British funds help fight illegal wildlife trade in Murchison Falls.
From 16 to 17 February 2015, British High Commission Prosperity Officer Richard Cox joined an anti poacher ranger patrol in Murchison Falls National Park, removing 32 snares and reducing the damage caused by poachers to Ugandan wildlife. During his visit, Richard Cox visited the Bugana and Mupina ranger stations, and saw at first hand the work being undertaken to tackle the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in Uganda. Anti-IWT conservation in Uganda’s national parks receives UK government funding.
During his visit, Richard Cox was accompanied by Patrick Agaba of the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF). He also met Tom Okello, Park Manager, and received a presentation on GPS camera data analysis from Julius Obwona, Head of Law Enforcement at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
The ranger stations and GPS cameras have made a real impact in the fight against IWT in Uganda, with successful prosecutions rising from 10% to over 90% within a year, and morale and motivation amongst rangers has risen dramatically. GPS data is aiding more strategic use of UWA’s human resources. Magistrates are also imposing stricter sentences, based on the more compelling evidence available as a result of these initiatives.