Ecosystems

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Ecosystems - These are communities of plants and animals, together with physical characteristics of their environment(e.g geology, soil and climate) interlink together as an ecological system to 'ecosystem".

Ecosystem diversity is more difficult to measure because there are rarely clear boundaries between different ecosystems and they grade into one another., however, it consistency criteria are chosen to define the limits of an ecosystem, there their numbers and distributions can be measured. individual species and ecosystems have evolved over millions of years into a complex of interdependence and this brings in ecological arguments for conserving biodiversity which is therefore base don what we need to preserve biodiversity in order to maintain our own life support system. there are two main ways to conserve biodiversity. these are termed are ex situ (i.e out of the natural habitat and in situ (within the natural habitat).

In situ conservation maintain only the genetic diversity of species, but also the evolutionary adaptation that enable them to adapt continually to changing environmental conditions. In situ conservation measure involves mainly designating specific areas as protected sites/areas. protection may be offered at various levels fro complete protection and restriction of access. In situ conservation, sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are dependent upon properly maintaining sufficient quantity and quality of natural habitat. Protected areas, together with conservation, sustainable use and restoration initiatives in the wider land-and seascape are essential components in national and global biodiversity conservation strategies. They provide a range of goods and ecological services while preserving natural and cultural heritage.

 

Protected Areas can contribute to poverty alleviation by providing employment opportunities and livelihoods to people living in and around them. In addition, they also provide opportunities for research including for adaptive measures to cope with climate change, environmental education, recreation and tourism. As a result, most countries have developed a system of protected areas. The protected-area network now covers about 11 percent of Earth land surface. Given their many benefits, protected areas are important instruments for meeting the Convention targets of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss.

Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa, dating back in 1920s, to establish an elaborate system of Protected Areas (PAs) representing a wide range of ecological, biodiversity and climatic conditions; with a variety of species and ecosystems. Uganda network of Protected Areas include National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Community Wildlife Areas, Local and Central Forest Reserves distributed across the country.

A total of 735 forest and wildlife Protected Areas have been established covering 18% of the total land surface area of the country ranging from National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Forest reserves, wetlands and community wildlife management areas. In addition, there are 12 Ramsar Sites that have been designated under the jurisdiction of Wetland Management Department.. There are 34 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) which overlap with the 10 National Parks, 3 Wildlife Reserves, 12 Ramsar Sites and 506 Central Forest Reserves and include most of the great tourist attractions of the country making Uganda one of the most pristine areas with high potential as a tourist destination in Africa. A detailed wildlife protected Area systems Plan (WPASP) was adopted in 2002 and consequently Parliament rationalized the PAs in various Statutory Instruments under Section 17 of Wildlife Act Cap 200.




Table 1: Extent of Uganda’s Protected Areas by category

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Category

No.

Area (km2)

%age of Uganda’s Land area





National Park

10

11,279

5.5

Wildlife Reserves

12

9,206

4.5

Wildlife Sanctuaries

10

714

0.3

Central Forest Reserves

506

10,796

5.3

Local Forest Reserves

192

50

0.02

Community Wildlife Reserves

05

4,783

2.3





Total

735

36,828

18.0%

Source: WPASP, 2002 and Forest Reserve Declaration Order, 1998)

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Uganda has three World Heritage Sites, one Ramsar site and one Man and Biosphere Reserve and plans to prepare nominations for one or two other World heritage sites and two Man and Biosphere reserves are at advance stages.

The majority of wildlife conservation areas in Uganda were established in the 1950s. National Parks and Game reserves were declared in 1960s to mainly protect significant assemblages of mega fauna - elephants, buffaloes, lions and others. Controlled Hunting Areas (CHAs) were established to ensure regulated game hunting. The CHA status never restricted human settlement and other associated activities except hunting without a permit. At their time of creation, CHAs were areas that had large wildlife concentrations at the time when human population was very low in Uganda.

Wildlife Protected Areas

The table below summarizes the first date of gazettement of major wildlife Protected Areas and the size of the Protected Area. These have all been since rationalized and regazetted under Section 17 of the Uganda Wildlife Act Cap 200.

