FCF conducts research and monitoring in order to make effective wildlife management decisions and promote long-term sustainability of wildlife and their wilderness.
FCF uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to capture, manage, analyze and display geographically referenced data. Georeferenced data includes animal sightings, borders, roads, topography contours, rivers and water bodies, locations of poaching activities, locations of villages and other human activities. GIS maps are used to assist in planning anti-poaching patrols, wildlife surveys and community development projects, as well as analyzing and displaying results from these projects. FCF works collaboratively with TAWIRI, the environmental research arm of the Tanzanian government.
In November 2006, TAWIRI certified four FCF staff members in aerial surveys in the first rounds of certification outside of the Tanzanian government.
The initial phase of FCF's wildlife monitoring project was approved by the Tanzanian government in 2006 and consists of a five year monitoring plan for aerial and other wildlife surveys.
The aim is to continuously monitor wildlife populations in the areas where FCF operates to assist in the management of these areas. The program includes aerial surveys, ground counts of species such as the gerenuk and lesser kudu, and targeted lion population surveys. FCF will expand and develop the monitoring project over time to include additional programs such as studies in population dynamics.
FCF has digitized maps of all the game reserves and is adding this research information to a GIS database that collects results and allows for better management decisions.