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From 26th– 29th December 2016, the delegation from ACNR visited Akagera National Park for Habitat Assessment of Shoebill Stork – Baleeniceps rex Project Implementation. This project aims at providing relevant information on the species habitat/distribution; identifying species population size; and assessing the state of species conservation in Akagera National Park.

The delegation assessed four sites (Birengero, Kageyo, Gishanju and Kilala) selected in Akagera National Park after the consultancy with Akagera Management Company authorities, field workers and rangers.

ACNR is implementing this project in Partnership with Akagera Management Company (AMC) and the Charis Unmanned Aerial Solutions, a drone-building company operating in Rwanda which provides the drone to assess different sites. The One Year Project is funded by “Chicago Zoological Society”

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The Shoebill Stork – Balaenicepsrex is vulnerable on the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Over most of its range, Shoebill Stork is threatened by habitat destruction, degradation, disturbance, hunting, and capture for the bird trade (Baker 1996, T. Dodmaninlitt. 2002). There is little doubt that the species is declining in Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda, with declines perhaps in Uganda as well, and the species may be more threatened than available information suggests (L. Dinesen in litt. 2007).

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