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Global Raft for Elephants and Rhinos
September 24, 2016
Nile River Explorers (NRE) is once again dedicating a day to conservation with the intent of selling EVERY SEAT on EVERY BOAT and giving all the proceeds of the day to the Uganda Conservation Foundation & Rhino Fund Uganda. Why are they doing it? Simply because they can!
Over the era of Idi Amin and the civil wars that followed, severe poaching across Uganda resulted in the violent demise of Northern white rhino and elephants in Uganda. Uganda went from having more mega-herbivores per square kilometer than anywhere else in Africa – with famed herds of thousands of elephants – to seeing rhinos become extinct and elephants dropping to their lowest ever population of just a few hundred. The future looked bleak for Uganda’s elephants and rhinos.
Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) is a UK registered charity (no 1087295) and Uganda non profit organization. UCF works closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and park-adjacent communities to develop practical solutions to conservation problems with primary objectives of recovering and reconnecting habitats, supporting anti poaching and law enforcement, mitigating human wildlife conflict and promoting conservation education and livelihoods . UCF currently have active projects in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, and will soon start working in Kidepo Valley National Park. Since their inception in 2001, UCF has earned a reputation for being a proactive organization who strive to make every penny, dime or shilling count, and after all the decades of war and neglect, have helped UWA generate a slow but steady growth in Uganda’s elephant population. Increased ranger patrol coverage – made possible via UCF-built ranger posts and marine ranger stations – and improved law enforcement has resulted in a reduction in snares and increased conviction rates of 97%. If UWA and UCF can successfully protect conservation areas, Uganda’s elephant population could go on to triple in the next ten years, with their recovery also benefitting many other species.
Rhino Fund Uganda was established in 1997 with the ultimate goal of reintroducing the rhino back into back into the National Parks of Uganda through a breeding and release program. Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) is responsible for raising adequate funds and gaining international recognition for the upkeep of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary at Nakitoma, 170km north of Kampala, as an interim step towards the reintroduction of the rhinos into protected areas. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary strives to protect the rhinos through community education and tourism while at the same time providing a safe sanctuary for rhinos to live and breed.
A security force of 80 Rangers of which many are armed, patrols the fence, guard the gates, and monitor the rhinos 24 hours per day. The sanctuary is not only home to the rhinos but also to approximately 20 other species of wildlife as well as 300 different bird species highlighting Uganda’s unique biodiversity and emphasizing the importance of conserving it. The conservation effort is proving successful as we see the numbers of wildlife growing within the sanctuary and particularly the rhinos. A total of 9 births (June 2009 and April 2014) make Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary one of the most successful breeding programs of rhinos in the world.
All of these efforts to conserve the wildlife of Uganda have to be funded. Building a new ranger post to help recover a key elephant habitat costs circa US $40,000; training and equipping an anti-poaching ranger patrol costs $5,000; a security force of 80 Rangers of which many are armed, patrols the fence, guard the gates, and monitor the rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 24 hours per day. These initiatives may cost money – but they are working. Uganda’s elephant numbers have increased by 600% since their lowest point in the mid-1990s, and we are the only country in Africa who can claim zero poaching of rhino since their reintroduction in 2005 / 2006
It’s not too late for Uganda to return to having the famed herds it once had! And it begins with You!
FIRST – Please join us for the 2016 global march and raft right here on the White Nile. If you cannot join us on the day why not sponsor a UWA or RFU Ranger to take you place. All profits from the day will go directly to Uganda Conservation Foundation & Rhino Fund Uganda.
SECOND – Educate yourself and share the knowledge. Get everyone you know involved. Send this event invitation to ALL of your Facebook friends. Also share this event by posting it on your Facebook walls as much as you can. And don’t forget to LIKE the Nile River Explorers, Uganda Conservation Foundation and Rhino Fund Uganda Facebook pages to stay up to date on all their news.
FINALLY – Stay tuned for details as they develop closer to September 24th. Thank you so much!
PLEASE JOIN US AND HELP MAKE THIS BIG! ONLY IN NUMBERS WILL OUR VOICE BE HEARD!
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