Protected Area

Area sq.km

Legal Establishment

Bwindi Impenetrable NP

World Heritage Site

327

1992, Statutory Instrument 3

Kibale National Park

Wetlands i siten extreme south is a Ramsar

789

1993, Statutory Instrument 76

Kidepo Valley National Park

1,431

1962, Legal Notice 74

1967, Statutory Instrument 40

Lake Mburo National Park

370

1983, Statutory Instrument 2

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

38

1991, Statutory Instrument 27

Mt. Elgon National Park

1,110

1993, Statutory Instrument 76

Murchison Falls National Park

3,877

1954, Legal Notice 221

1970, Statutory Instrument 209

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Man and Biosphere Reserve; Ramsar Site

 

1952, Legal Notice 159

1970, Statutory Instrument 209

Rwenzori Mountains National Park, World Heritage Site

995

1991, Statutory Instrument 26

Semuliki National Park

220

1993, Statutory Instrument 76

Ajai Wildlife Reserve

148

1965, Statutory Instrument 147

Bokora Wildlife Reserve

1,816

1964, Statutory Instrument 223

Bugungu Wildlife Reserve

473

1968, Statutory Instrument 20

East Madi Wildlife Reserve

829

1964, Statutory Instrument 125 as controlled hunting area, part (about 50%) gazetted as Wildlife reserve 2002, the other degazetted

Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve

87

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Karuma Wildlife Reserve

675

1965, Statutory Instrument 136

Katonga Wildlife Reserve

210

1965, Statutory Instrument 136

Kigezi Wildlife Reserve

265

1962, Legal Notice 292

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve

154

1965, Statutory Instrument 199

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

1,757

1964, Statutory Instrument 219

Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve

2,304

1965, Statutory Instrument 136

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

542

1963, Statutory Instrument 246


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The National Park hosts globally threatened mammals and a variety of birds; the forest contains about 300 individuals of Gorilla gorilla beringei (CR), roughly half of the world population of this subspecies, as well as Loxodonta africana (EN), Pan troglodytes (EN) and Cercopithecus hoesti (LR/nt).

The bird checklist of Bwindi currently totals 347 species. Mubwindi swamp is home to Bradypterus graueri. Indicator pumilio is only known in Uganda, with certainty, from this locality. Some of the species endemic to the Albertine Rift, such as Pseudocalyptomena graueri, Muscicapa lendu and Cryptospiza shelleyi, have limited distributions elsewhere in their range. The park also holds Zoothera oberlaenderi, one of the six species of the Eastern Democratic Republic Congo lowlands Endemic Bird Area. The northern sector is especially rich in species of the Guinea Congo Forests biome. Eight species of trees are known only from this forest in Uganda.

Mgahinga Gorilla national Park

Threatened mammals found here include Gorilla gorilla beringei (CR), Cercopithecus mitis kandti (EN) and Loxodonta africana (EN). The most recent checklist lists 115 birds species. Three of the globally threatened species, and others such as Nectarinia johnstoni, can be viewed in the open heath between the bamboo zone and the edges of the forest. Other scarce highland species include Musophaga johnstoni, Phylloscopus laetus, Chloropeta similis, Apalis personata, Nectarinia preussi and Cercomela sordida (known only from old records). Other notable species, such as Francolinus nobilis, Cossypha archeri, Batis diops and Parus fasciiventer, are found in only a few other places in Uganda.

Mount Elgon National Park

Threatened mammals known from this site include Loxodonta africana (EN). The small-mammal fauna is rich, and includes a relict population of Rhabdomys pumilio (DD), only known in East Africa from Mount Elgon. The butterflies Metisella trisignatus and Imbrasia balayneshae are known in Uganda only from this forest. Mount Elgon forests are rich in birds, with a total of 300 species recorded. Mount Elgon represents the western range-limit of some species or races that occur in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, such as Cisticola hunteri and Francolinus jacksoni, although the presence of Francolinus jacksoni needs confirmation (there is only one sight record). Notable among the species that are restricted to the Afrotropical Highlands biome, the park holds three that are not currently known from any other Ugandan IBA; Francolinus psilolaemus, Pogoniulus leucomystax and Cercomela sordida. Other notable highland species include Caprimulgus poliocephalus, Linurgus olivaceus and Cryptospiza salvadorii. There is an endemic race of Pogonocichla stellata. Francolinus jacksoni and Apalis pulchra are both forest-dependent species known only from Mount Elgon in the Ugandan part of their ranges.

