Assessing the distribution and status of the Critically Endangered Nubian Flapshell Turtle and enhancing community capacity for conservation in northern Uganda
The Nubian Flapshell Turtle, Cyclanorbis elegans, is a Critically Endangered species and one of the five most threatened chelonian species in the world. This species was suspected to have quietly gone extinct until it was rediscovered by our team in 2017 along the White Nile in South Sudan. Additional field surveys in 2021 documented for the first time its additional presence in Northern Uganda. Here, we propose to: (i) document the distribution of the new populations of this species in Uganda by exploring additional areas of the country where its presence is suspected, (ii) determine population size and conservation status of the species in Uganda; (iii) establish community-based conservation initiatives focused on nest site monitoring and protection, and (iv) enhance capacity for young scientists in Uganda to promote future in-country leadership in turtle conservation. The data we obtain will be crucial for defining the most urgent conservation actions needed to ensure the survival of this nearly extinct species.
Objective 1: Define the current distribution and establish
baseline estimates of the population size of Cyclanorbis elegans in northern Uganda
Conduct awareness campaigns with local
communities and government agencies in order to enhance local protection for
this exceedingly rare species.
Enhance Capacity of local communities and train young scientists for future conservation management of the species at the country level.