Uganda has launched a campaign to rekindle interest in bird watching as a way of boosting tourism and conservation activities.
Stephen Sanyi Masaba, the director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the multi stakeholder driven initiative was meant to tap into the East African country’s rich bird heritage.
Uganda has reportedly one of the highest numbers of bird species in Africa.
”Uganda, with 11 percent of the global bird diversity, is regarded as Africa’s best birding destination for ‘birders’ and other nature enthusiasts,” Masaba said.
“With many bird species concentrated in large protected wilderness areas, a bird-watching trip to Uganda is the most leisurely in the east and central tropical bird-watching destinations.
“Uganda has more bird species per square kilometre than any other country in Africa.”
UWA has collaborated with Nature Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Bird Guides Association, Star Uganda, National Forest Authority, Uganda Community Based Association and Association of Tour Operators among other organisations to promote Uganda Big Birding Day on September 30.
Masaba said Uganda boasts of over 1050 species.
This is about 50% of the bird species that can be found in the whole of Africa. This diversity is attributed to its variety of habitats, which include arid, semi-dessert, savannahs, lowland and montane rainforests, wetlands, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone.
”Birds are an important part of our ecosystems,” Masaba said.
“They are universal, penetrating the remotest deserts, oceans and mountains on earth.
“They are numerous, widely distributed, easily observed and form a vital part of our natural heritage.’
He said that with more accessible birding and bird watching destinations available, there has been a massive increase in the number of bird watchers travelling the world over in search of birds to tick off the “life” list.