Conservation of the Shoebill
This is one of our biggest programs where we are working with local communities living around Shoebill habitats in monitoring of Shoebill populations, habitats and threats. Currently, due to limited funding, we are doing this in two wetlands, Mabamba and Makanaga wetlands on the shores of Lake Victoria. We plan to use experiences and lessons learned from the two sites to expand this project to other Shoebill habitats in Uganda and eventually Africa at large.
The Shoebill is a globally-threatened species only found in fresh water swamps in Africa in about 8 countries which include; Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Burundi and Kenya. In Uganda, the Shoebill has been documented in 12 of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs). According to the Single Species’ Action Plan for the Shoebill, knowledge gaps in areas of ecology, breeding, population distribution and trends were identified as factors that have hindered implementation of the management plans for conservation of this species. Actions such as population monitoring of the species were highlighted to ensure conservation of the species.
The Shoebill has a dwindling population in all the countries where it is found owing to threats such as; human disturbance, fishing, wetland burning, degradation, hunting, Illegal pet trade and many others and Uganda is not an option. As the world is grappling with effect of climate change and global warming, the Shoebill is also affected thus calling for conservation drives towards saving this prehistoric species.
Citizen science provides one of the most affordable ways of monitoring bird populations and habitats. Through Citizen Science, we are able to reach areas that are not easily accessible in most cases and would also be expensive to employ scientists to cover such areas. There is a lot of data that is generated by non-conventional scientists and is scattered which only needs to be consolidated and put together. Shoebill-Watch Uganda is a stock of data on birds and their habitats. Bird watching tourism as a growing niche in Uganda are a good data generation tool that has been ignored and needs to be explored which is what we at Shoebill-Watch Uganda will utilise in addition to other citizen science projects.
We ran safaris where we take clients to learn about and experience our projects. These include among others, volunteers who participate in our programs and projects. The proceeds from the safaris are used to further support the running of our programs to ensure conservation of the Shoebill and other birdlife in Uganda. The itineraries are tailored to fit your desires.
We have a team of well-trained researchers who are passionate about birds and their conservation and are able to carry out studies on birds, bird watching, avi-tourism and many other nature-based studies.