With the Jubilee holiday and the mid-term break over, everyone is back at school for the last stretch before the summer holidays. Here in the education centre, we are gearing up for one of our busiest times.
This year we celebrated the 4th annual Tanzania Day at Flamingo Land Resort. Tanzania Day is a day to support all things UFP. The Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) is Flamingo Land’s conservation project in East Africa. The project focuses on working in the Magombera Forest. Here our local Tanzanian team monitor the health of the forest by measuring tree growth, following and recording the activity of the monkeys which call the forest home and patrolling for illegal logging. Cutting down trees for charcoal production is one of the main threats to this unique and fascinating forest.
This rather different expedition was never going to reveal new species, but the Kilombero Sugar Company may hold the key to the survival of a forest and many rare species living there. The sugar company are the owners of a large part of the threatened Magombera forest, where the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) is carrying out it’s work on forest conservation. As part of efforts to save Magombera from destruction, Dr. Andy Marshall spent two days with the sugar company staff, exchanging ideas and learning about sugar.
The world’s first pedal-powered cinema has given hope to the Udzungwa Forest Project, which until now has focussed most of its educational work on primary school children. This mobile cinema was taken to Katurukila village on the edge of the threatened Magombera forest, where 500 villagers watched a film about the importance of forests for providing water and preventing drought. This was the first showing of a pedal-powered film in Tanzania.
We regret to report the death of Langson Mwakisoma, a pioneering botanist in the Udzungwa Mountains. Langson Kisoma (approx 70) died on the 6th July in his home village of Magombera. Kisoma was a longstanding field assistant to ecologists working in the Udzungwa Mountains, particularly in the late 1970s and 1980s. He was an expedition member on some of the first intensive ecological surveys of the Udzungwa area, including Alan Rodger’s first surveys of the colobus monkeys and Jon Lovett’s pioneering surveys of the plants. As a result, Kisoma was central to the current understanding of the biology of the Udzungwa Mountains and to the discovery of several new species.