Monthly Archives: July 2009

How my son lost a finger

Rather than talking about conservation today I want to share a personal story about my family. I hope it might give you an insight into our lives here. I have a two year old son Mushemeza Norberto. His right thumb got burnt on a Sunday morning when he was playing with one of his elder […]

An Eden without serpents …?

Here, in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mountain gorillas steal the show. They get almost all the attention, most of the concern and if there are any funds available they get the majority of those too. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Without such a charismatic species the forest might not be so well protected. […]

Mabira – seeing hope in a forest

Recently we visited Mabira Forest near Uganda’s capital city Kampala. We are collaborating with a group of researchers in Germany and Kenya to develop a research proposal to address the management of this forest and its ability to serve conservation and the local communities. We hope that ITFC can play a role by supporting local […]

There goes my potatoes

Two days ago my field of potatoes was raided. I lost about twenty sacks of potatoes, which would have helped to feed my family and some of it I would have sold to help pay school fees. I found out that a troop of baboons had raided my garden in the afternoon, just when the […]

Tracking wild bananas … and a story in your fruit bowl

A lighter one this time. Today we went hunting for African wild bananas. Really. They are not common but I had spotted some distinctive plants in a nearby valley and wanted a closer look. As with so many Bwindi stories this one started with a steep descent. The easiest path followed the park boundary. The […]

Our ordeals for the global good

Recently I went to the Northern Sector of Bwindi, with a small team (Badru Mugerwa, botanist Robert Barigyira and visiting student Fredrick Ssali), to locate the proposed plots for global monitoring (TEAM; see Doug’s blog ‘WHAT IS THE POINT?’ for the background story). The first day was not easy and ended in an unexpected way. […]

Hunting for community benefits in conservation

This may be a controversial one.  When we were recently at Lake Mburo National Park, we talked for a while with the Conservation Area Manager (formerly called ‘Chief Warden’). As with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a major challenge has been to deal with animals ranging outside the protected area since there are no fences around […]

Kyagurilo gorillas; Bwindi’s best known mountain gorillas!

I spend a lot of my working time for ITFC on monitoring the Kyagurilo group. ‘What is that?’ you may ask.  I’ll tell you. Kyagurilo is a mountain gorilla group that has been monitored daily since 1995. The group got its name from the area where its home range used to be, near Mubwindi Swamp […]

Supporting students: building a future for conservation

Last week I was asked to help judge the student presentations given at a regional meeting of the Ecological Society of East Africa held in Kampala. I enjoyed the task. The students had clearly made a real effort to ensure a clear and attractive account of their work in the fifteen minutes (plus five for […]