Original source: Daily Mail
China needs to act now on the country's illegal ivory trade to stop elephants becoming extinct, according to one conservationist.
China accounts for 40 per cent of the world's trade in elephant tusks, with many bound for the country intercepted by customs officials in Hong Kong
Joyce Poole, co-director of Elephant Voices, said the creatures had experienced their worst year in history, with more than 7 per cent killed for their tusks in only a year.
She called for China to tackle the country's appetite for ivory to save the remaining 400,000 elephants from extinction, and said the species would be extinct within a decade if poaching continued at the current rate.
Nearly 40,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year, Poole told the South China Morning Post.
'It's either China does something, or we lose the elephants. It's that big,' she said.
'If we can't even save the elephants – such an iconic keystone animal, important to the African habitat – then what hope do we have?'
Ivory is known as 'white gold' in China, she said, and is symbol of wealth and status.
A worldwide ban on ivory was imposed in 1989, with two sanctioned sales of stock to China and Japan in 1999 and 2007.
Hong Kong customs officials have seized at least 16 tonnes of ivory worth HK$87million (more than £7million) bound for China in the past five years – which would require the tusks of 1,800 elephants, the paper reported.
About 93 per cent of elephant carcasses have been found to have been killed by poachers, said Poole, who has researched elephants for 40 years.
One elephant would earn an African poacher the same as a typical annual salary, she told the newspaper.
'I think many people don't know that you can't get the tusks [for ivory] without killing the elephants,' Poole said.
'[Beijing is] still in denial that they have any part to play. Ivory isn't worth much to the [Chinese] economy, but losing the elephants will make a huge difference to African countries.' – Daily Mail
TRAUMATISED BABY CHIMPANZEE RESCUED, GETS NEW LEASE OF LIFE
Communities in Bugandikire Village, Busaru Parish in Bundibugyo District in a surprise move recently handed over a baby chimpanzee to the police after allegedly finding it stranded in a stream. The female baby chimpanzee, which was estimated to be just about three months old, is suspected to have been orphaned after the communities ate its mother.
According to the Monitoring and Research Warden in Semliki National Park, Richard Muhebwa, it is very rare to find a baby chimpanzee separated from its mother, which means that the communities may have first killed and eaten the mother before deciding to hand over the baby to the area police. He observed that many people in Bundibugyo District like to feast on chimpanzee meat.
Bundibugyo District has many forest fragments after large chunks of forests were destroyed to pave way for cultivation and construction of homes. The baby chimpanzee was transferred to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), which usually helps to restore the health of stressed wild animals.
Like humans, chimpanzees entirely depend on their mothers after birth for food, protection and warmth. The baby chimpanzee was transported in a box and cushioned with several clothes in order to keep it warm. The staff in Semliki National Park said they fed the baby water and the big bananas during the journey to UWEC.
The Veterinary Doctor at UWEC, Dr. Julius Kasigwa, said the baby chimpanzee was extremely dehydrated and constipated when she arrived and she could not hang her neck due to weakness. Her skin was also loose and she was very dirty.
Dr. Kasigwa said the baby is now learning to suckle her milk bottle and has even gained some weight. He said they will carry out a health check on the baby in two weeks' time to determine whether it has fully recovered from the trauma of being separated from its mother.
After it has fully recovered, the baby will either be taken to Ngamba Island or kept at UWEC. Being returned to the wild is out of the question because she lacks the social chimpanzee behavior, has no survival skills, and cannot get integrated among the wild families.
As we celebrate Heroes Day today, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) takes this opportunity to celebrate the lives of our colleagues who died or got maimed in the course of their work in the protected areas. Wildlife Management in Uganda is not a walk in the park; there are several challenges which staff face Over the past 10 years, Uganda Wildlife Authority has lost staff as a result of the
- Being shot by poachers
- Falling in traps set by poachers for wildlife
- Being shot by encroachers
- Being attacked by animals especially buffaloes
- Falling off cliffs
- Being attacked by snakes
- Car accidents to or from work
Why do we call them wildlife heroes?
The UWA staff who died while on duty contributed directly or indirectly to the improvements in protected area management in Uganda today. Some of them were butchered by encroachers especially in Mt. Elgon Conservation Area, while others were shot by cattle rustlers and poachers. Below is a list of UWA staff who lost their lives or got injured while on duty during the last 10 years:-
- Paul Ngoya died at Lomej on 31st March 2003 after being shot by cattle rustlers who were crossing Kidepo Valley National Park with their loot. The deceased had spent two years with the organization.
- Mark Atimu died in 2007 in Boma after being shot dead by a casual labourer while he guarded the Boma where the park keeps animals that have been translocated from other parks. The labourer took off with Atimu's money, radio and other property. Atimu worked with UWA for six years.
- Nelson Abwala died of a snake bite in 2006 as he performed his duty as a ranger guard at Nataba Gate in Kidepo Valley National Park.
- Abolungimoe Kalisto died in March 2013 after he fell while descending a steep slope during patrol and got pierced by his knife which he had tied around his waist. Kalisto died at Apuket in Kidepo Valley National Park and had spent 25 years with the organization.
