Uganda’s conservation movement started in the early 20th century during the colonial era, when several of the existing parks and reserves were designated. Following decades of political upheaval in the 1970’s and 80’s, conservation areas were poorly managed and encroached on, and poaching was rife, resulting in a significant loss of the country’s biodiversity value. With the return of stability in the late 80’s and the launch of committed conservation programs in the 90’s, Uganda is fast rebuilding the biodiversity of her reserves.
Today, Uganda has 60 conservation-protected areas that harbour many critically endangered species like the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys, and some formerly extinct ones like the rhino. Poaching, and human encroachment and development in protected areas remain the main threats to conservation efforts, but to counter these, sanctuary reserves have been set up to provide a home for animals captured from poachers, and conservation education for Ugandans remains a top priority of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.