Our projects

Budongo Conservation Field Station


RZSS has been core funding the Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS) for almost two decades, making it our charity's longest project collaboration to date. First established in 1990, BCFS is located in the Budongo Rainforest and is run by an entirely Ugandan team. Every day, up to 30 members of staff work in the forest – studying the trees and wildlife and working hard to maintain its protection. Through their continued presence in the forest, the BCFS team discourage illegal activity, enabling several rare species to thrive and relics such as large, ancient mahogany trees to persist.

Notably, the forest is home to an estimated 600 chimpanzees, making it something of a stronghold for this endangered species. The BCFS staff work tirelessly to protect these chimps, with several teams contributing to their conservation. The field team observe the animals daily, monitoring their health and alerting the vet team when chimps are injured by snares.

Additionally, the team’s observations contribute to cutting-edge primatology research through working with international and national researchers hosted at the field station. The team publish their own research in primatology journal The Perspectives Collective.

BCFS also employ a snare patrol team who spend hours in the forest each day searching for and removing snares laid by hunters. The vet team treat chimpanzees that unfortunately fall victim to these snares and have saved numerous lives within Budongo forest and elsewhere. The vets also work to build veterinary capacity in-country and provide veterinary treatment to local livestock, reducing the chances of people hunting in the forest.

In addition, BCFS’s teams of expert ornithologists, phenologists and ornithologists study the forest’s birds, trees and amphibians. The work of these teams has contributed to important global studies, such as those investigating the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus. Within Budongo forest, the work of the phenology team has charted a concerning decline in tree fruiting, which may be linked to climate change. This trend is already leading to increased human-wildlife conflict, as animals are beginning to leave the forest to find food. BCFS’s community outreach work is key to reducing this conflict by educating local people about wildlife and the importance of conservation. BCFS has also worked to provide local people with training and opportunities for alternative livelihoods that reduce their dependence on the forest.

Through our continued support of BCFS, we can ensure their vital work continues to protect the Budongo forest and its amazing wildlife.




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