Inventory of Threatened Odonates in Two Selected Afromontane Forests in the Albertine Rift in Western Uganda

21 Jun 2023 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda, Africa Forests | Invertebrates

Francis Ssenkuba

This project seeks to document the odonate assemblage in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Bugoma Central Forest Reserve with the potential of updating the conservation status of the three threatened odonate species explicitly; Idomacromia jillianae (Data Deficient), Neodythemis munyaga (Endangered), and Agriocnemis palaeforma (Vulnerable) endemic to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the Albertine Rift.

The project aims at detailing the odonate habitat preferences in the two selected forests by conducting rigorous odonate surveys in both the wet and dry seasons for one year collecting odonate specimens simultaneously with the environmental data specifically; physical habitat structure including the vegetation dynamics, substrate type, and the water physicochemical parameters of the main rivers mainly rivers Ivi, Munyaga, Ihihizo, and Ntengyere in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and rivers Bubwa, Wake, Sonso and Waisoke in Bugoma Forest Reserve which are potential breeding sites of odonates.

The project also plans to recruit and train one tour guide from each of the selected forests on the research team as resident citizen scientists to provide weekly odonate data and to build their capacity in odonate identification and conservation. They will be provided with protective gear, materials for odonate preservation, a sweep net and a smart mobile phone with a KoboToolBox app connected to the server which they will use in the collection of odonate data.

The Project also aims at raising awareness about the ecological services offered by Odonates and the forest at large and their conservation priorities and opportunities to the future generation through an Odonate Conservation awareness Campaign in a selected primary school nearby the most degraded patch of Bugoma Forest Reserve to change the future generations’ attitude and perception towards odonate conservation and their habitats hence providing a long term and sustainable conservation solution.

This project will document the habitat preferences, occurrence and distribution of odonate species that will be encountered and the threats pertaining to their habitats which will be used in the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas in these forests and will be communicated to both the National and the International Conservation Authorities to inform their odonate conservation efforts.

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