Uganda Carnivore Program

Predator populations are rapidly declining.  We are working hard to save them.

Lions, leopards, and hyenas are among the most popular charismatic mega fauna in the world.  Unfortunately, their populations have declined significantly over the years, due mainly to the growing needs of an expanding human population.  Habitat loss due to human settlement and agriculture development, loss of prey population, and retaliatory killing by humans following livestock depredation are their main threats in Africa.

The situation with predators in Uganda typifies many of the issues facing predators in other parts of Africa.  Growing human populations in enclave villages within the national parks, and many others just outside park boundaries, cause a great deal of pressure on the human and wildlife population, resulting in both human-wildlife conflict and sustainable development challenges.

The Uganda Carnivore Program is dedicated to the monitoring, research and conservation of predators in Uganda.  Our current focus is primarily in the northern sector of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.  We are working hard to find solutions for both the wildlife and the people of this area.

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About the Uganda Carnivore Program:

The Uganda Carnivore Program (UCP) is a multi-disciplinary organization devoted to the research and conservation of Uganda’s large carnivores, including lions, leopards, and hyenas.

UCP began as the Uganda Large Predator Project in the 1990s when the Director of Uganda’s Institute of Ecology became concerned that the canine distemper virus epidemic that was decimating predators in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park would affect the predators in Uganda.  While lions in Uganda were dying, research showed that they did not have canine distemper but were instead being poisoned.  Therefore, it was decided that consistent monitoring and research of the predator population should continue.  The program was once active in many of Uganda’s national parks.  We closely collaborate with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Makerere University.

Over time, as activities expanded into community conservation, and other partnerships were created, we evolved into the Uganda Carnivore Program.

We have two primary focuses:

  • scientific research and monitoring
  • community-based wildlife conservation

An analysis of the cause of death of carnivores in the northern sector of QENP from 2006 to 2012 shows that ~70% of the known carnivore deaths were a result of anthropogenic (human-caused) factors.  Poisoning is the biggest reason, by far, and has resulted in the deaths of at least 96 carnivores in less than six years.

Visit: Uganda Carnivore Program

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