Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve

The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the karamoja sub-region of north-eastern Uganda. It is the second largest conservation protected area in Uganda.

The southern part of the reserve was gazetted as the debasien animal sanctuary in 1958. A government led project to convert land just south of the greek river for agriculture threatened the viability of wildlife conservation in the whole area. In 1964 the area was expanded northward and renamed Pian Upe Game Reserve.

A 2003 proposal to degazette The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in order to farm fruit on the land was blocked. There is a hot spring potential for geothermal tapping at cheposukunya.  Further to that, there are mercury wells at Mt. kadam. Most of the reserve is covered by undisturbed grassland and wooded grassland. Small areas of riverine woodland, kopjes also exist. Some land is cultivated, and especially the area near the geek river is threatened by conversion.

Dominant tree species are the red acacia and desert date. Also present are bushwillows, harrisonia abyssinica and red spike-thorns. Shrubs include butterfly pea and wooly caper bush. Cultivated areas have many live fences of yellow oleander.

Common grasses in the grassland are thatching grass and bristle species. Less common are beard grasses and lemon grasses. Along the rivers are bristle grass and red nut sedge dominate. The lower vegetation layer burns every year.

Although the area once supported healthy populations of lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, these are now locally extinct. The last giraffe was reportedly poached in 1995. Populations of plains zebra, common eland, are also threatened grants gazelle.

The most commonly sighted mammal in the reserve is the oribi. Others known to inhabit the are (as of 1996) include Carnivores, Jackals, Civets, Spotted hyenas, Servals, Leopards, Ungulates, Topi, Cape buffalo, common eland roan antelope, blue and common duiker, rock hyrax, aardvark, crested porcupine, hare , four-toed hedgehog, cheetah, wildcats, primates, vervet monkeys, patas monkeys, olive baboons, gunther’s dik-dik, klipspringer, waterbuck, Ugandan kob, Bohor and  mountain reebuck.

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