VNLC is serving as the project lead for the development of a vegetation classification and map based on current International Vegetation Classification (IVC) protocols. We are working in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), the main wildlife conservation and research agency of the Tanzanian government, as well as Dr. Todd Keeler-Wolf, head vegetation ecologist for the state of California, and Jennifer Buck, senior botanist with the California Native Plant Society.
The project site is within the Kwa Kuchinja Wildlife Corridor, linking Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. The corridor is threatened by land conversion to subsistence agriculture and the project report will be used for improved wildlife conservation and land use planning. The project has involved three field visits to identify for the study area, collect vegetation plot data, and ground-truth preliminary classification and mapping. Field crews have consisted of a combination of California and Tanzanian botanists as well as armed rangers to provide protection from lions, buffalo, and other large mammals that inhabit the study area. The final report from the first project phase will be completed in 2017 and the project team will present the study results at the biennial TAWIRI Science Conference in Arusha, Tanzania in late 2017.