Uganda’s most endangered animals. It is easy to take for granted the thousands of species in the form of flora and fauna that the universe has. If extra care is not taken, some of them are not here to stay as trends show. They are considered as endangered species.
Uganda is home of some of these endangered species. Here is a little of each and why they are endangered.
Uganda is estimated to have about 400 of the 700 that still exist world over resident in the protected forest reserves. These can become extinct very fast due to their small numbers.
Gorillas move in groups but each one sleeps in its own separate nest. Those below three years share their mothers’ nests.
These are found in most national parks in Uganda, in both Savannah and forest areas. They are killed for their prized tusk which still fetches a good price on the black market despite efforts to combat poaching.
By 1999, there were an estimated 400,000-500,000 African Elephants, but at a rate of 25,000 killed per year as was the case continent wide in 2011, a worrying portion of that number is not likely to exist anymore. Data from UWA shows Uganda was estimated to have 30,000 elephants in the 1960s but as of 2014, the number stands at 5346.
They love pineapples and will charge through a house if they smell one inside. They seem to be attracted by the smell of local brew like Kwete. They are terrified of trenches, bees and this has been used as a deterrent to keep them within the parks.
The King of the Jungle is also one of the critically endangered species in the world. There are estimated to be 144 lions in the whole expanse of Queen Elizabeth National Park after a count in 2008. They are threatened by killings by local community, road accidents, habitat loss and disease. Lake Mburo lost its entire lion population in the around the year 2000 due to poisonings by locals. A few are just returning, migrating from other parks in neighbouring countries.
These are estimated to be less than 200,000 remaining in the whole of Africa. In Uganda, they can be seen in Budongo forest, Semliki forest reserve and Kibale National Park. They are coveted for their value as pets in the animal trafficking market all over the world.
They are thought to have a better short term memory than humans!
They can be found in Semliki, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley, Mount Elgon and Murchsion Falls National Parks. They are being lost to habitat loss as human activity and settlement moves farther into places they called home.
They are extremely hard to trace in the wild. They are one of the most elusive animals in the wild.
Rhino are killed for their horn which is believed to have medicinal property and has large markets in Asia. Early visitors to the African Continent shot many of them for food.
In Uganda, there were 300 Northern White Rhino in 1960 but that number fell to only 20 in the 1980’s and then to zero. The Eastern Black Rhino were 400 in 1960 but also dropped to 150 before disappearing entirely.
Uganda however has Rhinoceros now thanks to a project to return the Rhino. Today Uganda has 17 Southern White Rhinos which can be seen at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
AFRICAN WILD DOG
This carnivore has one of the fastest shrinking populations of most of the animals labeled endangered. They are casualties of human animal collision and are killed a lot by people who see them as a threat to their animals. Their young are also preyed on by other carnivores. They are one of the most rarely seen animals in Uganda.
By: Edward Nankunda