Kibale National Park

There are four important timber species of conservation concern: Milicia excelsa (LR/nt), Cordia millenii, Entandrophragma angolense (VU) and Lovoa swynnertonii (EN). The park supports a rich fauna, including mammals of global conservation concern such as Loxodonta africana (EN), chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (EN), Procolobus badius and Cercopithecus hoesti (LR/nt), as well as the butterfly Papilio antimachus (DD). So far, 339 species of birds have been recorded, but more species are likely to be added. Among the scarcer species are Apaloderma vittatum, Campethera tullbergi, Trochocercus albiventris and Cryptospiza reichenovii, each found in only two other highland IBAs. There are old records of Francolinus nahani. The forest of this park lies close to the site of a postulated Pleistocene forest refugium in the Albertine Rift area. This has resulted in a diverse community of forest species, which also includes many Congo-Basin species at the eastern limits of their ranges.

Kidepo Valley National Park

The park has about 80 species of mammals, of which 28 are not found in any of the other Ugandan parks, including Acinonyx jubatus (VU). Other species of global conservation concern include Loxodonta africana (EN), Panthera leo (VU) and various species of antelope. The park has a rich and diverse herptile fauna, but it has not been assessed properly. Kidepo Valley National Park has about 480 recorded bird species, the second-highest total of any Ugandan protected area, after Queen Elizabeth National Park. It supports some of the rarest species in Uganda, such as Lybius rolleti and Apalis karamojae. Other species which are rare or local in Uganda include Tmetothylacus tenellus, Lanius dorsalis, Turdoides rubiginosus, Calamonastes simplex and many others restricted within Uganda to this Park, Moroto Forest Reserve and adjacent unprotected areas.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Among threatened mammals, there are good populations of Loxodonta africana (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN). This is one of the most popular National Parks in Uganda. Its bird diversity is reflected in its list of more than 600 species, the highest number recorded in any IBA in Uganda and probably the highest of any protected area in Africa. Eleven species of global conservation concern have been recorded, and there are old records of three other such species, none of which has been seen recently: Crex crex, Hirundo atrocaerulea and Muscicapa lendu. Torgos tracheliotus is a breeding resident. Seven species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome have been recorded, as have three of the Sudan Guinea Savanna biome. Other notable congregations at this site include Charadrius asiaticus at Shoebill Swamp on Lake George. Munyanyange crater is an important site for a wide range of migrant waders, including the highest national count for Recurvirostra avosetta (100) and notable numbers of Sterna nilotica, Larus fuscus and five species of duck.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park


Two species of forest tree, Hypericum bequaertii and Schefflera polysciadia, are only known from Rwenzori, and seven others are restricted to Rwenzori and other montane forests of the south-western border areas of Uganda. Twenty-five species of invertebrate new to science have been described from the area in the last 15 years. Mammals of conservation concern include Cephalophus nigrifrons rubidus (EN), Loxodonta africana (EN), Pan troglodytes (EN), Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii (VU) and Cercopithecus hoesti (LR/nt); subspecies of Cercopithecus mitis and Procavia capensis are only known from this park. In total, 217 species of birds have been recorded in the park, but given that it has not been comprehensively surveyed, further additions are to be expected. The park contains the second highest number of Albertine Rift endemics of any IBA in Uganda, and the second highest number of species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome, both after Bwindi. The species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome include some spectacular or rare birds, such as Musophaga johnstoni, Bradypterus alfredi, Nectarinia reichenowi, Nectarinia johnstoni and Nectarinia stuhlmanni. Seventeen species of the Guinea Congo Forests biome also occur, but all are well represented in other sites.

