Murchison Falls, Uganda

Murchison Falls, Uganda Photo
©Graeme Patterson

About a third of Uganda is covered with rivers, lakes, and swamps, including the famous Lake Victoria and Murchison Falls. The Nile River of Murchison Falls National Park provides a spectacular sight as it forces itself through a narrow gap in the rocks and drops 140 feet in three cascades. In addition to wildlife, the Murchison Falls reserve protects clean water and draws tourists that bring in much needed revenue.

Fast Facts

  • The park boasts at least 109 mammal, 476 bird, and 149 tree species.
  • The park is notable for its large population of Uganda kob, an antelope that has an unusual lekking breeding behavior in which males defend small territories and are visited by female mates.
  • One of the world’s most easily visible wild populations of the rare shoebill stork occurs in this landscape.

Challenges

Wildlife populations have largely recovered from the poaching that occurred during the political unrest here in the 1980s. Development and other human activities, such as a hydroelectric power plant project planned along the upper reaches of the Nile and oil exploration, threaten the landscape and its wildlife.

WCS Responds

WCS began working on biological surveys in Uganda in 1957. Today, we assist the park authorities in their surveys, park planning, and monitoring of elephants, lions, and hyenas. As Uganda develops its energy industry, WCS is working closely with relevant parties to ensure it operates sustainably, with due regard for the vulnerability of the surrounding environment.

From the Newsroom

Battle Scars from the BushDecember 1, 2010

Elephants that share their turf with poachers may face life-threatening injuries when they encounter a rusty manacle buried in the foliage.

Counting Lions in the Night August 11, 2010

A WCS carnivore researcher based in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park searches for lions at prime-time for big cats: in the pitch dark.

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