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IUCN Management Category II (National Park)
Biogeographical Province 3.05.04 (East African Woodland/savanna)
Geographical Location East of the Arusha-Dodoma road, 114km from Arusha and about 20km south-east of Lake Manyara. 3°50'S, 36°00'E.
Date and History of Establishment 1970 as a national park. Prior to that the area was a game reserve, gazetted in 1957.
Area 260,000ha; surrounded by Lolkisale, Simanjaro and Mkungunero Game Controlled Areas
Land Tenure Government
Physical Features The arid undulating country has some rocky outcrops and high ground in the south-east. It is deeply incised by the Tarangire river which bisects the park from south to north, but shrinks to a series of deep pools at the height of the dry season (from July to October). There is a watercourse along the western boundary. Swamps form during the rains, which fall sporadically from November to May with a peak in March. Mean annual precipitation is 750mm. Mean maximum temperature is 27°C and minimum temperature 16°C. The extreme minimum is 4°C in July and highest maximum 40°C in January. Humidity in October falls to 35%, indicating very dry conditions.
Climate No information
Vegetation Nine distinct plant associations have been identified, of which the Acacia tortilis parkland appears the most attractive to both fauna and visitors. Other zones are riverine grassland, Acacia-Commiphora woodland, Combretum-Dalbergia woodland, sparse gallery forest and woodland along drainage lines, whistling-thorn Acacia drepanolobium, black cotton soil pans with a thin grass cover. Euphorbia spp. and succulents are found in the deeper gullies and on rocky ridges. Baobab trees Adansonia digitata commonly occur in association with several of these communities.
Fauna Mammals include most of the East African 'plains' species such as: lion Panthera leo, leopard P. pardus (T), cheetah Acinonyx jubatus (T), elephant Loxodonta africana (T), zebra Equus burchelli, lesser kudu Tragelaphus imberbis, eland Taurotragus oryx, and buffalo Syncerus caffer. Impala Aepyceros melampus are particularly common. The avifauna (like the more arid vegetation) constitutes an extension of north-east African conditions, so that species such as rosy-patched shrike Tchagra cruenta and golden-breasted starling Cosmopsarus regius occur here near the south-west extremity of their range.
Cultural Heritage No information
Local Human Population No information
Visitors and Visitor Facilities Tourism development is limited. Visitors are mainly from Arusha. There is a lodge (which is currently being renovated), campsites and two airstrips (1km from the lodge and near park headquarters). Rock paintings around 50km south of the park entrance are a tourist attraction.
Scientific Research and Facilities The park was the site for one of the earliest studies entailing the development of accurate animal censuses. Recent research has been carrried out on giraffe.
Conservation Value No information
Conservation Management Total
A proposal has been put forward by the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) that a multiple land use authority should be created in the Lolkisale-Simanjiro ecological unit, modelled on the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. They also support proposals by Tanzania National Parks for corridors between Tarangire and the south, and northeast to Lake Manyara.
Management Constraints Due to an increase in the human population in the Mto wa Mbu area, and large farm/ranch schemes in the north and east, animal migration routes are being cut off and Tarangire is in danger of becoming an isolated island park. It is in fact a major dry season concentration area in north-east Masailand for many large mammal species. During the rains, large numbers of wildebeest, zebra, eland and elephant move out of the park to the shortgrass plains and adjacent thorn bush areas to the north and east. These areas comprise the Lolkisale and Simanjiro Game Controlled Areas and are essential to the well-being of Tarangire, but have little conservation status. The area has long been shared with Maasai pastoralists, but large and small scale cultivation (including much commercial seed bean farming long established northeast of the park) is rapidly encroaching. An illustration of this problem occurred in 1982 with the granting of a lease of 350,000 acres for farmland along the park's eastern boundary. The lease specified that animals could be shot. It was revoked aftern public outcry and amidst much controversy in 1983. Bushfires are another problem, often started by honey-hunters or poachers. Poaching is mainly for horn and ivory. Black rhinoceros have been decimated and survival of the remaining few is doubtful. Availability of water for tourist use is another problem, with water only available from boreholes.
Staff Senior park warden, two support wardens and a building foreman. Total staff of 60 in 1984.
Budget No information
Tanzania National Parks Authority, PO Box 3134, Arusha.
Borner, M. (1982). Recommendations for a multiple land use authority adjacent to Tarangire National Park, Arusha Region, Tanzania. FZS Report.
Borner, M. (1985). The increasing isolation of Tarangire National Park. Oryx 19: 91-96.
Lamprey, H.F. (1963). Ecological separation of the large mammal species in the Tarangire Reserve, Tanganyika. East African Wildlife Journal 1: 63-92.
Lamprey, H. (1963). The survey and assessment of wild animals and their habitat in Tanganyika. Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in modern African states. IUCN Publication New Series 1. Morges.
Lamprey, H.F. (1964). Estimation of the large mammal densities, biomass and energy exchange in the Tarangire Game Reserve and the Masai Steppe in Tanganyika. East African Wildlife Journal 2: 1-46.
Peterson, D. (1976). Survey of livestock and wildlife. Seasonal distribution in areas of Masailand adjacent to Tarangire Park. Final report to the regional livestock development department and the Masai range development project. Mimeo.
Peterson, D. (1976). Seasonal distribution and interaction of cattle and wild ungulates in Masailand, Tanzania. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Vesey-FitzGerald, D.F. (1973). Browse production and utilisation in Tarangire National Park. East African Wildlife Journal 11: 291-305.
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Revision date: 11-December-2000 | Current date: 14-December-2000