Relief for serengeti as beasts back on migration route
The spectacular wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is back on its southbound annual migration route, thanks to forced removal of large herds of livestock which had encroached its eastern border.
A senior official of the Serengeti National Park said here on Monday that there has been a significant increase of the hoofed animals using the eastern corridor when moving from the north to the south.
“Wildebeest population moving southwards have increased in the Loliondo area.This is a good sign”, said the senior tourism promotion officer with the park Susuma Kusekwa.
He attributed the rise to a recent operations mounted by the park rangers in collaboration with the police to evict livestock keepers and their large herds for encroaching the protected area.
According to him,the crisis had reached an extent whereby some livestock keepers had settled with their large herds of animals inside the park which, he said, was against the law.
But he told The Citizen that the situation has improved and that the eastern route the wild animals use after their brief stay in Maasai Mara in Kenya was witnessing an ecological renewal.
Serengeti National Park and its vast ecosystem is famous for the annual migration of an estimated 1.2 million wildebeests,800,000 zebras and other grazing animals mostly in search of grazing land.
During their march from the southern part of the park to the north between May to July each year,the animals use the western and northwestern corridors ending up in Maasai- Mara.
Their movement back to Serengeti from the north which starts in November for calving often passes through the eastern side of the park and through Loliondo and other game controlled areas in Ngorongoro district.
Incidentally, the southward migration route passes through the 400,00 hectare Loliondo Game Controlled Area, which has been a conflict zone between the pastoralists and some investors since the 1990s.
In recent months, the livestock keepers have accused the game rangers with Senapa rangers for shooting their cattle outside the park, an allegation vehemently denied by the park authorities and the Tanzania National Park (Tanapa).