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Kampala, Uganda

POMEROY D.,Makerere University | SHAW P.,University of St. Andrews | OPIGE M.,NatureUganda | KAPHU G.,Uganda Wildlife Authority | And 2 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2014

Six out of seven vulture species whose global ranges lie largely or wholly within Africa are listed as globally threatened. Since their current distributions individually span up to 39 range states there is a pressing need to develop robust, standardised methods that provide a clear measure of range-wide changes in abundance. Yet, survey methods currently used tend to yield either of two measures: estimates of breeding density, derived mainly from nest counts; or linear encounter rates, derived from road surveys. Here, we present the results of a six-year survey of six vulture species in Uganda, in which we used road counts, in combination with Distance sampling, to determine both encounter rates and densities within protected areas (PAs), and in predominantly pastoral and agricultural areas. In combination, five scavenging species were detected 4–6 times more frequently in PAs than elsewhere, and two species, White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus and Lappet-faced Vulture Torgus tracheliotus, were recorded only within PAs. We estimate that PAs held c.1,300–3,900 individuals of the five scavenging species combined, including c.1,250–2,900 individuals of two Gyps species. We also present national population estimates for two species: White-backed Vulture (c.1,000–2,600 birds) and Lappet-faced Vulture (c.160–500 birds). Although sightings were assigned to only three broad distance bands, Distance sampling provided estimates with a level of precision similar to that achieved for linear encounter rates, but as density estimates; a form more readily comparable with results obtained from other survey types. Copyright © BirdLife International 2014 Source


Pomeroy D.,Makerere University | Shaw P.,University of St. Andrews | Shaw P.,Kabale University | Opige M.,NatureUganda | And 3 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2015

Six out of seven vulture species whose global ranges lie largely or wholly within Africa are listed as globally threatened. Since their current distributions individually span up to 39 range states there is a pressing need to develop robust, standardised methods that provide a clear measure of range-wide changes in abundance. Yet, survey methods currently used tend to yield either of two measures: estimates of breeding density, derived mainly from nest counts; or linear encounter rates, derived from road surveys. Here, we present the results of a six-year survey of six vulture species in Uganda, in which we used road counts, in combination with Distance sampling, to determine both encounter rates and densities within protected areas (PAs), and in predominantly pastoral and agricultural areas. In combination, five scavenging species were detected 4-6 times more frequently in PAs than elsewhere, and two species, White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus and Lappet-faced Vulture Torgus tracheliotus, were recorded only within PAs. We estimate that PAs held c.1,300-3,900 individuals of the five scavenging species combined, including c.1,250-2,900 individuals of two Gyps species. We also present national population estimates for two species: White-backed Vulture (c.1,000-2,600 birds) and Lappet-faced Vulture (c.160-500 birds). Although sightings were assigned to only three broad distance bands, Distance sampling provided estimates with a level of precision similar to that achieved for linear encounter rates, but as density estimates; a form more readily comparable with results obtained from other survey types. © 2014 BirdLife International. Source


Renwick A.R.,British Trust for Ornithology | Vickery J.A.,Center for Conservation Science | Potts S.G.,University of Reading | Bolwig S.,Technical University of Denmark | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2014

Increasing population size and demand for food in the developing world is driving the intensification of agriculture, often threatening the biodiversity within the farmland itself and in the surrounding landscape. This paper quantifies bird and tree species richness, tree carbon and farmer's gross income, and interactions between these four variables, across an agricultural gradient in central Uganda. We showed that higher cultivation intensities in farmed landscapes resulted in increased income but also a decline in species richness of birds and trees, and reductions in tree carbon storage. These declines were particularly marked with a shift from high intensity smallholder mixed cropping to plantation style agriculture. This was especially evident for birds where significant declines only occurred in plantations. Small scale farming will likely continue to be a key source of cash income for the rural populations, and ensuring 'sustained agricultural growth' within such systems while minimising negative impacts on biodiversity and other key ecosystem services will be a major future challenge. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source


Hulme M.F.,British Trust for Ornithology | Vickery J.A.,The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | Green R.E.,The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | Green R.E.,University of Cambridge | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Reconciling the aims of feeding an ever more demanding human population and conserving biodiversity is a difficult challenge. Here, we explore potential solutions by assessing whether land sparing (farming for high yield, potentially enabling the protection of non-farmland habitat), land sharing (lower yielding farming with more biodiversity within farmland) or a mixed strategy would result in better bird conservation outcomes for a specified level of agricultural production. We surveyed forest and farmland study areas in southern Uganda, measuring the population density of 256 bird species and agricultural yield: food energy and gross income. Parametric non-linear functions relating density to yield were fitted. Species were identified as "winners" (total population size always at least as great with agriculture present as without it) or "losers" (total population sometimes or always reduced with agriculture present) for a range of targets for total agricultural production. For each target we determined whether each species would be predicted to have a higher total population with land sparing, land sharing or with any intermediate level of sparing at an intermediate yield. We found that most species were expected to have their highest total populations with land sparing, particularly loser species and species with small global range sizes. Hence, more species would benefit from high-yield farming if used as part of a strategy to reduce forest loss than from low-yield farming and land sharing, as has been found in Ghana and India in a previous study. We caution against advocacy for high-yield farming alone as a means to deliver land sparing if it is done without strong protection for natural habitats, other ecosystem services and social welfare. Instead, we suggest that conservationists explore how conservation and agricultural policies can be better integrated to deliver land sparing by, for example, combining land-use planning and agronomic support for small farmers. © 2013 Hulme et al. Source


Nalwanga D.W.,NatureUganda | Opige M.,NatureUganda | Skeen R.Q.,NatureUganda
Ostrich | Year: 2016

The distribution of the Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae, an East African endemic, has been sparsely documented in Uganda. In October 2011, a survey of the species was carried out near Iriiri in north-eastern Uganda. The main aim was to find out if there is a viable population of the species and to highlight the threats to its population. Sixteen 1-km transects in four sites were surveyed. The survey recorded nine individuals including a pair at an occupied nest, which is not conclusive for determining the viability of the population. The main threats to the species were cutting of the dominant shrub Vachellia drepanolobium (Acacia drepanolobium) in the area, farming and grazing. When we attempted luring the birds using the recorded song of the Karamoja Apalis from Tanzania, these individuals did not respond. We therefore recommend (1) to undertake a more detailed GIS survey to discover the extent of the suitable habitat, (2) to repeat the survey with improved effort to better estimate the viability of this population, (3) to conduct a study to ascertain the successful breeding of the species in the area, (4) to conduct a DNA analysis to compare the Iriiri population with the Tanzanian population, and (5) to record the song of the Ugandan birds for song analysis and to determine the response of Tanzanian birds. © 2016 NISC (Pty) Ltd Source

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