.33%) followed by elephant (21.95%) and leopard (16.07%) though allocated quotas were not fully utilized. Animal populations have been decreasing. Though there were positive correlations between parameters for impala, buffalo and greater kudu, trophy quality for some species were decreasing. Perceptions from this study highlight that, despite the benefits from trophy hunting Sector Wardens doubted if quotas were sustainable, given the current conservation challenges. Poaching was the most mentioned challenge, amplified by encroachment and institutional failure to enforce the laws. The conclusion is that trophy hunting is important for revenue generation and conservation and recommends that it should be based on realistic quotas. Furthermore, the wildlife law and its regulations should be enforced, staff supervising the hunting be provided with quotas and empowered to enforce the law to prevent mal-practices.



Trophy hunting, Conserved areas, National parks, Tanzania, Wildlife conservation, Selous game reserve (SGR)