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Leaders Call for More Breeding Centres for Endangered Species

The UWA Deputy Director Community Conservation, George Owoyesigire argued that even when the mandate of breeding endangered species is with Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, UWEC, other centres can also be established in the country.
The three-horned chameleon in Rwenzori Mountain National Park is endangered.

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District leaders have called for more breeding centres for endangered species in the country to prevent their extinction.   

The call was made during a meeting organized by Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA for leaders from districts that make up Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area.   

During the meeting held in Fort Portal Tourism City, they noted that several wild animals and plants are on the verge of extinction due to poaching and other threats to wildlife.  They cited examples of the Northern White Rhinos, Eastern Black Rhinos, Cycads, three-horned chameleons, tree-climbing lions and elephants, among others.  

The UWA Deputy Director Community Conservation, George Owoyesigire argued that even when the mandate of breeding endangered species is with Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, UWEC, other centres can also be established in the country.   

Owoyesigire said that the country already has a few other centres like the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola district and Buwama Crocodile Farm in Mpigi district, which is serving commercial and conservation purposes.   

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He noted that once the centres are many around the country, it would improve on wildlife conservation and tourism potential among other benefits.  

Sylvester Agubashongorera, the Rubirizi LCV Chairperson, added that for purposes of being effective, the centres can be located in places where the game reserves and national parks with endangered species are located. He reasoned that this would make it easier to reintroduce the species into the wild once they have multiplied at the breeding centres.  

The Ntoroko Resident District Commissioner, Mesach Kawamara, said other than having more wildlife breeding centres, there is also a need for more sensitization of the public on the importance of wildlife conservation. He gave an example of rampant poaching in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve in Ntoroko district, where he said the perpetrators are just greedy with the bad culture of eating wild meat.   

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David Duli, the Country Director of World Wide Fund - WWF for Nature, noted that there is increasing degradation of Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area, which lies within 12 districts in Western Uganda. To reverse the trend, Duli said there is a need for concerted efforts and the application of multi-pronged approaches. 

Districts found within the Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area include Rubirizi, Kasese, Kabarole, Bunyangabu, Bushenyi, Mitoma and Rukungiri among others. The area is so important because it contains Queen Elizabeth national park, Rwenzori Mountains national park, Kigezi and Kyambura wildlife reserves, which are important for tourism in the country.             

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