Birding-Inspired Conservation in the Gorilla Highlands of Uganda
Among the Kiga People of the Gorilla Highlands of Uganda, bird conservation has been a real priority for hundreds of years. Birds announced the seasons of the year, predicted the rains, and even the death of relatives. More so, every clan had a ‘bird friend,’ a bird that they would never kill. This created a brand of conservation whose roots in culture were very deep.
With cultural erosion, however, and the population explosion in the gorilla highlands, there has been a shift in bird conservation dynamics. Bird-rich Wetlands have yielded to farming, and forested hills have been food-cultivated to their tips. The unintended consequence is that this habitat loss has negatively affected the bird life in the gorilla highlands of Uganda.
This talk reveals birding as the “organic” solution to this negative trend in bird conservation. The forests that have been preserved for the Gorillas are the last strongholds for birds, yet even the birds there are threatened by the use of pesticides in the neighbouring farms. The speaker has come to care about nature conservation because he cares about the birds, and he believes that this dynamic is scalable.