On 31st July, 2015 the management of Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Santa Barbara Zoo, California- USA signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding.
The main objective of the tripartite collaboration is to maximize the conservation and preservation of the giraffe and ostrich populations in Kidepo Valley NP, and to improve livelihoods and sustainability for people in the Karamoja region as a whole.
Specifically, this collaboration encompasses the following actions:
1. Carry out a complete census of the ostrich population in Kidepo Valley NP, utilizing non-invasive, transect survey methods.
2. Collect ostrich fecal material to be analyzed to genetically determine the subspecies of ostrich in Kidepo Valley NP. It is suspected that the subspecies is the rare northern ostrich, S. c. camelus, and results of testing will inform future development of ostrich breeding and reintroduction centers in the Karamoja region. These centers could provide employment, and drive tourism to the area, while providing a place for ostrich to acclimate to the area before release.
3. Collaborate with UWA and UWEC to develop and facilitate education programs for local people in Karamoja region, with the goal of enhancing their knowledge and appreciation for the wildlife in and around Kidepo Valley National Park.
Speaking at the signing, Mr. James Musinguzi; Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; and Dr. Andrew Seguya thanked the development partner; Santa Barbara Zoo which was represented by Ms Sheri Horiszny for their willingness to venture in helping the people of Uganda conservation wildlife resources for both local and global benefit.
We anticipate that this collaboration shall go a long away in achieving the stated objectives for the benefit of the local people.