06/13/19

The Ugly 5 Game

Have you ever heard about the ugliest wild animals? Besides the famous f big 5 animals, Africa is remarkably a destination of natural wonders as visitors also have the opportunity to spot out its ugliest wildlife species while on their safaris. For travelers who are planning their safaris to Africa, there is more than enjoying the big five game in most of Africa’s savannah grassland. We have provided a list of ugliest wildlife for you to spot in addition to the big five;

  • The Marabou stork

This features frizzy hair protrudes from a speckled pink scalp, large black wings that fold inwards as it stalks, hunched forward, via grass, fleshy throat swinging from one side to the other. Also known as Leptoptilos crumenifer, Marabou stork largely exists in the south of Sahara-wet and semi-arid areas. Marabou storks are scavengers.

While with this remarkable bird, you will be able to sight them roaming along the periphery while waiting for the pieces of carrion the vultures discard. Whereas they like the flesh of dead wildlife species, these unique birds also depend on anything small enough for them to swallow and not to forget the rubbish dumps. In Uganda, they are commonly spotted around Kampala and some of the national parks.

  • Vulture

The Cape vulture is an endemic bird to Southern Africa, and recently it featured in the list of endangered species. It is scientifically known as gyps coprotheres and it lays one egg per year, and they normally high up on cliff faces. This bird is highly threatened by the electric cables and pylons, the shrinking foraging habitat and terrifying, poisoning.

  • Warthog

This wildlife species is a bristly haired wild pig. It is also called Phacochoerus Africanus lingering around vast sub-Saharan Africa. It features antenna like tail pointing skyward, rough name flowing behind it and adult warthog can pick up a fair amount of speed where need be. Their tufts of spiky hair, prominent snouts, vicious tusks, prominent snouts, and facial wattles and they are largely sighted around the grassland.

  • Wildebeest

This feature the long nose, high shoulders, thick neck, skinny legs, narrow scraggly beard, and hips. Also known as Connochaetes, the wildebeests are from the same family as cattle, antelopes, and sheep and mostly sighted around the savanna.

  • Hyena

This species is linked to African myth and folklore, the hyena’s reputation as a backstabbing opportunist often gets him a bad rap. It features slopping and short hind legs and features the negative image of a permanently skulking species. It depends on scavenge rather than hunting and it features the strongest jaws.

In conclusion, the little five animals are stunning on their own. Whereas they seem common, sighting them on Africa jungles rewards visitors with amazing experiences of a lifetime.

06/13/19

Endangered Gorillas

Why The Mountain Gorillas Are Endangered Species In The World

Have you ever imagined why mountain gorillas feature as the most critically endangered species in the world? With fewer than 1000 individuals that are left in the world today, the rare mountain gorillas are listed under IUCN Red book as the critically endangered Apes in the world and their survival on earth is at risk of extinction

They are scientifically known as gorilla beringei beringei, a subspec of Eastern gorilla which is only thriving within the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in South-western part of Uganda; the Virunga National Park in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda, the only destinations for mountain gorilla safaris in the world, and there are a million reasons why these rare apes are listed as the most critically endangered species on today and among many include the following;

  • Habitat loss

Like most wildlife species that thrive on earth today, the mountain gorillas are also interfaced with habitat loss. Most of the areas where these unique creatures thrive are highly populated and their habitats are often deforested and replaced with agricultural farms, firewood, building materials as well as for human settlements.
The other factor is traditional medicine as most of the body parts of these endangered apes are highly used as charms by most of the traditional healers and this also has become a threat to their survival on earth.
However, many International and region organizations such as International Gorilla Conservation Program, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Friend a Gorilla, Uganda Wildlife Authority and many others are jointly protecting the gorilla habitat through a number of ways such as; sensitizing the local community about the value of gorillas to their community, relocating them from gorilla habitat and compensations for destroyed property by gorillas.

  • Illegal hunting (poaching)

This is another severe threat to the survival of these rare apes. Since 1902, mountain gorillas have been hunted for various reasons including food up to date. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, most of the people poach these rare species mainly for their meat.
Others poach these Great apes for sport and not to leave out the illegal exotic pet trade poses another threat where babies are captured and sold. Whereas most of the traps are set to catch the small animals like antelopes, in the course of the day the mountain gorillas also get entangled in these wire snares.
However still, through the sensitization of the local communities about their benefits from gorilla tourism, illegal poaching is controlled in “some gorilla parks”. For example, we ex-poachers employed as Porters, and park rangers. Additionally, there is a percentage of the revenues rewarded to the local communities through infrastructures development such as rural electrification, provision of piped water, medical centers and scholastic materials among others. Through such measures, we have hope for a steady increase in the mountain gorilla population in Africa!

  • Political unrest

Besides habitat loss and poaching, the country’s political insecurity also proves to be a severe threat. Civil wars come with diverse effects which include habitat loss and illegal hunting and all these make the lives of these rare apes hard while in their natural habitat.

  • Oil and gas exploration

This also proves a severe threat to the thriving of these Great apes. The European oil and gas companies have been granted exploration concessions in the Virunga National Park where more than 200 individuals of these large primates thrive in the Democratic Congo Republic. Whereas the habitat isn’t within an oil concession, the development in the protected area could negatively inflict on the wildlife’s security. This is happening in other national parks in Uganda such as Murchison Falls where oil and gas exploration has affected a huge number of animals

  • Human infectious diseases

Mountain gorillas share about 95% of their DNA with humans and this means that they are very susceptible to human infectious diseases. They already have severe disease effects to overcome and the further threat of human diseases especially flue and cold can cost their lives. The first time exposure to these diseases can cost their population in the habitat.

However, we have gorilla doctors in all parks to engage any disease outbreak in the gorilla community!

In conclusion, mountain gorillas have a slow reproduction rate and yet also they are most threatened apes in the world today. There is a need for collaborative effort to conserve these critically endangered primates on earth so as to help increase their number in the wild.

These endangered apes can be saved by selling out gorilla trekking permits to generate more money that can help to support environmental programs like conserving and protection of mountain gorillas, sensitizing the local communities about gorilla tourism, and provide alternative sources of income for local residents around the parks.