Strengthen the management of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and reduce and, where possible, eliminate the threats to the area in order to safeguard the rhino population.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) consists of savanna grassland plains, montane forest, swamps and lakes and arid areas with drifting dunes. The Northern Highlands Forest Reserve occupies about 20% of the Crater area, the remainder of the highlands contributes another 27%, and the surrounding plains and bush or woodlands to the north and west make up the remaining 50%. Key paleoarchaeological and archaeological sites are included in the area.
FZS has supported conservation and research activities in Ngorongoro since the 1950s when Bernhard and Michael Grzimek first visited the area and carried out their ground-breaking censuses. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area split off from the Serengeti National Park in 1959 and was set up as a multiple land use area, where wildlife and the local Maasai pastoralists were to live side by side. Now, with the development of tourism and rapid increase in the human population, the area faces serious challenges. In addition, heavy poaching of rhinos in the 1980s decimated the 100-strong rhino population, leaving some 10 animals. The greatest threats to the long-term conservation of the rhino in the crater are now firstly ecological change in the crater, such as invasion of alien plants, and secondly human disturbance from uncontrolled tourism. The FZS project, which started in 1993 with a focus on rhino conservation, is acting accordingly and has widened its brief.
- Improvement of infrastructure in support of effective operations including the running of garage to maintain antipoaching vehicles
- Development and support of applied research on priority issues (i.e. hydrology, burning, rhino browse, soil, grass and road impact)
- Mitigate negative environmental impacts from humans and invasive species in the Ngorongoro Crater
- Support tourism management
- Development and implementation of rhino monitoring programme
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority
Ngorongoro District Council