Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 2035–2053 | Cite as

Diversity and status of carnivorous plants in Uganda: towards identification of sites most critical for their conservation

  • James Kalema
  • Mary Namaganda
  • Godfrey Bbosa
  • Jasper Ogwal-Okeng
Original Paper


Available records show that carnivorous plants in Uganda have been collected since 1941. Places that harbor them are either damp or open water bodies. They are autotrophic plants that trap and ingest small animals, especially insects, as a means of supplementing their nutrient supply (Givnish in PNAS 112:10–11, 2015). This insect capture habit has been investigated in Uganda to assess their potential to control malaria by reducing mosquito populations. But this investigation requires good and current knowledge about the availability of the carnivorous plants, their status and distribution. In this study we assess the range of their geographical distribution and diversity and identify the most important areas for their occurrence in Uganda. A total of 23 species of carnivorous plants distributed in two families are known from Uganda. The Lake Nabugabo area and north western shores of Lake Victoria display the highest species richness in Uganda whilst Lake Nabugabo and Mabamba are the most diverse. Six of the species are ‘extremely rare’, occurring in only one ‘location’ (in the sense of International Union for Conservation of Nature—IUCN). ‘Reserve selection’ analysis clearly points out Lake Nabugabo area as the most important for carnivorous plants. This is only a Ramsar Site with no higher conservation status. Only two species occur in well protected areas, but these are widespread.


Biodiversity Carnivorous plants Distribution Diversity Uganda 



The research was largely funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through the Grand Challenges Exploration Project. Makerere University provided the necessary working space and facilities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

This is to state that there are no conflicts of interest in publication of the findings basing on data used in preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Kalema
    • 1
  • Mary Namaganda
    • 1
  • Godfrey Bbosa
    • 2
  • Jasper Ogwal-Okeng
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Health SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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