News and updates from the Uganda Conservation Conservation Foundation
Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) has recently partnered with USAID to help build the capacity of Ugandan authorities to protect the country’s natural heritage and to combat illicit trafficking that threatens both Uganda’s abundant wildlife and security.
Law enforcement and forensic science experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior (the lead U.S. agency for public land management) – trained 17 investigators from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) during a recent week-long workshop near Murchison Falls National Park. With support from UCF, these experts helped participants develop the skills to conduct wildlife crime scene investigations, including collecting evidence and preserving the chain of custody. The workshop also fostered cooperation and information exchanges among the participants from UWA, UPF, and NRCN, which will help to advance future investigations.
The giant pangolin and her baby had spent the night in a secure Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) facility, having been rescued from poachers the day before by rangers. Curled up together in a protective ball, this is how the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) team found them early the next morning. Working quickly and quietly so as not to panic the animals any further in this alien environment, the rangers eased the pair into an old maize sack and placed them gently on top of a mattress in the back of the UCF pick up. These two pangolin were the latest of these armour-plated creatures retrieved alive from poachers intent on selling them illegally - for use as meat or medicine - and UCF and UWA were working together to ensure the safe release of this mother and baby.
Uganda is home to the world’s last remaining stronghold of Rothschild’s giraffe, with over 800 of these beautiful animals residing in Murchison Falls National Park. Yet the overall population trend is in decline – less than 2,500 of them are left in the world, many of which are housed within zoos or captive breeding programmes. If this continues, this elegant sub-species of giraffe will soon be classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ – meaning it faces a very real, and immediate, threat of extinction in the wild. The Murchison population represents the Rothschild’s best hope for survival – but not without its own vulnerability to the dangers of poaching, injury, or disease.
Back in 2011, Murchison Falls National Park was suffering a renewed surge of poaching. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) contacted Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) with a request to help. Animals were getting ensnared – including the Rothschild’s – and especially in the areas bordering the many waterways that surround the park. Poachers were using the river as ‘cover’, pretending to be fishermen and then moving into the park to lay thousands of wire snares. The scale of the problem was immense – in one afternoon’s patrol of the Delta in early 2012, over 300 snares were found and removed.
The Starlight Safari Ball returns for a fourth year, with the theme of "Wildlife Totems of Uganda", fundraising to support the protection of our natural heritage. This year’s event is an extra special evening as UCF marks its 15th birthday that night!
Venue: Sheraton Poolside
Time: 7.00pm till late
Dress Code: Wildlife Totems, Ranger, Poacher or Formal
Price: 230,000 UGX per person (corporate tables of 8-10 available).
Albert Nile, Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Uganda
Moses Obouja, Sector Commander for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), cut the engine of his anti-poaching patrol boat to bring it alongside the wooden fishing canoe. The number of men onboard had aroused his suspicion. Normally, local fishing canoes hold no more than three or four men in order to make room for the catch. This one had six. Were they legitimate, or poachers posing as fishermen to gain access to the wildlife-rich banks of Murchison Falls Conservation Area? Foot patrols in an area upstream had reported signs of elephants with snare injuries – so the team was on high alert.
UCF are hiring! We have a vacancy for a Projects Coordinator and three Project Officers. If you are interested in helping us deliver practical conservation and community interventions that help safeguard Uganda’s natural heritage, then please download the job descriptions below to see if you are right for the job - and how to apply. Please follow the instructions in the job descriptions - applications that do not follow the recommended procedure may be discarded.
In May 2015, representatives from conservation projects across Africa travelled to the UK to celebrate the 25th anniversary of conservation charity Tusk Trust, at a gala dinner at Windsor Castle attended by HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
The Prince spoke passionately about the rise in illegal wildlife trade, saying, “The plunder and destruction of Africa’s natural endowment remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world – and it is growing worse by the week.”
Tusk Trust works closely with the Uganda Conservation Foundation in order to support wildlife and community projects in Uganda. Here, the Prince is pictured meeting with Mr Michael Keigwin, founder of UCF, and his wife Dr Veronica Wabukawo.
UCF is working closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, communities and other conservation stakeholders to tackle wildlife crime in Uganda.
Uganda Conservation Foundation is a UK charity and Ugandan non-profit organisation providing proactive solutions to conservation problems in Uganda.
Since Tusk Trust was founded in 1990 it has partnered with more than 100 projects across Africa, focusing on protecting wildlife, supporting communities and promoting education. In Uganda, Tusk partners with UCF.
