Ugalla Game Reserve
Ugalla Game Reserve is a low-lying, flat area located in central-western Tanzania. The Ugalla River runs through the area after which it is named, and the open flood plain alongside this ranges from one to six miles across. Away from the river, the area is characterized by open Miombo woodland. During the rains, much of the reserve is inaccessible due to extensive flooding, while in the dry season Ugalla forms a haven for much of the game from surrounding areas. The river stops flowing during the dry season but large pools remain throughout the year. These are home to hippo and crocodile, and provide year round water for elephant and other game such as sable, lion, topi, roan, wild dog and greater kudu.
FCF works with three districts around Ugalla Game Reserve to implement community projects that benefit those living along the reserve’s boundaries. These projects are designed in coordination with the villages, the district and the Wildlife Division and have included projects such as building secondary schools, training and assisting beekeeping groups and conducting environmental awareness trainings together with the District Natural Resources Officer.
Area-specific Project: Beekeeping Equipment
In an area where many villages depend on environmentally unsustainable activities to earn a living, communities bordering the game reserve place pressure on fragile ecosystems. These villages, by implementing eco-friendly income-generating alternatives, can instead become partners in conservation while at the same time improve their livelihoods. FCF helps income-generating groups around the game reserve to practice environmentally sustainable beekeeping and to produce pure, organic honey.
- $48 will buy one protective beekeeping kit
- $17 will build one modern, reusable beehive
- $760 will train a community in sustainable beekeeping practices
The Ugalla Game Reserve is characterized by two primary ecosystems: an extensive miombo woodland and large floodplains running along the reserve’s four rivers. Bushmeat poaching, especially of hippopotamus, is a concern for our two anti-poaching teams based in the reserve. Ivory poaching is also a problem. Ugalla is unique amongst Tanzania’s protected areas in that licensed honey gatherers and fishermen are allowed to enter the Reserve for six months of the year to harvest honey and fish. It takes a conscientious patrol commander to operate here as the relationship between the honey gatherers/fishermen and FCF can be unbalanced very easily if anti-poaching concerns are not handled in an appropriate manner.
Area-specific Project: Train a Patrol Commander
Anti-poaching commanders are based in the field and have the most contact with the communities bordering protected areas. For $1,800 one commander will receive a two-week training course in community-based conservation.
Together with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), FCF conducted a wet and dry season sample count of ungulates in Ugalla in 2007. This data will be analyzed and compared to data that FCF intends to gather in 2010, or every three years. In this way FCF will be able to analyze population trends in order to assist the management of the area. The Ugalla Game Reserve also has a seemingly healthy wild dog population, an important population for this threatened species. FCF assists the Tanzania Mammal Atlas Project with sightings and photographs of wild dogs. There are also healthy populations of sable and roan antelope and numerous rare water bird species including the shoebill stork and wattled crane.
Area-specific Project: Sponsor Flying Hours or a Whole Survey
The costs for an ungulate sample count in Ugalla Game Reserve can be assisted by purchasing one or more flying hours at $250/hour.