Budongo Conservation Field Station-Questions

March 15, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

The Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS), formerly known as the Budongo Forest Project, has been actively involved in the sustainable management of the Budongo Forest Reserve since its establishment in 1990 by Dr. Vernon Reynolds. This remarkable conservation initiative is nestled within the lush Ugandan rainforest, covering over 100,000 acres. The Budongo Forest is situated northwest of the capital city of Kampala, en route to Murchison Falls National Park. It graces the escarpment northeast of Lake Albert. The forest is home to approximately 600–700 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). The BCFS aims to study and conserve these local chimpanzee populations, building on research that began in the 1960s.

Research and Conservation:

The BCFS combines cutting-edge research with practical on-ground actions to protect the chimpanzee community.

Notable achievements include uncovering the threats posed by snares to juvenile chimps and sighting an albino infant chimpanzee in the Sonso area.

Get Involved:

To learn more about their work, visit the Budongo Conservation Field Station website.

If you’re passionate about conservation, consider getting in touch with them.

 Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Any visitor to Budongo Conservation Field Station would have asked multiple questions and received several replies in order to get clarification.

Sample questions and their responses about Budongo Conservation Forest Station.

1. To whom should I address my inquiries?

For enquiries, contact:

David Eryenyu

Field Director

Budongo Conservation Field Station

PO Box 362

Masindi

Uganda

Email:

eryenyudave@gmail.com

Tel: +256 (0)775 212526/ +256 (0)757 399 174

2. Do you welcome guests and/or volunteers?

At the field station, only specific types of visitors or volunteers are welcome. Please email geoffre.muhanguzi@gmail.com to reach the Field Station Manager for additional information.

3. Do you welcome visitors?

The research station, Budongo Conservation Field Station, is closed to visitors. On the other hand, those who are interested in travelling are invited to the Budongo Eco-lodge at Kaniyo Pabidi (for monitoring chimpanzees), Busingiro, and the Royal Mile for bird watching; all of these locations are part of Budongo Forest and are designated for tourism. Visitors can get in touch with the National Forestry Authority offices in Masindi Town or Nyabyeya Forestry College.

4. Which licences will I require to work at BCFS as a researcher?

It is recommended that those wishing to do research with BCFS apply for research permissions from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). Furthermore, depending on the species of interest, clearance from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or the National Forestry Authority (NFA), as well as from any other pertinent ethical committees that may be deemed appropriate, may be required.

5. How big is BCFS, and what is the population density there?

Only a small number of the 45 employees of BCFS live at the field station. The others travel to and from work at the field station from their residences outside of the forest. The number of visiting researchers that live at the field station at any given time varies depending on the season, but typically there are five.

6. How do I access the Budongo Conservation Field Station?

Essentially, there are two choices. An alternative would be to take public transit from Entebbe to Kampala, and then from Kampala to Masindi, one might take a bus or matatu. To go to the field station from Masindi town, one must take a private hire, as there is no public transportation available. Additionally, arrangements can be made in advance for BCFS to pick someone up from Masindi town.

Alternatively, one can take a private bus from Entebbe to the field station. Please liaise with the Field Station Manager for contacts of private hire operators who are familiar with BCFS.

7. What amenities are available at camp?

The field station has a field laboratory, lodging, a library, and cooking facilities, among other amenities. To learn more about the field station and its amenities, kindly follow this link.

8. How much money will I need to set aside for research in Budongo?

Kindly seek help in this matter from the field station manager.

9. What sort of shoes work best in the forest?

To reduce their risk of slipping or falling, researchers are advised to bring heavy-duty footwear, such as boots with rubber soles, and other protective gear.

10. Is there a clinic at the camp or close by?

At the field site, BCFS keeps a fully supplied first aid kit. Nonetheless, medical services can be found in Masindi (45 minutes away) and Kinyara Sugar Works Company (30 minutes away). It is also advised that researchers bring their own medications because they might feel more relevant.

11. Are kids permitted at the camp?

Children under the age of sixteen are not permitted to live at the camp; however, they are welcome to visit for educational purposes.

12. I only consume vegan fare. Will it be alright, please?

The Field Station Manager must be informed by visitors of any dietary restrictions so that they can be taken into account. Conversely, however, researchers frequently create their own food menu and store, so they can accommodate varying sensitivity levels. The dining room and kitchen are shared by researchers.

13. Does the field station have internet access and phone reception?

Yes, the camp has internet access and cell phone reception, but you will need to provide your own phone and/or modem. But occasionally, network connectivity is sluggish. It is advised to speak with the management to get advice on which service provider to choose.

14. Does the field station have research equipment available?

While there is some basic equipment available at the camp, researchers are advised to bring their own.

The Budongo Forest, with its rich biodiversity and vital role in the ecosystem, stands as a testament to the power of dedicated conservation efforts.