Rhino security, protection and law enforcement; the aim is to secure and protect existing and new populations of rhinos in Uganda by implementing effective legislation and law-enforcement. Rhino protection is part of the overall strategy of maintaining and boosting population growth rates by minimising mortalities due to poaching and snaring, addressing transnational organised crime syndicates involved in rhino poaching and securing horn stock piles from leaking into illegal markets.
Monitoring for management emphasises effective monitoring of Uganda rhino populations for informed management decision making. Rhino monitoring information enhances rhino security, guides personnel deployment, ensures informed biological management decisions and assesses progress towards meeting the overall strategic goal. A standardized monitoring system allows for comparison of data overtime and amongst different rhino sites.
Biological management aims at achieving an overall growth rate of at least 5% per annum in Ugandan rhino populations, and to promote long-term genetic viability of Uganda’s rhino metapopulation. Rapid population growth rate provides buffer against losses due to poaching, limits excessive inbreeding, addresses sex ratios, habitat carrying capacity, predator dynamics and populations of competing browsers and management of invasive/alien species among others.
Rhino re-introduction and re-establishment, aims at supplementing founder numbers in the existing white rhino population and establish at least one new site with a viable white rhino population and one new site with a viable black rhino population to achieve a meta population management strategy. Currently, the small southern white population in Uganda has demonstrated breeding success hence the need to drive the process of developing viable rhino herds in the country. This will ultimately expand rhino range in protected areas and allow for re-introduction of the northern white rhinos back to Uganda. However, with the current precarious global population of the northern white rhinos, the future lies in assisted reproductive techniques.
Ngamba Island is currently home to 52 orphaned and confiscated chimps, rescued from the illegal pet and bushmeat trade. Despite their initial trauma, chimps living at Ngamba have a safe and semi-natural environment in which to recover and eventually thrive over their long lives of up to 60 years.
Founded in 1998, the island offers 95 acres of natural forest where the chimps roam and forage daily. Their diet is supplemented multiple times per day much to the delight of visiting tourists who are able to observe the feeding from a viewing platform. The chimps also have the freedom to stay in the forest at night or return to night time enclosures where they can build nests and receive an evening meal.
Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located in Lake Victoria (which also includes Kiimi, Nsazi, Koome, Bulago and Damba Islands). Ngamba Island is approximately 23 km south-east of Entebbe, which lies on the mainland at 0.06’S, 32.39’E. It consists of approximately 100 acres, of which 95 acres is forested and separated from the human camp by an electric fence. The northern part of the island is generally flat, rising gently to an altitude of approximately 3800 feet above sea level to the south. The island is largely forested with gaps of grassland covering approximately 10% of the island.
A trail system was cut just prior to the chimpanzees’ arrival in October 1998. Trails span from east to west and north to south creating 50 x 50m blocks. Ngamba Island provides an excellent secondary forest habitat for the chimpanzees and other wildlife species including fruit bats, spiders, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards.
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is an fascinating area, located in Magombe swamp. this area is recognized for a extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primates species like the red colobus monkey, baboon, black & white colobus monkey, blue monkey grey cheeked, mangabey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Additional Mammals such as chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bush bucks, also visit this swamp coming from the adjacent Kibale National Park. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a great example of a community-based approach to the natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the different local residents living within this area plus the Uganda safaris industry as well.
The Bigodi is a paradise for bird watchers. Actually skilled birders can spot up to fifty new species on a bird list. Today, 138 species of bird have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Oamong the major bird species within the sanctuary is the grand Blue Turaco.
This swamp is supports more than 200 species of birds, among which is the most well-known bird – Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola Cristata). The swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (Kafred), and it actually benefits greatly from the adjacent Kibale National Park, since there are a number of primates such as the chimpanzees that occasionally visit the swamp, adding on the diversity of wild animals that tourists see within the Bigodi.
Climate change is one of many stressors, often not the most immediate, affecting biodiversity in Uganda. Non-climate stressors include: rapid population growth; human-caused fire; oil exploration, drilling and other energy development; industrialization, urbanization and infrastructure development; agricultural encroachment and demand for productive land;
charcoal making/fuelwood demand; and illegal and unsustainable legal harvesting of resources, such as timber, non-timber forest products, water and wildlife (poaching for food).
It is very likely that non-climate stressors such as those mentioned under #1 are themselves being exacerbated by climate factors, therefore indirectly creating risks to biodiversity. Trends including urbanization, agricultural expansion into fragile areas (e.g., protected areas) and wildlife poaching may in part be reactions to climate impacts to livelihoods. However, the data available to make these causal links are extremely limited.
Based on trend data (notably higher temperatures, more erratic rainfall and more intense rainfall events), climate change impacts on biodiversity, livelihoods and ecosystem services appear to be significant. These include: decreased quality of tourism
experience and revenue; fewer Protected Area (PA) resources for community use; increased human-wildlife conflict (HWC); increased disease transmission between wildlife and livestock and wildlife and people; reduced livelihood options, including livelihoods that rely on tourism.
The most pronounced indirect climate impacts on biodiversity include increased intensity and spread of fires. These fires result in changes in plant and animal species composition, distribution movements and abundance, and in increased spread of invasive species.
Fire-induced changes in plant and animal species composition, distribution movements and abundance and increased spread of invasive species affect habitat quality of Uganda’s PAs. They cause drying and shrinking of wetlands and open water bodies,
affecting aquatic life and wildlife that rely on aquatic resources; increase disease incidence in wildlife; and increase risks from flood events.
As you wind up your Uganda safari, there are many places you can consider to visit and get to see much more of the impressive wildlife in Uganda. Areas such as the Uganda wildlife education centre, Zika forest, Entebbe botanical gardens and the Uganda Reptile Village are worth passing by before planning to fly back home.
Uganda Reptiles Village is located in Abaita Ababiri along Entebbe-Kampala road. This reptile village is a home to over 20 species of reptiles.
There is a total of 50 reptiles at the Reptile Village in Entebbe which are categorized into 20 species. You can directly see most of these reptiles here at their new habitat where they are cared for. there are dens which were built for some reptiles and you can watch them from there. You’ll be thrilled to see reptiles such as cobras, Gabon viper, Nile monitor lizards, boomslangs, chameleons and leopard tortoises among others. This is one of the unique areas in Uganda where you have a chance to see the care takers of these reptiles play around with snakes that you would not expect to be friendly. Regardless of how poisonous some of these snakes are, they know the best way to handle them and this is where you can have such unique experiences.
Visitors that go to Uganda reptile village take a walk around and more things to see there are the two basins one with different species of tortoises and the other basin has non-climbing reptile species. There is also a point where you will watch camouflaging chameleons.
The nearby swamp is a habitat to many other reptiles and a few primates. It also has a number of birds and fish. Therefore visitors can do sport fishing here. Wetland walks are aimed at a direct adventure of the reptile village to find all the hidden beauty of this site.
Located on the northern shore of Lake Victoria, Mabamba Swamp is just 12km west of Entebbe.
Mabamba will captivate birders and non-birders alike. The wetland is Uganda’s most important birding site, and it is home to over 300 bird species.
Mabamba is an area of immense ecological importance. In 2006, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands awarded Mabamba Swamp the status of a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ since it contains globally threatened species.
The Mabamba Swamp is Uganda’s best location for adventurers who wish to see the mysterious Shoebill. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Shoebill as vulnerable.
The swamp is named after the lungfish which inhabit its waters, and they form the staple of the Shoebills’ diet. The local fishermen also rely on catching the lungfish, and this tension led some fishermen to kill Shoebills and destroy their nests. The conservation project empowered local communities to create an income through providing tours for travellers.