Conservation in Uganda – Uganda Travel Info
Conservation in Uganda dates back to 1880s and 1902 when need to set aside major ecosystems and wildlife communities grew. The major goal of nature conservation in Uganda is to ensure wildlife, habitat protection and their sustainable use. Wildlife management in Uganda became active in 1923 with creation of the Elephant Control Department. The main target of the Elephant Control Department was to minimize the impacts to peasant farming by restricting the size and range of elephant numbers.
From 1902 to 1923, sport hunting was introduced while ancient hunting techniques and tools were banned to pave way for wildlife conservation in Uganda. Restrictions were set on natural resource use by local communities. The creation of Game Elephant Control Unit that later changed to Game Department between 1925 and 1926 was mainly aimed at minimizing extinction of wildlife species such as rhinos, elephants, hippos, lions and many others.
The British government never stopped monitoring and examining the state of wildlife resources in Uganda that later resulted into identifying areas of huge wildlife concentration thus establishment of Game Reserves for instance Toro Game Reserve, Lake George Game Reserve, Bunyoro Game Reserve and many others. Later, the National Parks Ordinance in Uganda set up a new wildlife management known as Uganda National Parks to replace Game Department that was under the Game Preservation and Control Act.
Conservation in Uganda plays a great role especially in boosting wildlife population while also protecting their natural habitat and in the long run, reward visitors on Uganda safari with authentic experiences. Besides, it increases the chances of visitors to see huge concentration of wildlife while on safari in Uganda. Conservation practices in Uganda are active mainly in the national parks where most of the country’s wildlife is confined. The other category of protected areas where wildlife conservation is very active includes the wildlife reserves and forest reserves. Conservation of these protected areas in Uganda falls under Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) an agency which is under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.
Currently, Uganda is composed of 10 pristine national parks and each of them inhabits unique wildlife species that are worth exploring while on Uganda tour. They include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Conservation in Uganda is currently very active in about 60 protected areas that inhabit huge concentration of this country’s wildlife species including the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park, golden monkeys, chimpanzees, over 1080 bird species, butterflies, countless primates, African elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions plus tree climbing lions, leopards, crocodiles a mention but a few.
Conservation in Uganda involves a number of stakeholders including local community involvement, Wildlife Conservation Society, Uganda Wildlife Authority, National Forest Authority and many others. However, wildlife conservation in Uganda still faces a lot of challenges including habitat encroachment and fragmentation, poaching, deforestation, firewood collection and many others.