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The Wildlife of Uganda

Educational Organization:
Field Projects International

Date Posted:

Program Description:

The focus of this field course is to examine the challenges facing conservation of the megafauna of Uganda, with a special focus on members of the Order Primates. Participants will learn basic skills in animal behavior and wildlife ecology in several settings.

Our base camp will be at the Budongo Forest, where we will practice skills in primate tracking and observation focusing on chimpanzees, baboons, colobus monkeys, red-tailed guenons, and blue monkeys. Uganda is a birder?s paradise, and Budongo is considered one of the top birding locations (see the Royal Birding Mile). Thus, participants will have ample opportunities to add to their bird species life list throughout their stay.

From our base in Budongo, we will take several field trips within the area to explore the effects of habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflicts, and ecotourism. For example, we will visit nearby Kasokwa, a small forest fragment that is home to a small community of chimpanzees and other primate species. In this setting, we?ll see first-hand the effects of habitat destruction and the potential conflicts, such as crop-raiding, that may arise when wildlife species are forced to live in close proximity to humans. To supplement this, we will visit the local sugar plantation and learn more about the challenges faced when agribusiness expands into natural habitats.

On safari drives through Murchison Falls, we will see a range of wildlife including elephants, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, and various antelopes. If we?re lucky, we?ll also see lions and leopards. A boat cruise along the Nile River will provide more opportunities to see these species, in addition to hippopotami and crocodiles. A visit to nearby Kaniyo Pabido will provide another opportunity to see chimpanzees, this time at a tourist site, giving us the opportunity to compare research-based and tourism-based settings.

We will visit two animal sanctuaries to learn more about their work in conservation and protecting the future of Uganda?s wildlife. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is working to breed rhinoceros to reintroduce this species to the wild; the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary takes in confiscated chimpanzees, rescued from the pet trade or orphaned by the bushmeat trade, and gives them a safe island home for the rest of their lives.

In addition to exploring these topics critical to conservation, this course will provide participants with a sound introduction to Uganda, as well as a set of fundamental field skills. You will learn basic GIS/GPS mapping skills, behavioral observation data collection techniques, tips on wildlife photography, and guidance on maintaining a field journal with accurate wildlife sightings lists. Finally, we will give back to the community by visiting students in local primary schools and the forestry college.

This course will provide you with basic field skills and provide in-depth exposure to the conservation and ecology of the diverse wildlife and habitats of Uganda.

Skills will include:

*Forest navigation and orienteering, mapping and GPS use
*Maintenance of a detailed field journal
*Identification of common wildlife species, upkeep of sightings lists
*Data collection ? animal behavior and ecology

Lecture topics will include:

*Animal behavior and ecology
*Wildlife management
*Community conservation
*Habitat fragmentation
*Human-wildlife conflict

Entrance Qualifications:
There are a few simple requirements to determine eligibility for this course:

*You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the course.
*You must have medical insurance, and provide proof of such insurance to us to complete your reservation.
*We have no citizenship requirements. *Anyone is welcome to apply. You must obtain visas to Uganda independently if necessary.
*You do not need any training in biology; our course is structured to accommodate people from a variety of backgrounds.
*Courses have a maximum capacity of 12 participants. If you are concerned that you will lose your spot, please contact us to confirm how many spots we have left.

Tuition / Fees:
The fee for this course is $3500 and is due in full 6 weeks after online registration or by April 15, 2018, whichever comes first. The fee includes the following:

*Food and lodging for the entire course.
*Round-trip travel from Entebbe to Masindi, Budongo, and Murchison Falls
*Experienced instructors and field equipment.

This course fee does NOT include:

*International travel to and from Entebbe, Uganda.
*Travel or health insurance (proof of health insurance is required for course attendance).
*Rubber boots, binoculars, flashlight and insect repellent (all of which are required to take this course).

Support (scholarships, travel):
There are two ways to obtain financial assistance for attending this field course. You may participate in both of these programs simultaneously as follows:

Scholarships: This year, we are offering one scholarship to attend this course for a student from Uganda. For the application details please visit our scholarships page.

Fundraising: FPI can now provide a peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform for all field course students. You will be able to make your own fundraising page to share with your contacts and social networks. At the end of the fundraising period, FPI will issue a discount code to you for 100% of the funds that you have raised. You would then enter this code as you make your final course payment. If you raise enough to cover all (or part) of your initial reservation fee, you would be refunded that portion as well. Please note that funds raised in excess of your program fees will be rolled into our scholarship fund. Also, if you withdraw from the course at any time, your donors cannot get a refund. In this case, all of those funds would also roll over into our scholarship fund for other students. To set up this option, please register for a course, first, and then contact us at to set up your fundraising page.

Start + End Dates:
MAY 20 - JUNE 2, 2018

Application Deadline:
APRIL 15, 2018

Contact Information:
Mrinalini Watsa


E-Mail Address:

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