Murchison Falls National Park


The Park boasts a rich avifauna, with a checklist of more than 460 species, due to its large size and wide range of habitats. It is certain that the list is incomplete and many additions can be expected with more intensive research. The convergence zone between the lake and the delta forms a shallow area that is important for waterbirds, especially Balaeniceps rex. This species is an important tourist attraction of MFNP, the only Park where one is almost certain of seeing the bird. The globally near-threatened Phoenicopterus minor and Gallinago media have occasionally been recorded. The Park supports 20 species from three non-qualifying biomes: 11 species of the Guinea.

Congo Forests, six species of the Afrotropical Highlands and three of the Somali Masai. The stretch of river between Murchison Falls and the delta has one of the biggest concentrations of Crocodylus niloticus in the world. Mammals of conservation concern include Loxodonta africana (EN), Giraffa camelopardalis (LR/cd) and, formerly, both Diceros bicornis (CR) and Ceratotherium simum (CR). Both are now extinct in Uganda due to poaching, but reintroduction is being considered.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo is the only National Park in Uganda in which the ungulate Aepyceros melampus (LR/cd) is found. The park has a diverse bird fauna, with over 310 species recorded. These include a number that have not been recorded in other parks in Uganda such as Ardeola rufiventris, Tricholaema melanocephala, Eremomela scotops, Euplectes orix and Cisticola fulvicapillus. Lybius rubrifacies, a restricted-range species, is occasionally seen, but is rare, probably reaching its northern limit here, and not known anywhere else in Uganda. The site is important for certain species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome, such as Bradypterus carpalis and Cisticola carruthersi, which are rare in other IBAs. The site has one Afrotropical Highlands biome species, Ploceus baglafecht. There are isolated records of two globally near-threatened species, Phoenicopterus minor and Gallinago media.

Semliki National Park

Semliki Forest is outstandingly rich in wildlife the area is believed to have been a forest refugium during the last arid period of the Pleistocene era, when conditions elsewhere on the continent were too dry to support forest vegetation. The park fauna is very rich and includes eight species of diurnal forest primate, as well as 51 species of forest swallowtail and Charaxes butterflies, including Papilio antimachus (DD). Milicia excelsa (LR/nt), Cordia millenii and Lovoa swynnertonii (EN) are forest trees considered endangered in the area. One species of primate and eight other mammals, as well as one butterfly, are only recorded from this area in East Africa. Threatened mammals include Loxodonta africana (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN). Semliki Forest represents the only significant example of Congo-Basin vegetation in Uganda.

A large number of species of the Guinea Congo Forests biome reach their eastern limits here, in one of the richest localities for forest birds in Africa. The site contains half as many species of bird as the entire Congo and nearly two-thirds as many as in the 181,000 km² of the whole Upper Guinea Forests. No less than 70 species are only known within Uganda from Semliki Forest, including 31 of the Guinea Congo Forests biome. Other species with very limited national ranges occur, such as Bycanistes fistulator, Phyllanthus atripennis and Trochocercus nitens, Ploceus aurantius and Malimbus erythrogaster. Semliki forest is close to the Mount Rwenzori ranges, and the River Semliki meanders along the western border down to Lake Albert and is surrounded by swamp, where four species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome, including Laniarius mufumbiri and Cisticola carruthersi, occur. The site also has, surprisingly, six species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome, all widespread elsewhere in the country.

Semliki Wildlfe Reserve

In the 1960s, the reserve was renowned for its high populations of Kobus kob (LR/cd) and Panthera leo (VU), but these were reduced to low levels through poaching during the period 1971, 1986, as were Loxodonta africana (EN) and Alcelaphus buselaphus (LR/cd). An unknown number of chimpanzees Pan troglodytes (EN) occur in the reserve along the Riverine forests. The bird species-richness is relatively high, with a list of 350 species for the Wildlife Reserve. The birds are mainly savanna-woodland species, with water-associated species along various streams through the reserves as well as at the shores of the lake. The tall vegetation along the marshy shores of the lake is home to Balaeniceps rex and other wetland birds.