- Mathia Oyo Odongo died near Kidepo River in 2012 after being shot by a Didingi poacher from Sudan. He had spent only one year with the organization.
- Leopold Kyarisima died near River Lokimait in Kidepo Valley National Park in 2011 after being shot by Didingi poachers from sudan. He spent one year with the organization.
- Joseph Lobolia died in September 2009 at Opotipot in Kidepo Valley National Park after being shot and injured by a fellow ranger while on duty. He had spent 16 years with the organization.
- Hillary Lotyang died at Lorukul in Kidepo Valley National Park in September 2011 during a problem animal control activity. He had also spent 16 years with the organization.
- Jackson Loruma was shot and injured at Nakudongolol in Kidepo Valley National Park in 2005 while to escort duty to Kotido. He eventually survived the injuries.
- Martine Oryem was shot at Lobel in Kidepo Valley National Park while on escort duty to Mbale.
- Joseph Olemutum was shot at Nakudongolol in Kidepo Valley National Park during escort duty to a bank in Kotido. This happened in February 2005.
- Paul Lokiru was shot at Nakudongolol in Kidepo Valley National Park during escort duty to a bank in Kotido. This happened in February 2005
- Richard Nyampamia was shot at Nakudongolol in Kidepo Valley National Park during escort duty to a bank in Kotido. This happened in February 2005
- John Barungi Lotyang suffered an accident while escorting communities back to Kaboong after a meeting with the management of Kidepo Valley National Park.
- Joseph Abolia died in a road accident while driving communities back to Kaboong after a meeting with the management of Kidepo Valley National Park. He had spent seven years with the organization. Mt. Elgon Conservation Area
- Mathew Kundu died after being kidnapped from Nataba outpost by thugs in July 2003. After kidnapping him, the thugs took him to the caldera at the tip of Mt. Elgon and murdered him. His body was discovered after a twoweeks' search.
- Apollo Makayi, died at Nataba Outpost on the same day as his colleague Mathew Kundu (above).
- Toskin Fred was ambushed while on patrol in Suam in Mt. Elgon National Park in August 2008. He was short dead and his riffle was taken by unknown assailants.
- Gaboi Achan was attacked by unknown people in June 2009 at Bumwalukane Outpost in Sironko district as he returned from a patrol with his colleagues. Gaboi was grabbed, moved up to the mountain top and killed. Two guns were taken but later recovered.
- Kilongi Leonard was accidentally shot dead in September 2007 by his colleague while on duty in Moroto.
- Michael Wamatele accidently shot himself dead at the Bumwalukane outpost. Murchison Falls Conservation Area
- Salim Ochaki drowned and was later found floating on River Nile.
- Justine Obita died in an accident after his motor cycle was hit by a vehicle as he rode to work in Karuma Wildlife Reserve
- Alfred Koluo died after drowning near the Top of the Falls in Murchison Falls National Park. He had just returned from a marine patrol with his colleagues and was in the process of docking the boat when a strong wind swept the boat away. He jumped in the river as he tried to save the boat and ended up drowning.
- Geoffrey Etot was killed in a motor accident at Kabwoya after he got crashed by a car as he was travelling from Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve to East Madi Wildlife Reserve.
- Patrick Ochola was killed after he fell from a vehicle in Hoima as he was travelling from Murchison Falls National Park to Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve
- Irene Tusiime died after being bitten by a snake while on duty in 2012.
- Paul Lokiro was shot in the arm and broke his arm in March 2013 during an extended patrol in Ayago in Murchison Falls National Park. Lake Mburo Conservation Area
- Begumisa Kussein was shot dead in August 2002 during an operation against in Rwempogo in the northern ranches neighbouring Lake Mburo National Park. He had spend four years with the organization by the time of his death.
- Robert Mbagay, an Assistant Warden Law Enforcement in Lake Mburo National Park lost his finger in 2003 while handling a problem chimpanzee in Entebbe. He has handled several crocodile capture assignments and plays a key role in dealing with problem animals in the protected areas.
- Katwaza Lauben was injured in 2007 while handling a problem leopard in Mbare Subcounty in Isingiro District. He has worked with UWA since 2000 to-date.
- Kameraho Azariah was injured by a buffalo while guiding visitors in 2009. He was able to protect the visitors from the buffalo, but the animal injured him in the stomach. He has worked with UWA since 2002 to-date
- Andrew Opeto was injured by a buffalo while guiding visitors in 2006. He has worked with UWA since 1998 todate.
- Kakama was shot and injured by a poacher while on patrol in 2005. He joined the organization in 1998 and left 2011.
Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area
- Evaristo Behangana died in May 2009 in a road accident along the Ruhija-Kabale highway in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. He had spent six years with the organization.
- Emmanuel Bemazaki fell off a cliff at the Muremure Outpost in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in July 2012. He had spent seven years with the organization.
Kibale Conservation Area
- Kato Moses who is based in Semuliki National Park was injured by poachers. He survived and he is still performing his duties.
