Estimating the Current Population, Map the Habitats and Raise Community Awareness on the Rungwecebus Kipunji in the Region
The Rungwecebus kipunji (Kipunji), is a rare and endangered primate species that is found only in the Livingstone Mountains Ecosystem Forest patches in the highlands of Tanzania. The majority of the species’ habitats falls either in partial protected or protected areas with no or minimal managements. The species is highly threatened by habitat loss, where the forests are converted to agricultural farms. The conversion of forests to agricultural farms attracts the human kipunji conflict that leads to communities hunting it. Similarly, the species is subject to hunting as meat.
The kipunji is categorized among the species that bring eminent loss to the communities through crop raiding (preliminary data collected 2022), however no study so far has quantified the crop loss-associated with the kipunji, our intention is to fill this gap, nonetheless, there are different strategies that communities employ to ensure that the species do not raid their crops (this includes lethal and nonlethal, limited studies have documented this _ we intend to document the strategies used in reducing crop raiding from primates), encapsulate all the strategies used for controlling primate crop raiding, and share it among the villages to reduce the danger of kipunji being killed as problem animals. Similarly, we intend to document and identify if there will be any option to control primate crop raiding through planting crops that may be of less preference to the primate in order to maximize the community’s economic benefits also we want to try using the cellular network camera traps as early warning mechanism to let communities know the arrival of kipunji closer to their farms (Only 2 cameras trial).
Additionally, our intention is to continue providing environmental education to schools, empower environmental championship from the students who are interested with environmental and strengthen the environmental clubs by empowering leaders to design programs and manage them in the management of the forest and forest species sustainably. The study is also designed to foster long-term cooperation between ECOWICE, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority, and Sokoine University of Agriculture on monitoring the kipunji and other forest species in the Livingstone Mountains Ecosystem.