Which are the endangered animal species in Uganda? These are the animals that are at risk of extinction due to the sudden rapid decline or loss of their vital habitat in their population. Uganda has 362 species of mammals and 1062 bird species, and the fourth and nineteenth in Africa and the whole world respectively. A few of these mammal species are likely to be endemic, with such a large number. An endemic species is one whose habitat is unique. Endemism is different from indigenous or native species in that the latter is also found elsewhere. Endemic species run a high risk of extinction due to changes in their confined habitats, particularly due to hunting and habitat destruction. Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner in Uganda. The country must preserve and maintain its rich biodiversity by being the main facet that attracts tourists. I believe that tourism can be effective by providing incentives for promoting wildlife conservation; this is by visiting some of these isolated habitats thus providing an economic incentive for their protection and also providing revenues to continue supporting conservation efforts, here are the most endangered animal species in Uganda.
The Rothschild’s Giraffe is an endangered subspecies endemic to Uganda and the tallest land mammal. It is a subspecies of the northern Giraffe which was recently suggested to be an ecotype of the Nubian Giraffe; however, this species has been added to the list of endangered animal species in Uganda about 420 Rothschild Giraffe can be seen roaming around savannah national parks of Uganda. Best places to see the Rothschild Giraffe in Uganda – Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.
Mountain gorillas are the biggest primates, rarest on planet earth, and the most intelligent of all mammals. This endangered species of animal can only be found in the 3 highland areas of Africa (The western rim of the Great Rift Valley) in the whole world which include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda. Most tourists who come to Uganda come to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, Uganda is home to about 550 individuals and the gorilla habituation of more gorilla families is going on in the Rushaga Sector – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Savanna Large and bulkier than Black Rhino with a distinctive hump on the neck, White Rhino is a large herbivorous having two upright horns on the nose bridge. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species, mature males have 5500 pounds and females have 3700 pounds. White rhinos have a broad, wide mouth for grazing; they usually hang out in large families. Among the largest of the pure grazing mammals, they take savannah grasslands and savannah woodlands as their primary habitats, feeding on palatable grasses that grow up to some 4 feet in height. In an ecological role, they scatter the seeds that pass through their intestinal tracts, promoting the health of the grasslands and inhibiting the spread of woody plants. The best place to see them is Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Chimpanzees are found in a variety of habitats, such as rainforests, savannah woodland, and grasslands. Adult males can grow up to 5 feet tall and can weigh up to 154 pounds; females are smaller and weigh up to 116 pounds. Chimps have longer arms than their legs, and they usually walk using four limbs (knuckle-walking). They live in communities of about 20 to 60 individuals. There are about 4000 chimpanzees left in Uganda. In the wild Chimpanzees can be seen in Kibale National Park, Kyambura Gorge-Queen Elizabeth National park, Budongo Forest Reserve, Semuliki National Park, and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
The African elephant is the largest terrestrial mammal on earth; the elephants in Uganda weigh between 3.5 tones and 12 tones and live in the wild for around 50-70 years, although some go up to 80 years. Females are typically slightly smaller than males and the weight of baby elephants is about 230 pounds. The positive thing about elephants in Uganda is that they keep on rising in number. And if you’ve ever wanted to spot elephants in the wild, consider the top five national parks around the country namely Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Golden Monkey is a beautiful monkey with high rufous-red on the back, cheeks, and tail. The monkey has black legs, crown and tip of the tail, a pale patch around the nose and mouth, and the most entertaining primate. Mgahinga National Park is home to the rare golden monkeys; there approximately 4000 golden monkeys inhabiting the park.
They live in large troops which can number up to 80 individuals, the average being somewhere around 20 to 40 monkeys. These groups tend to have more females than males at a 2:1 ratio. The few male monkeys in the troop usually stay with their original group, but the females tend to move together in small numbers, probably in close familial relationships, between troops.
The diet of red colobus monkeys consists mainly of young leaves, flowers, and unripe fruit. They are also known to eat charcoal or clay to help combat the cyanide some leaves may contain. This medicinal cure for the plants they eat appears to be passed on from mother to child. However, their stomachs can digest some toxic plants that other primates cannot. Red colobus monkeys are extraordinarily adapted to their entirely vegetarian and widely varied diet. They have special salivary glands, which are larger and produce more specialized saliva to help facilitate the breakdown of leaves before they even reach their digestive tract. The stomach of the red colobus is also sacculated into four chambers (similar to unrelated ungulates) and larger than those of other monkeys of comparative size. This allows for longer digestion so that most nutrients can be gleaned from the relatively low nutrient food. Best places to see red-tailed monkeys – Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, and Bigodi wetland sanctuary.
Uganda has a lion population of about 500 lions in the wild, according to a lion alert survey in 2017. This implies that in the quest to preserve the King of the Jungle, the lions are far more endangered than the mountain gorillas, but have not received the same treatment.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s only tree climbing lions national park, Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s only park where you can spot lions along with other large Ugandan cats, including cheetahs and leopards, while Murchison falls national park gives you more space to enhance your game drive experience.
The large cats are widely distributed in Uganda and can be found in Murchison Falls National Parks, Kidepo Valley National Park, Semlinki National Park, Queen Elizabeth, and Mount Elgon. But they are thin on the ground. Leopards are extremely hard to trace in the wild. They are one of the most elusive animals in the wild. Best parks to leopards in Uganda – Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.
For sunshine and hot weather, visit Uganda from late December to late February as this is the dry season. June to September is also a good time to travel as you can expect warm temperatures and little rain. The wet seasons run from March to May and October to November – during this time downpours are frequent and often create less accessibility on roads and within some national parks.
If you’ve always wanted to go on a safari but simply couldn’t find the time or a suitable budget, you can book a one-off trip with Gorilla Tracking Africa and go on a game drive in your choice of National Park in Uganda.