Ajai Wildlife Reserve

The reserve also holds four out of the 12 species that are restricted to the Lake Victoria Basin biome. The reserve was specifically gazetted to protect the mammal Ceratotherium simum (CR), which is now extinct in Uganda due to poaching. The reserve still has relatively healthy populations of other large mammals, such as antelope and Syncerus caffer (LR/cd).

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve

The fauna and flora are similar to that of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Both have volcanic craters with saline lakes, which are important sites for waterbirds. A total of 332 bird species has been recorded in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, including seven species of global conservation concern. Lake George, the Kazinga Channel and the seven crater-lakes within the reserve offer a large and varied habitat to many birds, including about 110 wetland species. Lakes Maseche, Nshenyi and Bagusa are within a few kilometres of each other, and the populations of Phoenicopterus minor in these craters can be considered as one. Threatened mammals include Loxodonta africana (EN), Panthera leo (VU) and Pan troglodytes (EN).



Forest Reserves

The Forest Reserves contribute significantly to national economic growth, employment and prosperity for all as outlined below.

a) The total economic value of Uganda's forests has been estimated at 593.24 billion shillings, equivalent to 5.2% of GDP

b) In the rural areas, about 24 million people depend on forests and tree resources for their basic needs such as firewood, building poles, furniture, and medicine. Forests, woodlands and trees contribute an average of UGX 332.3 billion (US$195.5 million) annually to the household incomes.



c) Over 90% Ugandans use fuelwood as their main and sole source of energy, consuming nearly 27 million tonnes of fuelwood (43.2 million m3) in 2007, valued at Shs 324 billion (US$ 191 million). It is expected that woodfuel will continue to be the dominant source of energy in Uganda for the foreseeable future, despite the growing importance of petroleum and electric power. Most of this energy is consumed in the form of firewood and charcoal at domestic level and by small &medium scale processing enterprises.



d) Forests and trees are an important source of construction materials in Uganda by providing timber, poles, ropes, and other construction materials. The current annual demand for round wood timber for the construction industry and export is estimated at 1million m3, equivalent to 70 billion shillings (US 41 million, and this is expected to increase with the growth of the economy.



e) Forests contribute significantly to the protection and stabilisation of the environment, including water catchment areas. The combined contribution of forests to soil and water management, carbon sequestration, and future uses for Uganda's biodiversity is valued at UGX 222.2 billion (US$ 130.7 million) annually. This represents the amount of money which government would have to spend annually to provide fertilizers, drill new boreholes and clean air pollution.



f) It is estimated that industrial plantations alone are to create over 98,000 jobs, valued at UGX 176 billion between 2008 and 2025 (NFA records). In addition, during this period the private sector will contribute Ushs 105 billion (61.8 million USD) directly to communities that provide labour for planting.



g) Forests, woodlands and trees render ecological services and support to other sectors principally agriculture, livestock production, industry, water, energy, health, wildlife, tourism although these are often taken for granted or are poorly understood. Virtually all CFRs serve the important functions of protecting biodiversity, water catchments, riverbanks, lakeshores and stabilising of steep slopes.



Forest Reserves were established through a series of legislation dating back to the 1900 Buganda Agreement. The first Forest Reserves were formally gazetted in 1932 with the objectives of conserving forest species, ecological functions and providing forest products such as timber and firewood.



About 64% of the forest cover is found on private land, while 36% is in the PAs (Draft Biomass Technical Report, 2009). The protected areas (PAs) consist of Central & Local Forest Reserves totalling 1,270,526 hectares, and National Parks (NPs), Wildlife Reserves (WRs) and Wildlife Sanctuaries (WSs) which cover 1,838,522 hectares. These PAs represent about 18% percent of the total land area of Uganda. The Central Forest Reserves, Local Forest Reserves and forested areas of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves constitute the country Permanent Forest Estate (PFE) totalling 1,9 million hectares. According to the Uganda Forestry Policy (2001), the Permanent Forest Estate (PFE) is defined as land that is set aside for forestry activities in perpetuity. This is forestland which is held in trust by Government for the people of Uganda. According to the Policy, this is the minimum area which Government has committed itself to keep as forest land permanently. Additionally, CFRs constitute the only forestland that is available for a variety of forest products in perpetuity because the natural forests on private land are being devastated, and those in National Parks & wildlife reserves are inaccessible for provision of these products.



