Uganda Mangabey (Lophocebus ugandae)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13055705
The project has been investigating presence and absence of Lophocebus ugandae in forests within their historical range in Uganda. The species is historically known to occur in forests fringing the northern shore of Lake Victoria from River Nile to northern Tanzania and in some, but not all forests in western Uganda. We have been establishing their presence or absence in all forests where historical and recent records show their occurrence, as well as in non-recorded but potential lake shore forests, and forests in central and western Uganda. This was done by talking to people living around each forest and conducting transect walks through the forests visited to confirm their presence or absence, and to get an idea about the condition of the forests in which they occur or from where they have disappeared.
As part of an overall effort to strengthen their conservation, we have also been habituating groups in Mabira Central Forest Reserve for tourism purposes. Mabira forest probably has one of the largest of the remaining populations yet is threatened by agricultural encroachment and other ecologically destructive activities. For example five years ago, the government of Uganda proposed to convert a quarter of it to sugar-cane growing and the forest is also under pressure from illegal timber cutting. Two mangabey groups are currently being habituated but the ultimate aim is to habituate at least four groups under this project. Habituation for tourism is intended to support conservation of the forest and the species by increasing income from tourism to the local community and the National Forestry Authority and to deter illegal activity by improving detection ability. It is also overall expected to raise awareness of and appreciation of the values of the forest to the Ugandan public. To this end, we conducted an awareness raising and tourism promotion function in Mabira and which was widely covered by Ugandan media, e.g. this article from one of Uganda's dailys.
Project 13055705 location - Uganda, Africa