Recovery of Nahan's partridge - Uganda

Nahan's partridge Ptilopachus nahani (previously of the genus Francolinus) is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is thought to occupy a very small range in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and west-central Uganda. Not only is its global range small, it is also highly fragmented, resulting in several small and isolated populations. 

Nahan's partridge is a strict forest specialist and is under threat due to increasing forest degradation and clearance across its range. Forested habitats favoured by the partridge have become heavily fragmented and the population has declined drastically. The partridge is now only found in three forests in Uganda and rampant illegal logging and charcoal burning have been observed in all three sites. Maria and Bugoma Forest Reserves are key to the survival of the species, however they are surrounded by agricultural settlements, industrial developments and urban areas. 

Project commenced: 2003

Due to the status of the species, research priorities were highlighted in the Action Plan for 2000-2004 for the Partridge, Quail and Francolin, and these were used as the basis for a project initiated in Uganda to study Nahan's francolin.

Research Priorities 

  • study its distribution in forest fragments, dispersal and predation rates, and effects of selective logging in Budongo Forest Reserve
  • assess population densities in Mabira and Bugoma Forest Reserves
  • monitor the population in Uganda
  • research levels, extent and effect of hunting
  • identify the key management requirements in protected areas


  • estimated national population at a healthy 23000 groups
  • Bugoma supports a high density of partridge and population remains stable from the 1990s
  • Mabira identified as an important bird area and estimated to contain 2500 groups
  • 30% of apparently suitable habitat has been lost in Mabira since 1970 and illegal logging continues
  • hunting does not appear to pose an immediate threat

Although the population is healthy across Uganda, urgent action is required in Mabira to prevent the extinction of the population there. Maria is subject to heavy exploitation, invasion by exotic tree species and agricultural conversion. WPA seeks to work alongside local forest non-governmental organisations to develop measures to reduce these threats.

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