African grey parrot conservation centre opened at UWEC

Animal Conservation
African grey parrot conservation centre opened at UWEC
The new African Grey Parrot conservation centre at UWEC.

An African Grey Parrot conservation centre has been opened at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.

The facility has been set up with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency(JICA) and Chubu University in Japan.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on Wednesday, UWEC Executive Director, Dr. James Musinguzi hailed the partnership with JICA and Chubu University for bearing “such great fruits” in terms of the conservation centre.

“It will help support our research. The facility will help us generate several research papers about African grey parrot conservation and other aspects,” Dr.Musinguzi said.

He explained that the facility will be a springboard for community awareness and empowerment in conservation of the endangered birds especially for locals in Lake Victoria islands of Zingoola, Koome and Ngamba where the population of the African grey parrots is high.

Dr. Musinguzi also hailed the Japanese government and the population for support to Uganda based on mutual trust and respect.

He pledged that the new facility will be put to good use.

Prof. Ushida Kazuri from Chubu University said the facility will add onto Uganda’s efforts to conserve the endangered African grey parrot.

“The African grey parrot has been listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of the endangered species due to the huge decline of the numbers in western and central African rain forest mainly due to poaching activities. Uganda is one of the countries where tropical forests which are habitat of the parrot. This facility will help in ensuring conservation of these birds but also in doing research here in Uganda,” Prof. Ushida said.

He hailed UWEC for advancing in terms of conservation to be a leading centre in the region.

Prof.Ushida however called for involvement of local communities in conservation efforts of the country to ensure sustainability.

David Musingo, the UWEC Manager for Education and Information said the facility will add onto the centre’s efforts to make it a hub for African grey parrot conservation.

“The Africa grey parrot conservation centre is a sign of the permanent relationship we have with JICA and the people of Japan at large. The facility will help us promote research but will also help us in our efforts of monitoring the parrots released .”

Musingo said the conservation centre will also be used to train communities on conservation of the endangered bird species.

“We are using this facility to promote eco-tourism, education and economics. This is a modern form of tourism where local people benefit  through livelihood enterprises like homestays, birding and  forest walks that are enjoyed by tourists to the bird communities. That is how we want to empower communities where these parrots are found. Islands like Ngamba and Koome will benefit from this.”

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