The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) focuses its work around large landscapes across the World.It is the conservation of these key landscapes that will ensure the conservation of the fauna and flora contained within them.WCS has developed an approach to determine what size of landscapes are needed at any on site by evaluating the needs of the Landscape species that occur in the landscape. These species are those that range over large areas, are at low density and as a result they usually have a low reproductive rate.They are often iconic species and of cultural significance to people and may play a keystone role in the landscape by modifying it or acting as a key predator.This landscape species approach helps WCS conservation scientists determine whether an existing suite of protected areas is sufficient for the needs of all of the species within the landscape or whether there is a need to conserve corridors and natural habitat between protected areas to ensure these landscape species can continue to exist over the long term.
In Uganda WCS is focusing on three key landscapes:
The Murchison-Semliki Landscape
The Greater Virunga Landscape
The Kidepo Landscape
These landscapes which include a variety of adjacent protected areas and intervening unprotected habitat conserve some of Africa’s most iconic species including the African elephant, hippopotamus, Rothschild giraffe, lion, spotted hyaena, leopard,chimpanzee, mountain gorilla, giant forest hog, Nile crocodile as well as some of the large birds of prey such as the vultures. They are also some of the most biodiverse landscapes in Africa and in particular the Greater Virunga Landscape contains more vertebrate species than any other landscape on the African continent.