Study Site #8 – Simanjiro/Tarangire, Tanzania
The Kisongo Maasai who live in the Simanjiro area have long pursued pastoralism on the plains north and east of the Tarangire National Park, but they have recently adopted mechanized agriculture, less as a productive form of land use than as a strategy to secure land rights to a region where the expansion of wildlife protection areas were seen to threaten their security of land holding. So paradoxically, due to the government’s legal recognition of rights to land under tillage but not to grazing lands, the community is driven to pursue a less productive livelihood that threatens wildlife access to the larger wet-season catchment area surrounding the National Park (protected areas are invariably constructed around permanent water sources that serve as dry-season grazing). The challenge in this area is to conceive of a legal structure (a Wildlife Management Area?) that will protect pastoral use rights while sustaining wildlife access to village lands, especially at a time that ideas are under consideration to create a wildlife corridor that will link Tarangire to Manyara Game Reserve and then to Ngorongoro and Serengeti to the to the northwest of Tarangire. The Tarangire-Simanjiro area has been the site of research by one of our collaborators, Prof. T. McCabe, and community development work by the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT).