Human Population Growth and Wildlife Extinction in Ugalla Ecosystem, Western Tanzania

Author(s): George F. Masanja

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Abstract: Incessant human population growth is a major cause of wildlife loss worldwide. Wildlife species, which offer a number of human needs, decline or disappear as human populations clear wildlife habitats for anthropogenic activities. The objectives of this paper are to synthesize the available information concerning human and wildlife populations and to develop a spatial GIS model for the Ugalla Ecosystem to estimate the future impacts of increasing human populations on wildlife populations using a combination of fine-resolution human population data for the years 2002, 2012, and 2050. A survey was conducted to supplement data and support the model on the relationships between human and wildlife population densities. Results indicate that by 2050, many of the presently abundant types of wildlife species will begin to disappear as the number of people in contact with wildlife increases. The paper therefore suggests that burgeoining human population around protected areas must be curtailed to enhance both consumptive and non consumptive forms of tourism in future.