Frontline Ranger Outposts
Uganda may be better known today for its mountain gorillas, but in the 1960s, it was the pinnacle of any visit to East Africa. Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda was the most visited park in Africa, famed for its abundant elephant population – over half of Uganda’s 30,000 elephants resided there. To the south, the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park was home to more mega-herbivores per square mile than any other part of Africa. It was truly a special place.
Decades of civil war led to a dramatic decline – over 95% of Uganda’s elephant population was lost to poaching. At their weakest point, only a few hundred remained. Over the last 30 years, a slow, tentative recovery has begun. Today an estimated 1,300 elephants reside in Murchison Falls National Park with a further 2,900 in Queen Elizabeth National Park. These populations represent just a fraction of the former numbers and they face daily threats from poachers – but it offers hope. We believe that with the right protection and support, Uganda’s elephants could flourish, and once again number in their tens of thousands.
Uganda’s elephants are a small, recovering population. They are still extremely vulnerable to the threats of bush meat and ivory poaching, which have risen over recent years.
UCF works closely with park management authorities to construct frontline ranger posts in strategic positions and poaching hotspots. These have an enormous impact in curbing poaching and other illegal activities, by putting “boots on the ground”. A greater ranger presence means a significant reduction in snares and traps, and increased conviction rates. In this way, UCF have enabled wildlife rangers to recover some of the most heavily poached areas of Uganda, encouraging the wildlife to flourish and reducing mortality rates.
Together, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks comprise over 2,700 square miles – a lot of park to protect. To date, UCF has completed 14 ranger posts and marine ranger stations but the pressure on the parks increases daily. Immediate action is required to help protect the elephants and support their recovery as a species.
Help us support UCF’s work recovering the elephant populations of Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks by building two frontline ranger posts:
- Ayago Marine Ranger Station and Ranger Post, to be located at the confluence of the Ayago and Nile Rivers, in Murchison Falls National Park
- Point 38 Ranger Post, to be located in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) provides proactive solutions to conservation problems. They work closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and park-adjacent communities in all five key elephant habitats in Uganda, including Queen Elizabeth Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest and Kidepo Valley National Parks and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Their strategies focus on habitat recovery, anti-poaching, law enforcement, endangered species research, veterinary capability, conservation education, human-wildlife conflict and community livelihoods. UCF believes it is only by striking the balance between conservation and community in this way that the future of Uganda’s wildlife can be safeguarded for generations to come.
Uganda Conservation Foundation
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Project Sponsors and Supporters
The Bodhi Tree Foundation
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