Conservation and research go hand in hand. The Bugoma Forest Reserve, and its unique ecosystem, is under substantial threat from a wide range of sources. Illegal timber loggers target mature old growth trees, and hunters target a wide range of species from duiker (small antelopes) to primates. Human population pressure has increased substantially both locally and as a result of the civil war and unrest in nearby DRC, and rapid development of the oil reserves along lake Albert will likely increase land pressure and environmental challenges.

Despite these challenges the forest contains an incredible, diverse, rich range of species: from tree frogs and forest cobras, to pygmy kingfishers and African crowned eagles, to genets and chimpanzees. The forest hosts 8 primate species: blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, bush-babies, Black and white colobus monkeys, the northern-most population of the Ugandan grey-cheeked mangabeys, and East African chimpanzees.

Our conservation activities are focused on two main areas: clean water access, and community knowledge exchange. When we first reached Bugoma the area around our project house had 6 boreholes spread across 4 main centres – only one worked (sometimes), meaning a long, and sometimes fruitless, walk for clean water. Over the past year we have repaired three of them, and we hope to get the remaining two up and running next year.

 

Our team regularly visit local schools and communities to talk about what we see in Bugoma Forest, and to hear about their experiences of the forest and its animals. We’ve started holding conservation film nights, which have turned out to be a big draw!

 

Our research activities cover a range of topics from forest habitat surveys, to chimpanzee tool-use, to mangabey communication. We have been habituating chimpanzees to human observation for three years, and mangabeys for one. Students and researchers from a range of countries work with our team to learn more about this unique eco-system. If you are interested in conduction research in the Bugoma Forest you can contact us for further information here: