Budongo Forest Conservation Progress: Using research and conservation as a balancing act, Budongo Conservation Forest Station (BCFS),

Budongo Forest Conservation Progress

May 17, 2024

Budongo Forest Conservation Progress: Using research and conservation as a balancing act, Budongo Conservation Forest Station (BCFS), through its efforts, has managed the Budongo Forest Reserve sustainably since its establishment in 1990 and has served as a model for managing tropical rain forests. Our goals are to diversify our study programme to include other biological species and to continue producing top-notch scientific research on primates in Kaniyo Pabidi and relevant forest ecology. We intend to use the data we collect to help the creation of policies, the implementation of conservation measures, and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Budongo Forest Conservation Progress and Advancement

  • Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS) registered as a non-governmental organisation in Uganda in 2007. It is currently acknowledged by Uganda’s conservation community. The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources, and Bio-Security at Makerere University, as well as the School of Forestry, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences, collaborate closely with Budongo Conservation Forest Field Station.  Regarding faculty and students from different Ugandan and foreign universities, we provide research facilities.
  • We also provide internships to university students specialising in wild life veterinary medicine, conservation biology, and forestry. Beyond these ties to academia, Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS) works with statutory organisations to support conservation efforts, such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the National Forest Authority, and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, to carry out a wide range of research and long-term monitoring projects.
  • We invite scientists and students to participate in this research programme from any university. Additionally, by collaborating with village farmers along the forest border on projects meant to enhance their standard of living while preserving the foundation of forest resources, we are strengthening our community conservation programme. These initiatives include teaching adults and schoolchildren about the environment, integrating eco-health, producing farm revenue through practices that reduce reliance on forest resources, reducing conflicts between people and wildlife, and bush meat hunting.
  • Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS), in 2011, opened a state-of-the-art field laboratory at Sonso, which was refurbished and purpose-equipped to meet the highest standards of wildlife research. The laboratory has increased our capacity to diagnose wildlife diseases with higher accuracy and speed, making it an essential tool in our mission to protect and conserve wildlife in Uganda. Moreover, the facility also serves as a training ground for wildlife veterinarians, helping us build local capacity for future conservation efforts.
  • Besides the famous Kaniyo Pabidi, the Waibira chimpanzee population, located east of the well-known Sonso community that has been observed since 1990, has been undergoing habituation in recent years. As a second community becomes accustomed to its surroundings, we will have the chance to welcome additional researchers, gain knowledge about the interactions between chimpanzee communities, and carry out comparative research.
  • Following Budongo Forest Conservation Progress, in recent years, the habituation of the Waibira chimpanzee community, east of the famous Sonso community studied since 1990, has been undertaken. The habituation of a second community offers us opportunities to host more researchers, develop insights into inter-community chimpanzee interactions, and conduct comparative studies.
  • Outside financing is necessary for Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS) to carry out its mission. We are fortunate that the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) provides generous and consistent financing for the field station’s essential operations. AZA Ape Tag, US Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the ARCUS Foundation all contributed to the creation of the chimpanzee disease and health monitoring scheme. Our snare removal and community education activities have been supported for many years by Oakland Zoo. Grants from the BBSRC, Leverhulme Trust, Fyssen Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, European Research Council, and Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund enable us to conduct our primate research in the Budongo sectors of Kaniyo Pabidi, Waibira and Sonso communities. We are very grateful to all of these bodies as well as several others who have helped us in the past.


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