Assessment of the effects of uranium exploration on wildlife, vegetation and tourism in Tanzania

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Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation


Mineral resources are potential for economic development of any endowed country. However, mining is generally associated with serious negative impacts on existing ecosystems where operations are carried out. The objective of the study was to assess the effects of uranium exploration on wildlife population, vegetation, and tourists’ visitation in Selous ecosystem in Tanzania. Data collection took place in different periods from 2016 to 2017 through household questionnaire surveys, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, direct observations, nested plots, and secondary data reviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics in SPSS version 20 software. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis through systematic coding and theme identification. Findings show that poaching was a leading illegal activity (55%) in the area. Further effects reported and observed were habitat fragmentation, introduction of alien species, and noise pollution. About 478.57 trees (with dbh greater than 5 cm) per ha were removed to expand the main road to the mining site. However, the number of tourist visitation in the area was almost constant. This study recommends that the government, through its ministries, should address the weakness identified and put measures in place that will reduce adverse impacts during mining process.


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Selous Game Reserve, Sensitive ecosystem, Habitat fragmentation, Environment, Wildlife regulations, Uranium exploration