In April, 2010, RCF added a new project to our rainforest conservation efforts, located near and around the Amani Nature Reserve, in surrounding forest fragments and farmland of the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania.
Led by RCF Advisor to the Board Dr. Norbert Cordeiro (Roosevelt University, Chicago) and Dr. Henry Ndangalasi (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), the project works with local residents from 3 villages to conserve and restore the threatened cloud forests and the biocultural diversity of the area.
The main component of the RCF funded project is the planting of more than 30 native tree species on communal lands. Some of these lands are forest fragments that are enriched by the tree planting, while others are agroforestry systems that are rebuilding forest cover. To help raise local incomes, cinnamon and clove trees are also panted in the agroforestry systems. Local residents are well aware that restoring forest cover will also help them with wildlife, water and soil conservation.
Another key component of the project is training village technicians to manage seedling nurseries and monitor tree growth once the seedlings are planted. Along with local villagers, students from the University of Dar es Salaam work with Drs. Cordeiro and Ndangalasi on the project. The project teams are also in the process of creating a seedling identification guide in Swahili and English to educate young villagers on how to identify valuable, endemic tree species of these threatened cloud forests because this knowledge and ability to identify seedlings has been disappearing. The first laminated draft of the guide has been completed, with 102 species, and distributed to villagers, with the help of students from Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois-Chicago.
During the course of the project, team researchers have discovered a new carnivore in the area – the Servaline Genet! Read more about this study and discovery and see cool photos in the article from the link below:
First Record of the Servaline Genet (Genetta servalina) in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania
For a study on fruit bats from the area:
Your support for RCF helps make this project possible! Please join us as we try to expand this project in 2013-14. Your contribution can go directly to this important and innovative project.