Wildlife activists in Uganda are concerned about the continued use of exposed electricity transmission wires in the country. They argue that the wires constitute another obstacle to the conservation of crested cranes, which are the national bird of Uganda and are shown on the flag of the country.
According to Godfrey Mutemba, the senior natural resources officer for the Lwengo district, in addition to other human behaviors such as poisoning and the destruction of the wetlands, some crowned cranes are also dying from electrocution after unintentionally colliding with power transmission lines that pass through their habitats and roosting sites. These power transmission lines pass through their habitats and roosting sites.
He states that according to their observations, several of the crested cranes are perched on live power transmission lines, placing them at risk of electrocution and maybe dying.
Notably, the Kiyanja-Kaku and Kyoja big gazetted wetlands located in the Lwengo area are two of the nation’s rare surviving natural breeding grounds for crested cranes.
However, according to Mutemba, they have documented 21 fatalities of Crested Cranes from causes related to electricity in the past year. All of these deaths took place in the Lwengo district’s specified habitat zones for these birds.
According to him, the bodies of several other species that are significant to nature and tourism were also found. These included two marabou storks, also known as “kalooli”, two grey-headed herons, also known as “ssekanyolya”, one red-eyed dove, also known as “ejjuba”, and a pied crow, also known as “Namungoona”.
“Some of the birds are found underneath the power cables with wing damage, or they were electrocuted and quickly killed,” the report states. In addition, the expert observes that when the cranes fly in groups or move around at night, they are more likely to collide with power wires that may not be visible due to the dim lighting. This increases the risk of injury to the cranes.
On the other hand, he asserts that they have considered communicating with the companies that are responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity in order to express their worries and suggest that the companies insulate the power lines as a safety measure.
He continues by saying that they also aim to mark the power transmission lines with multicolored flyers that can function as reflectors. This will make the wires more apparent to passersby and will ultimately prevent cranes from colliding with the cables while they are in flight.
He goes on to say that we are going to meet with these electrical supply companies very soon in the hopes that they will join us in our campaign to protect crested cranes, which are one of the most endangered species of wildlife in the world.
In addition, Ibrahim Kittata, the chairperson of the Lwengo district, emphasized how important it is for all of the relevant parties to collaborate on the implementation of the intervention in order to eliminate any and all threats to the existence of crested cranes.
According to Kitatta, for the past two years, the district has been vigorously engaged in a campaign of wetland restoration and conservation as a strategic intervention to protect the crested cranes. This campaign has been carried out under the direction of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities and in partnership with the International Crane Foundation.
According to Kitatta, it is vital that all parties concerned join the effort and make contributions that are pertinent to preventing the extinction of the valuable icon of the nation. This is the only way to ensure the success of the project.
According to the statistics on wildlife conservation kept by the Ministry of Tourism in Uganda, the country has lost 80% of its total population of 35,000 Crested Cranes over the course of the past 26 years.
Due to the fact that it is home to more than 1050 distinct species of birds, Uganda is one of the most visited countries in Africa for bird-watching tours. The number of bird species only accounts for 10% of the total number of bird species around the globe. In addition to this, it is the home of 24 endangered species that are only found in the Albertine Rift; the other endangered species can be found in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Birds have been protected throughout history because of the social conventions that are linked with them, such as their role as totems for clans or as bearers of messages from the gods and the changing of the seasons.
The country of Uganda is blessed with a great number of prime birding locations that are home to a diverse collection of avian species. The tourism business in Uganda is significantly impacted as a result of these factors. There are many different types of habitats that are ideal for bird watching, including dense woodlands, marshes, wetlands, savannah vegetation, and rainforests.
On a Uganda tour, you will have the opportunity to visit these various tourist attractions. There are several national parks in Uganda, including Semuliki National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Mabamba Wetland Bay, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Nyamuriro Swamp, Maramagambo Forest, Budongo Forest, Kalinzu Forest, Mabira Forest, Pian Upe Game Reserve, Katonga Game Reserve, Ichuya Forest, and many others.