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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and harbours 10 primate species, some 110 other mammals, 348 bird species, 27 amphibians species, 14 snake species (9 restricted range), 14 lizard species and 310 butterfly species.

Bwindi is one of the most prominent forests in Africa in terms of mammal diversity, supporting at least 120 known species. It contains about half of the world's mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei; IUCN category ‘Endangered’.

Another globally threatened primate is the Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes  schweinfurthi; Endangered). Bwindi also hosts Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis), Red-tailed Monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius), Black and White Colobus Monkeys (Colobus guereza),

Baboon (Papio anubis) and L’Hoest’s Monkeys (Cercopithecus lhoesti) along with three nocturnal primate species namely the Potto (Perodicticus potto), Demidoff’s Galago (Galagoides demidoff) and the Spectacled Galago (Galago matschiei).  

The park supports Elephants (Loxodonta africana; Vulnerable), Bush Pigs (Potamochoerus larvatus), Giant Forest Hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni), Black-fronted Duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons), Yellow-backed Duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor), Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis), Side-stripped Jackal (Canis adustus), Civet (Civettictis civetta) and numerous other species, especially of bats and rodents.

Some 348 bird species have also been recorded at Bwindi. They include 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri; Vulnerable), Grauer’s Rush Warbler (Bradypterus graueri; Endangered), Chapin’s Flycatcher (Muscicapa lendu; Vulnerable) and Shelley’s Crimson-wing (Cryptospiza shelleyi; Vulnerable).  

The Rift’s high levels of endemicity have been attributed to long-term climatic stability, which has enabled ancient, biogeographically ‘relictual’ species to persist, while promoting the adaptive radiation of younger, restricted-range species. Bwindi has three bird species that are relictual, and the only surviving representatives of their respective genera: African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Warbler (Graueria vittata) and Short-tailed Warbler (Hemitesia neumanni). Indeed, both the broadbill and Short-tailed Warbler are thought to be more closely related to Asian- than to African species.  

As well as being the most accessible site at which to study m
any of the Albertine Rift’s endemic birds, Bwindi also supports a number of predominantly central- and west African bird species known from only a few sites in East Africa, including Fraser’s Eagle Owl (Bubo poensis), Western Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba iriditorques), White-bellied Robin Chat (Cossyphicula roberti), Lagden’s Bush-shrike (Malaconotus lagdeni) and the scarce Oberländer’s Ground-Thrush (Zoothera oberlaenderi).

Twenty seven amphibian species have been identified. Eleven are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Six are of global conservation concern including the Western Rift Leaf-folding Frog (Afrixalus orophilus) (IUCN category “vulnerable” VU) and Ahl's Reed Frog (Hyperolius castaneus) (IUCN category “vulnerable” VU).

Fourteen snake species, 9 of which are endemic to Bwindi are known. Six species of chameleon, 14 species of lizards have also been recorded.

Bwindi hosts at least 220 butterfly species including 8 Albertine rift endemics. Three butterflies occur only in Bwindi: the Cream- banded swallowtail (Papilio leucotaenia), Graphium gudenusi and Charaxes fournierae. The threatened African giant swallowtail (Papilio antimachus) is also found in Bwindi.

Very little is known about Bwindi’s other invertebrates though there has been limited work on molluscs and aquatic arthropods. 

****** See here for a list of all mammals, amphibians and birds  categorised as 'Vulnerable' or 'Endangered' on IUCN's Red List and occurring in Bwindi or SW Uganda******


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