The Central Forest Reserves (CFRs) are managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA); local forest reserves (LFRs) are under District local governments (DLGs); while National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and Wildlife Sancturies are controlled by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The National Forestry Authority is responsible for the management of 506 central forest reserves totalling to 1.26 million ha, with a total boundary length of 11,000 ha. The majority of the CFRs are less than 1,000 ha, and are scattered over the country.



Budongo Central Forest Reserve

The forest supports 42 species (32 tree species, 4 birds, 4 moths and 2 butterflies) unique to it. It is endowed with Mahogany and Cynometra timber tree species and the richest in terms of timber production in Uganda. It has great potential for nature-based tourism with rare species such as chimpanzee, ideal spots for watching forest birds. It is zoned into 3 strict nature reserves, 2 recreation (ecotourism) zones, a production zone, a protection (buffer) zone and a site o special scientific interest.

Two species of birds found in Budongo Forest Reserve are not found elsewhere in East Africa. The forest is the second most important in Uganda after Semliki National Park, for species of the Guinea Congo Forests biome, and the list of such species will probably continue to grow. Muscicapa sethsmithi, only known from Budongo in Uganda, used to be common in mature forest, but is now extremely hard to find. Illadopsis puveli, a recent addition, is not known elsewhere in East Africa. Other species such as Ceratogymna fistulator, Smithornis rufolateralis, Ixonotus guttatus, Neafrapus cassini, Sylvietta denti, Batis ituriensis and Zoothera camaronensis are known from few other forests in the country. Other rare species in Budongo Forest include Pitta reichenowi and Parmoptila woodhousei, both with multiple recent records. Four tree species are of conservation concern: Cordia millenni, Irvingia gabonensis (LR/nt), Milicia excelsa (LR/nt) and Entandrophragma angolense (VU). Threatened mammals include Pan troglodytes (EN) and Loxodonta africana (EN; although this species has rarely visited Budongo in recent years). The butterfly Papilio antimachus (DD) occurs.

Bugoma Central Forest Reserve

Bugoma Central Forest Reserves supports 9 species (7 butterflies and 2 large moths found in no other forest in Uganda. It is zoned into 2 strict nature reserves, a production and a recreation zone (ecotourism). It has a range of forest dependent and biome-restricted species and with two globally threatened species. Nahan Francolin and Grey Parrot are so far the only two globally threatened species found here. The surveys done in the major sites for Nahan Francolins in Uganda suggest that Bugoma Forest Reserve contains the highest density of the species. There are also several Guinea-Congo biome-restricted species.In addition to birds, Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is also important for other biodiversity, which would contribute to the information for qualification to the Key Biodiversity Areas process. There are a number of tree and mammal species that are listed in IUCN Red Data Books. There are 38 species of mammals of which 4 are globally threatened and 9 species listed in IUCN red list. It has 9 species of reptiles, 20 species of amphibians of which one is an Albertine Rift endemic. Also has 257 species of trees and shrubs of which 7 are Albertine Rift endemics, 12 are globally threatened and 14 listed in IUCN red list. There are 225 species of birds with two globally threatened species, 292 species of butterflies with 4 Albertine Rift species and 118 species of moths (Forest Department, 1996, Plumptre et al, 2003).

Echuya Central Forest Reserve

Echuya Forest Reserve including the Muchuya swamp, has a total of 100 species recorded. It supports 10 species (5 tree species, 4 butterflies and 1 bird species) which do not occur anywhere else in Uganda. Of these, a high proportion are dependent on highland forest. In view of its size, the swamp is likely to support a larger population of Bradypterus graueri, a globally threatened species, than the nearby Mubwindi swamp, one of only a few known localities for this species in Uganda. Birds in the reserve that are restricted to the Afrotropical Highlands biome include such rare species as Francolinus nobilis, Batis diops, Ploceus alienus and Cryptospiza jacksoni. There are four Albertine-endemic small mammals, namely Lophuromys woosnami, Dasymys montanus (VU), Myosorex blarina (VU) and Sylvisorex lunaris. The rare Delanymys brooksi restricted to montane swamps also occurs. The forest is dominayted by 2 vegetation communities namely; Hagenia-Rapanea moist montane forest and Arundinaria montane bamboo forest. It is zoned into strict nature reserve, buffer (protection) and production zone.

Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest Reserve

It supports 15 species found in no other Ugandan forest (11 butterflies, 1 water bird, 3 tree species). The current number of bird species recorded from Kasyoha-Kitomi stands at 308species (Plumptre et al, 2003) and over 276 species of birds has been reported from this Forest Reserve (Howard and Davenport, 1996) of which the White-napped Pigeon (Columbia albinucha) and Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) are considered globally Near-threatened. Kasyoha-Kitomi has one confirmed Albertine Rift endemic species (Blue-headed Sunbird). The other biome restricted species include Afep Pigeon, Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-collared Olive-back, Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater, Shelley's Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat and Mountain Illadopsis among others. Kasyoha-Kitomi exhibit a diversity of wildlife, including one threatened species and one IUCN listed species of mammals. The mammals include among others, the elephant (L. africana), chimpanzee (P. troglodytes) and Lhoest monkey (C. lhoesti). The small mammals recorded in Kasyoha-Kitomi according to Howard and Davenport (1996), include three uncommon forest dependent shrews Northern Swamp Musk Shrew, Eastern Musk Shrew and Hero Shrew. The Albertine endemic, Woosnam Brush-furred Rat is also recorded. It habours one threatened species and one IUCN-listed species of reptile, four Albertine Rift endemic species of amphibians, two threatened and two IUCN-listed species of amphibians. It is zoned into strict nature reserve, recreation (ecotourism), buffer (protection) and production zone.

Mabira Central Forest Reserve

The list for Mabira Forest Reserve contains almost 300 species. It supports 9 species (6 butterflies, 1 moth, 1 bird and 1 tree) found in no other forest in Uganda. Many species of the Guinea Congo Forests biome are not well-represented in other protected areas in Uganda, for instance Francolinus nahani, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis, Phyllanthus atripennis, Macrosphenus concolor and Trochocercus nitens. Three species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome are known, but further surveys in the valley papyrus swamps could reveal more. The site also holds one species of the Sudan Guinea Savanna biome and four of the Afrotropical Highlands biome. Up to 202 tree species have been recorded, including one (Diphasia angolensis) not known from elsewhere in Uganda. Five tree species from this reserve are of international conservation concern: Milicia excelsa (LR/nt), Cordia millenii, Irvingia gabonensis (LR/nt), Entandrophragma angolense (VU) and Lovoa swynnertonii (EN). The present status of the larger mammals is not known; Loxodonta africana (EN) was last recorded in the mid-1950s. It is zoned into strict nature reserve, buffer (recreation/ ecotourism/ protection) and production zone.

Mount Kei Central Forest Reserve

Mount Kei lies in the Sudan Guinea Savanna biome, which is reflected in the species composition of the reserve. A total of 175 bird species is known. It supports 17 unique species (3 tree species, 4 birds, 1 mammal, 7 butterflies and 2 moths). The reserve contains several species known in Uganda only from this area, including Accipiter brevipes, Buteo auguralis, Merops orientalis, Euschistospiza dybowskii and Nectarinia osea.There are more than 30 uncommon plant species in the reserve, three of them known in Uganda from this reserve only, i.e. Aeschynomene schimperi, Combretum racemosum and Morinda titanopylla. A shrew, Crocidura somalica, is known from no other site in Uganda. It is zoned into Strict nature reserve, buffer (protection) and production zone.

