UGANDA CONSERVATION FOUNDATION BOOSTS UWA ANTI-POACHING PROJECTS

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In 2010, the Uganda Wildlife Authority requested UCF’s support to help recover MFCA, citing worrying levels of poaching which stretch UWA’s limited resources and capacity. Elephants are a major target for their ivory, although all forms of wildlife are at risk due to the widespread and indiscriminate use of snares and traps.

With support from donor organizations, UCF has supported UWA, MFCA with the following:
1.    Waterways project: UCF has built two marine stations, provided 3 boats, 3 engines and trained 19 marine rangers. This led to the formation of marine unit at MFCA
2.    Semanya Ranger Post, and its impact on reducing snares from more than 100 per day collected to less than 10 per day collected from the delta area up to Pakuba. The ranger station is now giving land and water based ranger teams easy and fast access to the delta and the water ways preventing poaching and other illegal activities. UWA rangers have
    Regained management control of the of the Delta region
    Anti-poaching deterrent permanently based and fully operational in the Delta
    Safety and rescue function (tourism and community) operational in the Nile water
    Research and monitoring function operational in the Delta region
    Fisheries protected from illegal fishing activities and practices.
     Reduction in snares and animals caught in snares in the region
    Mobile and marine units to stay at facility ensuring their regular use of the area


3.    Bulaya and Mupina ranger posts, located in the heart of Southern MFCA which is previously neglected region, spanning over 3000km²  that used to host the highest mega herbivore per km² in Africa, and 1960s MF was the most visited in Africa. For fifty years there has been no tourism or ‘management’ in south MF. Recovery and Future expansion of tourism is possible in the near future. Once the rangers are in place, the following are expected:
    Intensive ranger patrolling in south MFCA
    Removal and destruction of existing snares, traps and poacher camps
    Large scale reduction in poaching pressure
    Research and monitoring function operational starts in Southern MFCA
    Recovery of wildlife numbers in the area
    Reduction in snares and animals caught in snares in the region
    Elephant data collection on southern MFCA starts
    Conservation Education in the community bordering the park starts

4.    Provided the wire and bolt cutters to destroy the wire snares
5.    Provided bicycles to easy the mobility of rangers
6.    WILD LEO project that uses advanced intelligence gathering and analysis techniques to study and prevent criminal activity using hybrid geo-location cameras.  recording patrol locations every 10 seconds and providing records of incidents and observations to help us understand the area, poaching/other illegal activities and elephant distribution. .UCF provided 5 geo-location cameras and more 10 are on the way and 5 water proof cameras for the marine unit.
7.    Supported the veterinary response unit that deal with the injured animals by refurbishing a Toyota land cruiser.
Other areas of support include:
1.    Elephant DNA project
2.    Rothschild Giraffe skin lesion investigation:

The mentioned ranger posts built by UCF act as  bases from which anti-poaching rangers can effectively block the poachers operating in the region, an effort immensely welcomed by UWA law enforcement department. This has reduced the cost of transporting UWA rangers from long distances, and increased ranger presence in the areas have improved security and reduced poaching. Rangers will remove and destroy wire snares and traps. Ranger presence will also enable faster response to human/elephant conflict incidents. To support this work, ancillary items are needed, such as solar charging systems to power electric gargets, rain water harvesting tanks, geo –location cameras and bicycles for easy mobility.

UCF is grateful gratefulto BHCfor having come on board to support anti-poaching measures by providing funds to purchase solar panel for Mupina and Bulaya ranger posts plus and purchase of additional hybrid relocation cameras for the protection of the remaining elephants in MF because the protection of elephants will automatically lead to the protection of other wildlife animals.

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