A renewed and virulent wave of poaching is threatening Uganda’s Wildlife and more particularly elephants as their lives are taken for their tusks. Given that Uganda was previously losing only three elephants to poaching every year, with 15 elephants being killed in 2012 alone, we noticed poaching on the increase in 2013 and 2014 by poachers who use firearms that rival the military’s.
Elephants in Uganda’s National Parks as a whole face extinction as poachers intensify the hunt for ivory tusks whose demand has increased on the local and international markets.
The trade is primarily driven by a burgeoning demand for ivory in China. Ivory has played a centuries-old role in Chinese culture, and is seen as an important medium in art and as a symbol of wealth. The rapidly growing class of New Rich in China is fueling demand and pushing the price of ivory ever higher.
The ivory trade is becoming more lucrative with reports from Lusaka Task Agreement Force indicating that a kilogram of raw ivory goes for as much as U$2,000 in China. In Uganda, a kilogram of raw ivory on the black market fetches about shs.500,000/=.
Elephants are important to Uganda’s heritage. In addition to this, wildlife tourism contributes about 80% of the total tourism earnings.
Save Uganda Wildlife initiative’s mission to develop a tolerant relationship between the wildlife, local host communities, private sector, state and non state actors in Uganda.
Ugandan Wildlife such as elephants are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate as demand for ivory continues unabated. In 2012, some 10 elephants were killed, representing the worst slaughter of elephants since the international ivory trade was banned in 1989. Because of rampant killing of elephants and smuggling of ivory, elephants have now been declared ‘endangered species’, not only in Uganda but worldwide.
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions (USD) per year and has drastically reduced many wildlife populations in and around Uganda. Just like the drug trade, law and enforcement efforts have not been able to resolve the problem. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent protecting animals in Uganda’s National Parks, yet virtually nothing is spent on stemming the demand for wildlife parts and products.
This organization, run by professionals in Uganda with minds of unrivalled experience and deep, intuitive knowledge of Ugandan cultures have long co-existed with elephants and wildlife, with vast knowledge of Uganda’s Geographical area and work with partners knowledgeable in the behavioral studies of Ugandan wildlife.
With an unrivaled portfolio of Ugandan leaders and a potential global network of media partners, we are able to deliver high-impact, culturally-sensitive multimedia campaigns and reaching many people every week.
Urgent and immediate action is required to address the poaching crisis on three fronts:
> Stop the killing;
> Stop the trafficking;
> Empower Local Communities
Save Uganda Wildlife initiative is partnering with state and non state actors, the private sector and local communities to lead this three-pronged approach and halt the decline of Uganda’s Wildlife by the end of 2016.
To learn more about Save Uganda’s Elephants, or to make a contribution, please visit www.saveugandawildlife.org