Photo by Sim Davis
The Uganda Conservation Foundation is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a major grant for its work combatting wildlife crime, as part of a joint application made with Tusk Trust, a long-term partner, and incorporating a "best of breed" collaboration with international, national and local organisations.
The Trustees of Uganda Conservation Foundation, UK Charity Number 1087295, through its local branch Uganda Conservation (Uganda) Ltd., are pleased to announce the appointments of Paul Sherwen (Chairman) and Lt Gen Ivan Koreta (Vice-Chairman) to its Uganda Board of Directors. Both appointments take effect from 1st January 2016.
Paul Sherwen grew up in Tororo in the 1960s. He spent most of his school holidays on safari in Karamoja, and as a result learned to appreciate wildlife and bush skills from a very young age. After enjoying international success as a professional cyclist, he returned home to Uganda in 1995, and became involved primarily in the Mining, Oil and Gas sectors but always retained his early love of the natural world. A Ugandan citizen, he has recently been very active with raising funds for the Mount Kenya Trust and Helping Rhinos, and sees his appointment to the Board of the Uganda Conservation Foundation as a chance to protect Uganda’s rich natural heritage for future generations of Ugandans and his own children, to enjoy and appreciate. As a former British national cycling champion and seven times Tour de France competitor, Sherwen has since found fame as a commentator and television presenter for international cycling events. His media, sporting and celebrity contacts will help Sherwen raise both awareness and vital funds for conservation in Uganda, in the face of a growing threat to this country’s wildlife of illegal trafficking and other wildlife crime.
Toyota Uganda Ltd and Sadolin Paints Ltd have teamed up with Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) on the refurbishment of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Vet Response Unit vehicle in Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).
The UWA Vet Response Unit was originally established in 2012, when UCF and a team of private sector sponsors refurbished a previously written-off UWA Landcruiser and provided specialist veterinary equipment to create the first ever UWA Vet Response Unit vehicle. Providing wheels for UWA’s vets made a crucial difference to their response time – suddenly snare-injured animals could be found and treated within 24 hrs, a major contributing factor in UWA’s efforts to safeguard Uganda’s natural heritage.
UWA rangers play a leading role in protecting wildlife habitat, illegal wildlife exploitation, and monitoring activities. Not only do rangers need reliable equipment to do their jobs, they also need moral support and a conducive work environment. UCF acknowledges the need to support the rangers and is committed to improving their working and living environment.
In 2011, UWA called upon UCF to respond to the unprecedented poaching level in Murchison Falls. Since then, UCF has responded with establishment of 5 ranger stations among other projects. Most recently UCF's Patrick Agaba was in Murchison Falls National Park to hand over another 15 bicycles for use by rangers and 10 mattresses and beds for the recently completed Punu Rii Ranger Post.
If you love Uganda do watch the Channel 4 programme 'Walking the Nile' featuring Levison Wood and his guide Boston's attempt to walk the whole length of the Nile from its source in Rwanda to the Mediterranean. The first episode shown on 5th January 2015 covered his journey from its source in Rwanda and on through Uganda. A major and tragic part of the episode takes place in and around the Murchison Falls Conservation area. It includes clips showing both the results of snare removals, fascilitated by UCF work with rangers in the area, and shows the UCF Project Manager, Patrick Agaba, who accompanies Levison on the river in Murchison. Although UCF is not acknowledged in the programme we are pleased to have assisted Levison in a small way in this section of his expedition.
If you missed this episode it can be watched athttp://www.channel4.com/programmes/walking-the-nile.
To add your support to UCF work please make a donation by clicking here.
Anne-Marie Weeden joins UCU as its first General Manager.
It is with great pleasure that the Directors of Uganda Conservation (U) Ltd (UCU), UCF's not-for-profit company in Uganda, and the Trustees of UCF now announce that Anne-Marie Weeden is joining UCU as its first General Manager.
Her appointment follows a recruitment process that saw more than 80 individuals from around the world applying for the position.
Anne-Marie brings a wealth of related experience to the table, much of it in the fields of tourism and business development, as well as being a published writer in both conservation and travel media.
Resident in Uganda for the last seven years, she has a deep-seated love of the wild, coupled with a pragmatic understanding of the immense pressures now being brought to bear on the fauna and flora of Africa.
The UWA annual report for 2013/14 has been published and amongst the many successes achieved over the year that the Authority presents to the reader, UCF/UCU features in a number of them. The relevant pages have been scanned and can be found as a downloadable PDF file attached to this news update. It is very gratifying that the efforts over many years to support and work alongside UWA, and the resulting successes, are now publically acknowledged in this manner. With our relationship now fully cemented, UCF looks forwards to robust and continued co-operation with UWA for many years to come.