Uganda Wildlife Authority begins tranlocation of 150 kobs from Murchison Falls to Kidepo Valley National Park, UWA boss confident of their security
Uganda Wildlife Authority has embarked on an ongoing mass translocation drive of 150 Uganda kobs from Murchison Falls to Kidepo Valley National Park in northern Uganda.
The purpose of the exercise is to diversify wildlife species in Kidepo Valley National Park and to expand their home range to their former status. Currently Kidepo Valley national Park has only four kobs in the Boma area. This was confirmed by UWA Executive Director Dr. Andrew Seguya . ‘’We intend to establish a new population in Kidepo Valley National Park which can act as ‘seed stock’to populate other areas in the region.
At cost of Uganda shillings 200Million, the exercise which is currently ongoing is being conducted by UWA with the support of staff from other conservation areas .
Makerere University has also sent a team of five students and two lecturers from COVAB to experience the exercise hands on which is also intended to build capacity.
Recent increasing oil discoveries and investments in the Albertine Graben, has enhanced U.W.A resolve to mitigate unforeseen impacts .
The UWA chief maintains that ‘Translocation has been in UWA before oil exploration to restore the species diversity that had suffered a big decline. Efforts began as far as the late 90’s with attention given to species that had suffered severe decline. Giraffe and eland populations were expanded by adding some individuals from other parks. Oil exploration has enhanced our motivation to prepare for unforeseen impacts’ .
Black Rhinos once roamed the lush plains of Kidepo Valley,until they were hunted down to extinction in the early 80’s with a recent breeding program for the White Rhino ongoing under the Rhino Fund Uganda at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Dr. Seguya is upbeat that their return is eminent. ‘It is well in the Rhino National Conservation Strategy for Uganda. The return of the black Rhinos will signal the climax of the restoration of the damage done by the civil war periods of the 1970’s and 80’s.
He is confident that Kidepo Valley National Park is secure with Law Enforcement doing a great job to ensure that treats to poaching are countered.
At 3840 Sq. Km Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest protected area. It is studded with Borasus palm and grassland supporting birdlife lion, buffalo, elephant and Uganda kob, Rothschild’s giraffe and Patas monkey. The launch cruise offers close up views to Hippos galore, and crocodiles on the poise. Latest census figures in the park put kob numbers at about 55,000 .The exercise is expected to last two weeks.