If Uganda is in deeded gifted by nature ,then one of the greatest gifts that our “peal of Africa is blessed with is the extraordinary diversity of its plant and animal population .

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Countries seldom get any greener .At least 25per cent of Uganda is covered by forest and grassland .Each of the more than 10 forests , big and small which  make up this intricately woven carpet of forest and grassland ,has its own unique attribute.

In the 312 square kilometer  Mabira forest alone ,Uganda is home to a host of plant and animal species ,including 312 tree and shrub species ,199 species of butterflies  , Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity (over 1000 species within an area the size similar to that of Great Britain) can be attributed to its location between the East African savannah, West African rainforests and semi-desert of the North. Uganda offers easy access to bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere. The country has only two endemics; but if you only take East Africa in consideration, you could count 150 species to be found only in Uganda. Migrant birds are present from November to April. Uganda also boosts seven of the 18 plant kingdoms that are on the African continent, the highest representation by any single country .The country is also inhabited by 343 different species of mammals .Even from such a large crop of animals ,there are those that stand out as unique to Uganda.

More than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population is found in Uganda which has led to gorilla safaris in Uganda leading to increased revenue in the country. The country gorillas ,of which only about  650 are left in the world, is an endangered species which only found in the two other countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda .The tree climbing lions  in parts of the southern western Uganda are also marvel.

Uganda is home to at least 10061 bird species , Uganda is a birder’s paradise.  Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found in Uganda making it the richest African birding destination which  leads to best Uganda  birding safaris Even within the surroundings of the capital city Kampala, you can record nearly 300 species in a day, and all this is thanks to the richly diverse of habitats from the scenic shores of Lake Victoria to the lush forests of the Albertine Rift and the banks of the mighty Nile River. Though Uganda has only one Endemic bird (Fox’s Weaver), 23 Albertine Endemics occur here and are difficult or even impossible to find somewhere else.

They include ;bulbul, weaver ,crow , shrike, heron, egret, ibis , guinea fowl ,mouse bird, lourie, hornbill, pigeon, dove , bee- eater , hoopoe, darter, lily- trotter , marabou stork, kingfisher , fish eagle , kite  and the crested crane , which is also the national emblem.

Sitting astride the equator ,Uganda enjoys both the savannah and rainforest zones, which make a conducive environment for the different animal and plant species .From dense tropical forests to the long ,lazy savannah grasslands , the diversity of Uganda’s flora and fauna is only matched by  that of our animals ,chimpanzees, leopards ,rhinocerons  , lions , elephants, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, buffaloes ,giraffes, zebras ,antelopes of various types , gazelles and tops.we even have our own Uganda Kob.Over the last few years  however, Uganda has lost much of it’s flora and fauna to neglect by both ordinary citizens and the government.

Already Uganda’s total forest cover has fallen by nearly 10 percent since the country got independence in 1962.Enviromentalists warn that the country could lose up to 9 percent of its present forest cover in the next 30 years .

The recent outcry by ordinary Ugandans when the government wanted to give a way a third of Mabira forest showed that Ugandans do care a bout their country .Its mentality every  Ugandan ought to make a part and parcel of their every day life if we are to preserve the numerous gifts that nature has bestowed on our country.

 

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