Endangered animal species in Uganda : Uganda is one of the world’s top 10 most bio-diverse countries that hold many endangered flora and fauna species. The country truly deserves the title “pearl of Africa”. The landscape of the country is as mesmerizing as the wildlife it holds. Every year 100,000 people pan especially to meet the Mountain Gorillas or the Chimpanzees. Apart from Mountain Gorilla and Chimpanzees, there are few more iconic species that are vanishing rapidly. There are many reasons for these animals reducing their numbers like deforestation, poaching, and climate change. However, to save these animals and to encourage the Uganda Safaris; the govt. of Uganda is been adopting many methods. Here is a list of 9 endangered species that you should meet once before they vanish.
Mountain Gorillas are the most iconic attraction of Uganda safari tour; the prime reason for which most of the tourists book their ticket to Uganda. Inhabiting in the deep forest in Uganda’s volcanic mountain forests these are the giant species yet the harmless ones.
Having 98% human-like DNA these species are very playful and interesting to watch. Mountain Gorillas used to decrease heavily due to poaching and deforestation. However, the govt. of Uganda is trying to save them and as a result, the population has improved in recent few years. Considered as critically endangered by IUCN’s Red List, many programs are run to stop poaching.
International Union for Conservation of Nature has added Rothschild giraffe into the endangered animal list as the number of Rothschild giraffe is decreasing fast. The main reason for decreasing these giraffes is the loss of their homes. Less than 670 Rothschild giraffes are living in Africa now out of which 60% can be spotted in the national parks of Uganda.
Here are few interesting facts about Rothschild giraffe:
- The Rothschild’s giraffe lives in desert and savannah plains areas of Africa.
- Rothschild’s giraffe is an herbivore and love to eat Acacia trees branches/leaves.
- Rothschild’s giraffe can eat 75 pounds of food each day.
- They sleep just about 30 minutes a day.
- Rothschild’s giraffes weigh between 1800 and 2500 pounds.
- Rothschild’s giraffes mature to between 16 and 19 feet.
Due to the illegal hunt by the poachers, the black and white Rhinoceros are in danger and unbelievably lost their numbers. Once widely roaming in Northern Uganda, black Rhinos are available in very few numbers. There are only 300 black Rhinos available in Uganda. White Rhinos are the rarest and can be spotted only 80-100 in protected areas and the national park in Uganda.
Interesting facts about Rhinos:
- The name Rhinoceros means nose horn
- There are different species of Rhinos out of which 3 are native to Asia and 2 are native to Africa
- White rhino can weigh over 3500 kg
- After elephant white rhinos are the 2nd largest land mammal
- Three of the five rhinoceros species are listed as being critically endangered
- A group of rhinoceros is called a ‘herd’ or a ‘crash’.
Red Colobus Monkey
The Ugandan Red Colobus Monkeys or the ashy red colobus is recognized as a distinct species since 2001. The red Colobus monkey is an old world monkey that can be spotted in 5 places in Uganda as well as Tanzania. The monkey’s population is been decreasing rapidly, a study says the Ugandan red colobus monkey population dropped 89 percent. These monkeys are in danger due to 2 reasons; they getting killed by both the poachers and the chimps residing in the country’s national parks.
Interesting facts about Red Colobus Monkeys;
- They are grey to black with bright red-orange undersides, cheeks, and lower half of limbs
- The name is derived from Greek word “Colobe” which means “cripple”
- They do not have thumbs
- They have long tails, which is around 24 inches
One of the most iconic safaris that are in demand in Uganda is the Chimpanzee safari. Chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda is being more popular day by day. The country has only 5,000 chimps now in its national parks and reserve areas. These rare species are declining rapidly due to deforestation, being hunted for meat and mutilated by wire traps set for antelopes in the forests.
Interesting facts about Red Chimpanzees;
- These highly adaptable species can live in diverse vegetation like tropical rainforest, montane rainforests at altitudes of up to 3000 meters, swamp forests etc.
- Where male chimpanzee’s life span is 31.7 years, female chimpanzee’s live up to 38.7 years
- Female chimpanzees get their sexual maturity at the age of 13 and after 13 they can give birth to children any time of the year
- Chimpanzees take a ride on their mothers back until they reach 2 years old
- Chimpanzees share 98% of human DNA
- They can use various tools
- They play lots of activities like human-like hugging, kissing, holding the baby tight, etc.
African Elephants are hugely reducing their number in recent years and Uganda is one of the countries that are reducing elephants too. However, the precautions are taken by the govt. of the country has been improving the situation a lot. Due to these trials, the number of elephants in Uganda has increased by 600%.
Interesting facts about the African Elephant:
- African Elephants are the world’s largest land mammals
- After a few species of Apes, elephants are the most intelligent animals
- The groups of elephants are led by the female elephant of the group
- They can eat diverse vegetation including grass, leaves, woody parts of trees and shrubs, flowers and fruits
- An adult elephant intake 150kg of food a day – that is 50 tonnes a year.
Lions can be widely spotted in Queen Elizabeth national park, however, the numbers of these lions are decreasing thoroughly due to loss of forest and hunting. The lion population in Uganda has been decreased by 33% in the last 10 years. The govt. of the country is giving a lot of effort to save these endangered animals. As a result, David Shepherd Wildlife fountain is funding a 2-year program that will dedicatedly search for the reason for reducing the lion numbers as well as how to save them.
Interesting facts about African Lions;
- They are the most social cat groups living in groups called pride that consist of 15 or more lions
- While male lions take charge of protecting their territory females take the charge of hunting
- These majestic cats are threatened by habitat loss. The lion is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Lion’s roar can be heard by 8km
- They can run about short distances at 50 mph and jump as far as 36 feet.
- An African lion can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
Due to its nocturnal, solitary behavior and well-camouflaged coat, the striking leopards can be live in various vegetation. These stealth cats can be seen in Uganda national parks. These species can be spotted in Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Lake Mburo National Park. The main fact of their reducing numbers is the poaching for their beautiful fur coats and body parts for medicines.
Interesting facts about Leopards;
- The spots on the furs of Leopards are called rosettes
- These fast cats can run up to 58km/h
- Leopards are very solitary and spend most of their time alone
- They are skilled climbers and can climb any kind of trees
- Female leopards leave a different kind of scent rubbing themselves in trees as a sign of ready For a mate
- Female leopards give birth to 2-3 cubs once
- Female leopards weight around 62 – 100 pounds and male leopards weigh around 80 – 150 pounds.
African Wild Dog
Due to ongoing habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities and infectious disease African wild dogs are vanishing very fast. They are the 2nd most endangered carnivores of Uganda and there is a total of less than 550 wild dogs roaming in African countries. Poaching is one of the prime reasons for these animals’ decreasing numbers.
Interesting facts about African Dogs:
- African wild dogs are highly sociable
- They usually live in packs of 6 to 20 numbers
- They communicate through a variety of vocalizations, movements, and touch
- They are one of the intelligent and cooperative hunters
- Both the male and females do the babysitting
- The scientific name for the African Wild dog means “painted wolf”