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Friends of Conservation
60, Strand,
London, WC2N 5LR
Tel: 020 3667 7017
Email: focinfo@aol.com

Kashoya – Kitomi Forest Reserve comes under the auspices of Uganda’s National Forestry Authority. Covering over 400 square kilometers, the rainforest is part of a network of protected areas around the Queen Elizabeth National Park, forming what is arguably the largest and most biodiverse region in Africa.
 
Wildlife in the Kitomi reserve is under threat due to an increase in poaching, primarily to fuel the commercial bushmeat trade. Much of the hunting is carried out through snaring and the laying of jaw-traps. These are indiscriminate in what they catch and cause extreme pain, loss of blood, starvation and stress to those animals trapped in them. Due to a lack of funding, there is little or no law enforcement within the Reserve, enabling trap and snare laying to increase. Through our partners, the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) we are delighted to be extending our support to this threatened habitat with a snare removal project.
 
With funding received from the Sea World & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, (SWBG) the Kitomi Forest project is supporting research and monitoring efforts to search for snares and traps laid by poachers. The team has so far destroyed all of the traps found and in talking to villagers and local hunters have found that not all poaching was commercial, but was seen as necessary for the communities’ survival. However, the effect on the wildlife populations within the forest is obvious. Illegal activities are being reported to the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and we hope will act as a deterrent to local hunters, with a resulting decrease in the number of snares being laid.
 
In the long term, UCF hopes to ensure that a permanent team and ranger post can be supported to protect this fantastic habitat and landscape. With over 300 chimpanzee and elephant using the area, as well as over 606 species of birds within the region – this area needs support, and quickly. Also, there is no vet in the area and funds would enable a volunteer vet to come into the forest on a regular basis to treat trapped and wounded animals.

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