Research and Monitoring

 

In order to better understand local ecological systems, and to measure the effectiveness of our community and conservation work, we invest significantly in research and monitoring programs with the aim of maintaining long-term records of changes in key variables.  This important information will aid managers to ensure they make informed decisions, thereby achieving the most desirable conservation outcomes.

Our team monitors climate, soil carbon, hydrological variables, vegetation biomass and species composition, fire, alien species (livestock and plants), large mammal numbers, large and important bird species and human-wildlife conflict.  State-of-the-art GIS mapping software enables them to accurately map everything from wild fires and alien plant infestations to human-wildlife conflict and poaching incidents.  This data ensures that only the best evidence-based information guides our decision making.

 

Aside from routine research surveys and the ongoing compilation of monitoring data, three of the key focus areas for the ecological monitoring team are: human-wildlife conflict, developing research collaborations with leading Tanzanian universities, and participation in wildlife translocation projects, such as the current Greater Kudu reintroduction.

Human-wildlife Conflict

Combining our own data on human-wildlife conflict monitoring programs with that of local game offices, we are deepening our understanding of the drivers, intensity and spatiotemporal distribution of human-wildlife conflict.  By better understanding the seasonality and geography of human-wildlife conflict, we are able to plan, advise and implement suitable mitigation measures.

Research Collaborations with Local and International Universities

To address the key management issues and challenges that we encounter in our work, Singita Grumeti Fund is pioneering research collaborations with leading universities and research institutions to jointly conduct needs-based research at a postgraduate level.  Topics and themes for investigation, such as better understanding the precipitous decline in roan antelope numbers on the concessions, directly address known management needs and enhance our effectiveness.

Wildlife Translocation Projects

In collaboration with Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), the Singita Grumeti Funds’ research and monitoring team conducted extensive habitat and vegetation surveys to ascertain suitability of the concessions for the reintroduction of the locally-extinct Greater Kudu.   The team was also instrumental in successfully translocating a founder population of East African black rhino (D.b.michaeli) to the Serengeti ecosystem.

Key Accomplishments

10+
years of comprehensive ecological monitoring data

7
research collaborations with leading academic institutions

2
locally-extinct wildlife species reintroduced