The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has started translocating 200 kobs from Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve in Kikuube District.
The two-week exercise will see30 male and170 female kobs translocated from Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve which is under Murchison Falls Conservation Area and released into Kidepo Valley National Park.
Mr Sam Mwandha, the UWA executive Director, said the translocation will see the number of kob population increase and multiply faster in the park which will ensure their long term survival.
“The current population of kobs in Kidepo Valley National Park is not what we want. Therefore, we have to reinforce it by taking there more kobs. Having kobs in different parks will play a significant role in ensuring their long term survival,” he said.
Flagging off the translocation at Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, the UWA Director for Conservation in Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, Mr John Makombo, said the translocation addresses one of UWA’s key strategic objective of species, population restoration in places where they initially ranged to ensure their survival especially in light of the current land use changes and other developments in their current ranges.
“This exercise is key in the fulfilment of UWA’s mandate of protecting and conserving Uganda’s wildlife resources. We are expanding the species range mindful of the land use changes in the country,” he said.
Mr Makombo disclosed that the translocation is aimed at re-enforcing and supplementing the kob population in Kidepo Valley National Park to enhance breeding, genetic diversity and ecosystem balance.
He added that this will also meet UWA’s strategic objective of restoring species in their former rangelands, enhance biodiversity and ecosystem balance and utilisation and improve tourism in the park.
This is the second translocation of kobs to Kidepo Valley National Park in six years following the translocation of 110 kobs to the park.
The kob population in the park has since increased and is estimated between 350 – 400 animals following the 2017 translocation and successful natural breeding in the last five years.
This year’s translocation exercise will see the kob population in the park increase to 600 individuals.