- Paul Naluma who was based in Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve died after he was crushed by a trailer on the Fort Portal-Bundibugyo highway. He was going to check out reports that communities had encroached on the Wildlife Reserve.
- Geoffrey Wabwire and Bosco Sanya died in motor accidents while on duty.
Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area
- Benson Bwambale was shot dead in 2012 at Kasenyi Gate in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kobusheshe Angel was shot dead in February 2013 at the Ishasha Gate in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Peter Ogwang lost a finger to a crocodile at Buwama in 2005 as he undertook a demonstration of crocodilecapture techniques for a group of visitors from North Korea.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Conservation fees (tariff rates) will effective January 2014 be running on a two year calendar basis as opposed to the financial year.
According to management, this move is meant to improve customer service and ease bookings for tour operators who book permits in advance for their clients. This will reduce the uncertainty and speculation on possible changes in the middle of the calendar year.
Management of UWA has accordingly resolved that the current Conservation fees for July 2011-June 2013 will be valid until 31st December, 2013. More details can be accessed on our website and the conservation fees booklets available at the UWA headquarters, National parks and offices of the tour operators.
Uganda Wildlife Authority's Chief Conservation Area manager (CCAM) Mr. Charles Tumwesigye is the proud winner of the 2013 National Geographic Society/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation.
Mr. Tumwesigye becomes the second UWA officer to win the prestigious award after his predecessor Mr. John Makombo who is currently the Director Conservation (DC)in 2010.
Seen in the photo extreme left is Dr. Seguya and extreme right is Prince William
The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority Dr. Andrew Seguya who is also a board member of the Uganda Tourism Board,on May 21st,2013, was among the Ugandan delegation that attended a meeting hosted by his Royal Higness the Prince of Wales
The meeting also attended by the commissioner for wildlife in the Ministry of Tourism Mr. James Lutalo sought to discuss action areas of potential collaboration and partnershipsto combat illegal wildlife tradeand related products.
The UWA boss also utilized his visit to hold meetings with the Ugandan embassy staff to discussissues pertaining to the promotion of Uganda Wildlife Authority and visit tourist sites and businessesin London.
Sri Lanka President
Murchison Falls National Park in My hosted a number of high profile visitors including the Sri Lankan President HE Mahinda Rajapaska.The Sri Lankan head had a boat ride to the bottom of the falls,the Delta where Victoria Nile joins Lake Albert,a game drive and also visited the top of the falls.
The discounted gorilla tracking permits promotion initiated by the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to enable East Africans and Foreign residents to enjoy the same gorilla tracking experience at reduced rates successfully ended on May 31, 2013.
The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Maria Mutagamba on Friday March 15, briefed the media on Uganda's participation at the just conclude International Travel Berlin. Below is her statement.
For visitors wishing to visit the parks but don't have as much to spend, their worries have now been resolved by Uganda Wildlife Authority. In the last 3 months UWA has renovated some of its former staff houses into modern affordable accommodation where, one can stay and enjoy a tour around the parks, within their means.
The first set of 4 houses, neighboring the visitor centre and the Albertine Rift Hhostel, have been fully renovated and refurnished to offer affordable and comfortable stay for visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Each of the bungalows contains 3 and 4 big bed rooms, a fully furnished kitchen, a sitting lounge and a dining area, which are carefully furnished with African style furniture. The facilities offers spacious environment for relaxation, meeting and work, if you may. And there can't be any, any better setting than the scenic view of the park from this location.
The Visitor information Centre is just a stone throw away, while the Parka Lodge, The boat launch and Albertine Rift Hostel are easily accessible from here.
It is ideal for families, corporate and even wedding delegations.
The 3 bedroom house costs sh. 250,000 per day while the 4 bedroom house goes for sh. 300,000.
In addition, UWA management has also commenced renovations of other staff houses popularly known as "Lower camp staff houses". The initial phase of 20 rooms is under renovation with over 10 rooms already available for use. These rooms are conveniently located near the Tembo canteen which will be reopened very soon. It is hoped that tourists staying in the lower camp houses can have their meals at Tembo canteen, which is located less than 100 meters away. In total, there are about 40 rooms that will be renovated and improved with inside toilets and showers.
Each bed costs costs about sh. 20,000 to sh. 30,000
The effort to improve and provide more accommodation in the parks, is part of Uganda Authority (UWA)'s strategy to increase domestic tourism, which is consistent with country's vision to transform the economy through optimal exploitation of its own resources.
You may recall that last year, The Chairman of Board of Trustees, Mr. Benjamin Otto, inaugurated this project, which is already bearing fruit.
The blocks which formerly housed the staff of the organization in the Mweya Peninsular which is the hub of the tourism activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park, were renovated and improved with internally generated revenue.
To book any of these accommodations, please call
- Reservations Office on 0414 355 000, 0312 355 000
- Queen Elizabeth National Park 0392 700694.
It is advisable to book in advance. And for more information about what you can do in the park, visit The Park microsite