Biodiversity Tanzania (United Republic of) (TZA)
  FishBase Complete Literature Reference
Species Families Species Families
Marine 945 178 No
Freshwater 870 47 No 800 Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten, 1996
Total 1786 205 No
Ref.   Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1984
Conservation About 38 per cent (1993) of Tanzania is forested. However, the rapidly growing population’s need for fuel and land for farming is leading to extensive deforestation. The need for more agricultural land, and consequent expansion into arid and semi-arid regions, is threatening many areas with desertification. The use of dynamite in the fishing industry is causing much damage to the marine environment. Natural hazards include the severe flooding on the central plateau in the rainy season.Thirteen per cent of the land is in protected areas, and a number of international conservation agreements have been signed, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The following information is to be sought: - Existence of conservation plans; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information.
Geography and Climate The topography of continental Tanzania is highly varied but four main types of terrain predominate: (a) the coast, below 300 m altitude; (b) the alluvial plains of the main eastward flowing rivers, from 300 to 1,000 m in altitude; (c) an inland plateau which covers most of the country, 1-2,000 m; and (d) highlands to the south and northeast, which range between 2,000 and 5,900 m. Parts of both eastern and western arms of the Rift Valley systems lie within Tanzania. The climate is linked to the topography, having also four main areas: (a) a hot humid coastal zone; (b) a hot arid central area; (c) high moist lake regions; and (d) temperate uplands. The overall climate is regulated by the monsoons which give two equinoctial rains, one from March to June, the other from October to December. At other times of the year the weather is hot and dry.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
Hydrography Tanzania is extremely well endowed with lakes. The total water area in Tanzania covers nearly 61,500 km2 or about 6.5% of the total land area, 88% of which is made up by three major lakes. The main lakes are shared with neighboring countries and are generally associated with the Great Rift Valley. These include Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa, both elongated and rather deep, and Lake Victoria, which is a broad and relatively shallow lake. Almost half the areas of two of the Great Lakes (Victoria and Tanganyika) lie within Tanzania, while Tanzania possesses 800 km of shoreline on the third (Lake Malawi/Nyasa). Other large lakes include Lake Rukwa and Kitangiri and a group of Rift Valley soda lakes (Lakes Natron, Eyasi and Manyara) which are very shallow and liable to dry up in low rainfall periods. Numerous smaller lakes are scattered throughout the country. Rivers, floodplains and swamps: there are comparatively few river systems within Tanzania as the main central plateau is arid. Four distinct river basins are apparent. The greater part of the eastern and southern regions are drained by rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean. These include one of the largest rivers in Africa, the Rufiji, with an average dis-charge of 1,133 m3/sec, and minor rivers such as Pangani, Ruwami, Ruvu and the Lake Nyasa rivers. The remaining basins are associated with either Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika or the interior drainage including the Lake Rukwa Basin. Flow patterns vary with rainfall and rivers generally flow for 5-6 months of the year only, during the wet season. This condition is variable according to rainfall intensity; high altitude mountainous areas are more likely to have an all-year-round stream flow pattern.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
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