Muhezi-Swaga Swaga

Region: Dodoma
Type: C - Continuous or semi-continuous non-agricultural land between protected areas with anecdotal information on animal movements.
Threat: Critical - probably less than 3 years remaining.

Description

Little is known about the Muhezi-Swaga Swaga corridor, beyond the fact that elephants are known to use the area seasonally and other species are found throughout the corridor. 

Whether it is one diffuse corridor or a number of separate ones is unknown, but it seems likely that the Itigi thicket-type habitat is important. 

The Muhezi-Swaga Swaga Corridors
The Muhezi-Swaga Swaga Corridors

The Muhezi-Swaga Swaga Corridors

Wildlife

ElephantElephant are known to use the area, and human-elephant conflict is not uncommon. There are reports of a seasonal round, with elephants passing through the northern area from Muhezi toward Swaga Swaga early in the wet season, returning via the south of Bahi later in the year.

Preliminary genetic evidence suggests that Ruaha elephants (including Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhezi) may be more closely related to Tarangire than Selous elephants, but the population structure is far from clear. 

Kudu, impala and eland are also reported, though it is not clear whether they move through the area, or are locally resident in habitat remnants or simply disperse from Muhezi and SwagaSwaga. 

Threats

Cultivation is probably the largest single threat to the area. Clearing of thicket for charcoal or cultivation may eliminate local refuges within the corridor. 

Some mining occurs in the area, with known uranium anomalies and calcrete deposits around the Bahi Swamp, but whether mining these resources will affect wildlife or use of the corridor is not clear. 

The hydrology of the Bahi swamp may also be affected by diversions associated with mining or irrigation.

References

Coppolillo et al. (2006) Final report for Fish and Wildlife Elephant Grant.