BY NAMALE AGNES. The first thing to capture your attention as you approach Kabwooya wildlife reserve in the south western part of Uganda are the breath-taking views. The reserve sits on approximately 194sq.km most of which is covered by rift valley escarpments and depressions. The place is made up of a rare type of Savannah
BY NAMALE AGNES.
The first thing to capture your attention as you approach Kabwooya wildlife
reserve in the south western part of Uganda are the breath-taking views. The
reserve sits on approximately 194sq.km most of which is covered by rift valley
escarpments and depressions. The place is made up of a rare type of Savannah
vegetation supporting the conservation of animals in the antelope family.
“In 1996, when Uganda wildlife authority first took up protection of Kabwooya
wildlife reserve, the place was nearly empty, there were very few antelopes, very
few buffalos, warthogs and Hartebeests.” recollects John Makombo the director for Conservation Uganda wildlife authority. “But ever since then, we have been able to strengthen law enforcement and introduced a number of animals. We brought in water bucks; giant forest hogs and we started the protection of this areas”. Makombo adds.
Kabwooya wildlife reserve holds over 10,000 kobs as of the year 2023 and this
brings about grazing pressure in the area.
“We have reasons why we are doing this, one; we want to ease the pressure of
grazing in Kabwooya wildlife reserve and restore the kobs population in Kidepo
valley national park.” Confirmed the director for conservation in UWA.
Uganda’s rugged Savannah plains, Kidepo valley national park located in the far
north eastern part of Uganda remains relatively unknown to tourists all over the
world regardless of its breath-taking beauty and wildlife diversity.
However, wildlife in Kidepo valley national park continues to face a number of
challenges ranging from tough climate conditions to human wildlife conflict.
“Kidepo used to have some kobs, but I think they were poached because of the
insecurity in Karamoja” Makombo says.
“Now we have security in Karamoja, we have the capacity to now protect these
animals, we have quite a multitude of animals in Kidepo valley national park, so
we feel that if we take these animals, we can be able to build another population of
Kobs in Kidepo” he adds. According to the director of conservation UWA, the increasing populations of
human beings and climate change is also one of the reasons more of these animals
need to be trans-located to some place safe so that if anything were to happen to the population in one area, the latter thrives.
Among the many other reasons as to why the Kobs were trans-located to Kidepo
valley national park includes; the promotion of tourism in this park as their
presence on any safari is always a great view for the tourists.
“There has been some already existing kobs in Kidepo valley national park, by
doing this we want to support gene mutation of the antelopes in Kidepo merging
them with animals from different locations” Makombo added. The translocation exercise was also meant to reduce the human wildlife conflict
resulting from problem animals attacking communities adjacent to the park
because of lack of food.
The kobs, like many other antelopes act as a food source for predators like lions to
The maiden translocation exercise included the capture of about 30 kobs using a
plastic boma capturing method.
“we have different kinds of capture systems, but this is a mass capture method, we
use plastic bomas disguised in a place with vegetation, so that the animals can go
in easily.” Says Patrick Atimnedi, veterinary doctor for Wildlife.
When the animals are trapped into the boma, they search for an escape route,
which this time around only leads them to their transfer truck.
The animals are then taken on a 10 hours journey to Kidepo valley national park
where they are expected to start their new life.
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