IGCP in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority recently launched the first ever Human Gorilla Conflict Resolution Team (HuGO) to complement Human Wildlife Conflict Measures among park edge communities bordering Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The scout groups popularly known as HuGO teams play a key role in managing problem animals and strengthening park-community relations. Prior to the launch the 18-member team was trained on animal behavior, effective ways to resettle problem animals into the park without harm and how to foster cohesion between park authority and park edge communities.
Among others the team will be collecting data on problem animals including when and what animals moved out of the park- the frequency, plus the intensity of crop raids and methods used to chase the animals back to the park. Chosen from existent Problem Animal Management groups (PAM) that initially maintained the stone wall, the work of the HuGO team is expected to contribute to the reduced Human Wildlife Conflict around MGNP. The Social Assessment for Protected Areas (SAPA) survey conducted around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) in 2018, ranked human wildlife conflict (HWC) as the number one negative social impact affecting livelihoods of the park edge communities. Forming HuGo groups was one of the key recommendations suggested to address this challenge. “Forming this team and building their capacity is timely and important for the park and the surrounding community. We really hope that the team will help in monitoring, reporting, and addressing HWC. We look forward to working with the team to address the challenge and to improve park – community relations,” says Richard Muhabwe, Senior Warden in Charge at MGNP. Have you Taken the Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge?