Animal populations surge in Ugandan national parks

Zebra The zebra is one of the animals on the increase in Ugandan national parks

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The number of animals in Uganda's national parks and game reserves has soared over the past decade, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) says.

The latest figures show that the population of some species has doubled since 1999, spokeswoman Lillian Nsubuga said.

Wildlife had benefited from improved monitoring and the expulsion of rebels from the country, she added.

The animals on the rise include buffalos, giraffes and elephants.

New statistics show that the population with the biggest increase is that of the Impala, a grazing antelope.

The number of Impala in Uganda has surged to more than 35,000, from around 1,600 at the time of the last census in 1999.

Hippopotamuses, waterbucks, and zebras are also on the increase.

Ms Nsubuga said the UWA had been able to reduce poaching by improving the monitoring of national parks and reserves and by offering incentives to local communities to protect wildlife.

Since the expulsion of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from northern Uganda, wildlife officials have also been able to limit poaching in Murchison Falls National Park.

"We can't say that poaching is no longer a problem, but we have been able to reduce it", Ms Nsubuga said.

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