Mount Moroto Central Forest Reserve

It supports 36 unique species (13 bird species, 3 species of mammals, 8 species of moths, 9 butterflies, 3 species of trees). The reserve is relatively rich in savanna birds, with a total of 220 species recorded, although the list is certainly not complete. Moroto supports several species not known elsewhere in Uganda and has more in common with similar areas in north-western Kenya than with Uganda. Species such as Eupodotis gindiana, Tockus hemprichii, Mirafra poecilosterna, Tchagra jamesi, Eremomela flavicrissalis, Parus thruppi, Nectarinia hunteri, Emberiza poliopleura and Onychognathus salvadorii are not found in any other IBA or protected area in Uganda. Thirty-two species, including Tricholaema melanocephala and Nectarinia habessinica, are only known in Uganda from this north-eastern area. Four species of the Sudan Guinea Savanna biome occur. About 200 tree and shrub species were recorded in Mount Moroto Forest Reserve by the Forest Biodiversity Inventory Team, 22 of which had not been recorded previously from this floral region (U1). Among the 22 species of small mammal are three endemic to the Somali Masai biome. It is zoned into Strict nature reserve, 4 buffer (protection) and production zone.

Mount Otzi Central Forest Reserve

It supports 10 unique species (7 tree species and 3 species of butterflies). So far, 168 species of birds have been recorded. Among species restricted to the Sudan Guinea Savanna biome, Falco alopex has only been recorded at only one other site in Uganda, Kidepo Valley. This Reserve is considered one of the richer areas in northern Uganda in terms of avifauna, with mainly open-habitat and savanna woodland species. Three restricted-range small mammals are known from Otzi, including the shrew Crocidura cyanea, formerly thought to be a southern African species. Crocidura selina, formerly known only from Mabira Forest, has also been recorded in Mount Otzi Forest Reserve. It is zoned into Strict nature reserve, buffer (protection) and production zone.

Central Forest Reserves in Ssese Islands

There are 31 Central Forest Reserves that support 13 unique species (8 species of trees, 1 species of mammal, 3 species of butterflies, and 1 moth).The only detailed study of the birds of the islands was by the Forest Biodiversity Inventory Team, and this covered only the forests. A general checklist of birds for this site has yet to be compiled. The other area visited was Lugala islands and a few selected sites on the shoreline near Kalangala Township and Banga rocks at the end of Lugala island (the biggest of the Ssese islands). Two small areas were identified as important for breeding Phalacrocorax carbo. Other notable species, such as Ploceus weynsi and Ploceus castanops a species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome, also occur. Lugala island has a rodent species, Pelomys isseli, that has evolved on Ssese and Kome islands. Another mammal, Tragelaphus spekei (LR/nt), is said to have an endemic race on the islands. Other endemic species include three butterflies: Acraea simulata, Thermoniphas togara bugalla and Acraea epaea. The Ssese islands contain over 12% of Uganda known tree and shrub species. Lasianthus sesseensis, a tree endemic to Uganda, is known from Ssese islands, and the Forest Biodiversity Inventory Team recorded eight species that were not recorded in any other forest of the 65 surveyed in the country. The zonation is such that 5 Forest Reserves are zoned as Strict nature reserves (Funve, Nsirwe, Busowe, Mugoye, and Bufumira), 1 Forest Reserve (Lutoboka) as recreation (ecotourism) and the rest are production reserves.

Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve

The vegetation of Kalinzu is broadly classified as medium altitude moist evergreen vegetation (Forestry Nature Conservation Master Plan 1999). According to Burtt-Davy classification; the forest is intermediate between tropical lower montane evergreen rain forest and tropical semi-ever-green. The majority of the forest, however, is occupied by tropical high forest communities classified as C3 (Parinari Forest), P2 (Cynometra celtis forest) and G1 (undifferentiated semi-deciduous thicket); Langdale Brown et al; 1964.

The reserve supports flora and fauna of a high biodiversity including many rare and endangered species. The flora and fauna include both highland and lowland species in close proximity and a large proportion are dependent on closed intact forest. A number of threatened species have been recorded in these forests including Elephant (Loxodonta africana), Chimpanzee (Pantroglodytes), Ihoeste Monkey Cercopi-thecus Ihoesti), Leopard(Panthera pardus), White-naped pigeon (Colomba albinucha), and African giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio antimachus).According to the Biodiversity Report 1996, the forest supports 12 species found in no other Uganda forests.


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