Supporting NatureUganda

RSPB has been assisting NatureUganda to conserve their rich ornithological heritage.

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Uganda has a high level of avian diversity, with more than 1,007 species recorded (of which 800 breed and 32 are globally threatened), and is one of the richest countries for birds in Africa in relation to its size. 
NatureUganda (the operational name of the East Africa Natural History Society - Uganda Branch) was founded in 1909, but was inactive for many years due to Uganda's decades of civil wars and political instability. It was re-launched as NatureUganda around 1993.
The RSPB's aim in supporting NatureUganda is to build a strong, independent, indigenous bird conservation NGO and BirdLife International Partner, which is protecting the birds of Uganda and their habitats. 
With RSPB support, which commenced in 1994, NatureUganda has grown to become the leading national conservation NGO with a wide variety of field projects operating throughout the country.


  • Strengthen the capacity of NatureUganda to work independently for the conservation of biodiversity, particularly birds.
  • Identify and conserve Uganda's Important Bird Areas (IBAs) - currently 30 identified.
  • Protect globally threatened and regionally endemic birds. Uganda has 32 globally threatened species.
  • Secure project funding from international and national donors.
  • Manage conservation and development projects.
  • Develop NatureUganda as an active, membership-based NGO.

Key Dates

  • 1993: The Uganda branch of the East African National History Society is re-launched as NatureUganda.
  • November 1994: RSPB's first support to NatureUganda of a £500 grant for start-up activities.
  • 1995: The current long-term programme of support started, funding NatureUganda's core programme, providing technical advice and conducting joint fundraising.
  • 2001: Directory of IBAs of Uganda published.
  • July 2004: RSPB secures £350,000 grant from DFID-CSCF for community forest conservation at Echuya Forest, SW Uganda.
  • September 2006: Designation of 9 new Ramsar sites bringing Uganda's total to 11 (which include 10 IBAs) through a joint NatureUganda/WWF/Wetlands Inspection Division/RSPB project.
  • 2007: NatureUganda takes lead in advocating against the degazettement and conversion to sugarcane of part of Mabira Forest Reserve.

Planned Work

RSPB is committed to assisting NatureUganda to achieve an effective conservation programme, and organisational and financial stability.  As such, we envision long-term support.


  • Publication of directory of IBAs of Uganda.
  • Creation of a wetland observatory and education centre at Nabajjuzi.
  • Designation of nine new Ramsar sites in Uganda, increasing the country's total to 11. Eight of these new Ramsar sites are IBAs (ie Murchison Falls National Park and seven sites with no prior official protection).
  • Public advocacy campaign against the conversion of part of Mabira Forest Reserve to a sugarcane plantation.
  • Successful implementation of community forest conservation projects at Echuya and Kasyoha-Kitome.
  • Growth of organisation from entirely volunteer run in 1995 to more than 20 paid staff in 2008.
  • Increase in annual turnover from £1,000 to more than £600,000 in the same period.
  • Around 500 paid-up members in 2008. Progamme of membership activities (birdwalks, outings, talks etc) and regular production of member publications (newsletter, magazine).

Species affected (not UK birds)

  • Most of Uganda's Eurasian migrants come from countries further east in Europe/Asia. 
  • Uganda has more than 1,000 recorded species, of which 32 are globally threatened.




Coast on a stormy day

Chris Magin

Head of Section Partner Development, International Country Programmes

Further reading

Tagged with: Country: International Country: Uganda Project status: Ongoing Project types: Education Project types: Organisation development Project types: Site protection Project types: Species protection