Semuliki National Park (SNP) is situated in the extreme west of Uganda in Bundibugyo district. It lies along the Uganda/ Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border
within the western arm of the East African Rift Valley. In the southeast are the Rwenzori Mountains, to the west is the Democratic Republic of Congo and to the north are the Semuliki flats and Lake Albert further on Semuliki National Park is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri forest in Democratic Republic of Congo. It forms part of the forest continuum resulting out of the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene and therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa (especially birds).
Semuliki National Park (220 sq. kms) was gazetted in October 1993. The park occupies a flat with gently undulating landform ranging from 670m-760m above sea level. Since all streams and rivers from the surrounding area drain through the park, coupled with the poor drainage and topography, many areas in the park are flooded during the rainy season.
The average annual rainfall is 1,250mm with peaks from March-May and September-December. The temperatures vary from 18oc to 30oc with relatively small daily variations.
Semuliki National Park is the only lowland tropical rain forest in East Africa classified as moist and semi-deciduous. There are 336 tree species recorded of which 24 are restricted to Semuliki National Park, to the eastern part of the range, or are shared with only one or two neighbouring forests; They include Isolana congolana, Nesogordonia kabingaensis and ejacis guineesis. Some tree species in Semuliki National Park such as cordia millenii and lovoa surymertonii are considered to be endangered.
A survey carried out in 1999 by the forest department determined that, compared to other exceptional diversity for small mammals, birds and butterflies. Fauna recorded include 435 bird species (about 34% of Uganda's total), some of which cannot be found elsewhere in East Africa, including some of the continent's most spectacular and sought after birds such as horn bills and lyre tailed honey guide.
There are 63 species of mammals, 9 species of, which are diurnal forest primates (e.g. chimpanzees, blue monkey, and vervet monkeys and olive baboon), while nocturnal primates include pottos and galagos.
The following species of mammals are also found in Semuliki National Park: forest buffaloes, blue duiker, beecroft's flying squirrel, pigmy squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotaain and target rat.
Atleast 374 species of butterflies and months have been identified including 46 species of forest swallowstails and charaxes plus atleast 81 species of large moth, 12 of which are classified as restricted.
The wide range of species is attributed not only to the forest's location, but also to the varied habitats, forest swamp, grassland and an extensive system of hotsprings, warm swamp and Savannah woodland.
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