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Wildlife Authority Suspends Primate Tourism and Research in Protected Areas

UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha announced that the activities will be suspended until April 30, 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the eventual confirmation of a number of cases in Uganda. Up to 14 cases have so far been confirmed in the country, according to an update issued by the Ministry of Health today.
uwa suspends primate tourism

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The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has suspended primate tourism and research in all protected areas in Uganda as a result of the raging coronavirus pandemic.

UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha announced that the activities will be suspended until April 30, 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the eventual confirmation of a number of cases in Uganda.  Up to 14 cases have so far been confirmed in the country, according to an update issued by the Ministry of Health today.

The suspension also affects filming of primates and prohibits commercial motorcycles and bicycles from the protected areas.  

Mwandha says that the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority have assessed the current situation and come up with measures that will serve to protect Uganda`s wildlife heritage, staffs and visitors to protected areas and tourism business. Mwandha says that although the suspension will affect the tourism activities and earnings, they are a necessary intervention.  

UWA Spokesperson, Bashir Hanji told URN in a phone interview that gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permits will be rescheduled for a maximum of two times up to March 31, 2022 to avoid cancellations of already booked trips. 

Stephen Masaba, the UWA Director of Business, announced last year that each permit to each habituated gorilla family will increase to USD 700 per foreigner by July 2020 and limited to one hour.   

Uganda is home to 15 primate species ranging from galagos, monkeys to apes. The prominent ones are mountain gorilla at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mahinga National Park, common chimpanzee popular in Kibale Forest National Park, golden monkey endemic to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, De Brazza`s Monkey, Patas Monkey, Ugandan red colobus monkey, bush baby, red tail monkey, Black and White Colobus Monkey and Vervet Olive Baboon among others.

An internal COVID 19 task force has also been formed to work closely with the National Task Force and update and guide management of the day-to-day development in the containment of the spread of COVID 19 and its implications to wildlife conservation and tourism in protected areas.  

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