By 2022 Uganda’s Rhinos Will Be Re-Introduced By Uganda Wildlife Authority
It is very unfortunate to say that Rhinoceros, one member of the African Big Five is listed under the IUCN Red list, as a critically endangered species. During your Uganda Wildlife Tours, you may found large number of rhinos only once, in a restricted area. There was a time when more than 500, 000 black and white rhinos were widespread in Uganda which has been reduced to less than 21,000 now for habitat loss, political conflict, and illegal poaching. As the civil unrest for political conflict is inversely proportional to the population of rhinos, the Uganda Government needs to re-introduce the increased number of rhinos to show the country’s long term peace with good governance to the international community. The government of Uganda has been trying for the successful conservation of rhinos with other wildlife which is beneficial to the country both economically and ecologically.
Rhino Conservation And Management Strategy For Uganda
In 1997, for the first time, the government of Uganda by the help of Uganda Wildlife Authorities and Ministry Of Tourism, Wildlife And Antiquities wanted to re-introduce the Rhinoceros back to Uganda by launching Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU).
RFU is an NGO whose aim was to increase the number of population of Rhinos and save them from the poaching.
As a statutory body Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) was established in 1996. It was created on the basis of an Act of Parliament which is Uganda Wildlife Act Cap 200, the Laws of Uganda 2000. It is formed by the merger of the former Uganda National Parks and the former Game Department and governed Board of Trustees. The union has the legal mandate to ensure sustainable management of wildlife resources for both inside and outside of reserved areas.
The logical structure of the National Rhino Conservation And Management Strategy for Uganda has short term goals, strategic objectives and actions for a 10 years plan.
The Key Objectives Of Strategy Are:
- • Security Protection and Law Enforcement
- • Monitoring the progress for Management
- • Biological Management to meet the demographic and genetic goals
- • Reintroduction and establishment
- • Capacity
- • Coordination and Collaboration
- • Communication and Education
- • Funding for the Plan
At the beginning of the 20th century, the rhinos were 500,000 whereas the number of rhinos has reduced to fewer than 21, 000 in 2009. But since 2017, there is a decline in the number of rhinos 29, 000 to 27,300 till now due to habitat loss and poaching.
From the beginning of 19th century, Uganda Destination has been an incredible tourist destination for its fascinating diversity of wildlife and spectacular view of Mountains, Lakes and savannahs. It was named as “The Pearl Of Africa” By The Sir Winston Churchill.
The Eastern Black Rhinos population is 400 by the 1960’s, in Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls national park lived up to the 1970’s. In 1970, due to civil war and armed poaching, the population ended up. The Northern White Rhinos are 300 in Murchison National park by 1960.
A bulletin of Zoological Society of New York shows the threatened no. of Northern White Rhinos in 1924, which aware the government of Uganda to take action for the preservation of rhino’s population in the country. As per the census carried by Uganda government, there were 150 Northern white rhinos on the bank of Nile River, which is the most eastern extent of Uganda. The govt. of Uganda made the sanctuaries in 1938, to protect the white rhinos which has included 170 square mile of Mt. Kei Forest and Mt. Otze Forest Reserve.
The population of White rhinos increased to 350 in the West Nile District from 1951 to 1955. There was a high demand for the rhino horn which results into increased poaching. By 1960, there were only 80 rhinos left with 50 individuals. In 1967, at Ajai Game reserve, only 60 white rhinos were left and at Murchison National Park, only 18 white rhinos were left. The severe extermination of white rhinos during 1979 Liberation War almost wiped out the population of white rhinos. Since 1983, the eastern black rhino can only be seen in Kidepo valley national park and northern white rhino can be found only in Murchison Falls national park since 1982.
There is five rhino species in the world. These are: Black, White, One-Horned, Javan and Sumatran. Black Rhino (Diceros Bicornis) and White Rhino (Ceratotherium Simum) are the African species whereas, the remaining three species belongs to Asia.
- • Northern White Rhinoceros
The Northern White Rhinoceros is the subspecies of White Rhino and belong to the extreme north-west of Uganda. Though the White rhinos increased from 14,540 to the 17,480 in between 2005 to 2007, the Northern white rhinoceros is a critically endangered, according to the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species 2008.
- • Eastern Black Rhinoceros
Eastern black rhino is the subspecies of Black rhino and commonly found in the northern and north-eastern areas of Uganda. Eastern black rhino is critically endangered as per the IUCN Red list Threatened Species 2008.
- • Southern White Rhinoceros
As one of the subspecies of White rhino, Southern White rhino can be found in the southern part of Kenya. This species are out of range, and listed under the IUCN Red list Threatened Species 2008 as Near Threatened species. In your Uganda Wildlife Safaris, you can find two rhinos at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and fourteen rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Analysis Of Threats And Weaknesses
Today the threats for Rhinos are habitat loss, and poaching. Trading of rhinoceros horn is increasing as the demand for the horn increases. The horns are used to make traditional Chinese medicine, Aphrodisiac, and for luxury uses.
As the human needs for more land for the settlement, agricultural production and increasing lodge systems, the habitat for rhinoceros is reducing day by day. The political conflicts or war gives opportunities for the poaching for an illegal trading. The regions with weak law enforcement and war zones offer the golden way for poaching and other illegal activities.
Some Other Reasons Are:
- • Poaching, International Markets
- • Habitat loss
- • Diseases with lack of care
- • Lack of breed capability
- • Demographic conflicts
- • Habitat loss for Oil & Infrastructure Development
The Purpose Of The Rhino Conservation Management Strategy
- • To return back the rhinoceros back to Uganda
- • To guide and provide direction for rhino conservation and management in Uganda
- • To align with the 1995 Constitution of Uganda Parliament
- • To merge with the 2014 Uganda Wildlife Policy
- • For a successful; implementation of UWA Strategic Plan 2013-2018
- • To seek and provide the financial and material support regionally and globally for the rhino conservation in Uganda.
During Uganda Safari, you need to spot this endangered species to make your dream to watch African Big Five successful. As Uganda is “the pearl of Africa”, you need to experience the true nature with wildlife diversity.
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