Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Queen Elizabeth National Park has recorded an increase in the number of wildlife animals at the end of the COVID-19 lockdown which started in March. The park has more than 90 mammal and 600 bird species.
The park’s chief warden Pontius Ezuma says that the park is currently witnessing an increase in the wildlife population. He attributes the increase to some of the measures that were put in place to control the spread of coronavirus disease.
He says that because of the ongoing night-time curfew and intensified security patrols, the number of poachers has drastically gone down. Ezuma notes that the population of elephants has surpassed the 3,953-mark registered before the lockdown.
The increase has also been recorded for buffaloes whose figure stands at 17,000 while in the previous census the figures stood at 15,000. According to available statistics, the crackdown against poachers has also seen an increase in the cobs population to over 21,000.
Absence of tourism business in the park has also seen wildlife recolonize their original grazing zones in the park as well as the growth of fresh vegetation.
UWA Executive Director Samuel John Mwandha, says that wildlife has been increasing in the last five years. He says that the Uganda Wildlife Authority team has increased its surveillance across all parks during the lockdown to ensure that they deal with poachers.