Home Management
Dr. Ludwig Siefert

Dr. Ludwig Siefert is a wildlife veterinarian and head of the Uganda Carnivore Program. He is also an honorary wildlife officer with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. He was a founding member of the Uganda Large Predator Project and has been working in Queen Elizabeth National Park since the 1990s. In addition, he is an honorary senior lecturer at Makerere University’s Department of Wildlife and Animal Resources Management. Dr. Siefert is often called on by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to monitor the health of animals in many of Uganda’s national parks, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park. Though his particular focus is predators, Siefert also works on elephant, giraffe, and other ungulate species.

Dr. Siefert is originally from Germany, where he received his degree in veterinary medicine. His postgraduate work led him to Uganda for research until he was forced to leave during the Idi Amin years. In addition to postgraduate work as a wildlife vet, Siefert earned a master’s degree in Tropical Animal Production. He returned to Uganda in 1990 and began teaching epidemiology, preventive medicine, and public health at Makerere University, where he was a founding member of its Wildlife and Animal Resources Management Department. He has also instructed for, and collaborated with, many U.S., Canadian, and European universities.

Alongside his wildlife vet and university lecturer responsibilities, Dr. Siefert heads UCP’s conservation education and community-based conservation activities throughout Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Dr. Siefert is passionate about Uganda’s wildlife and people, and has shared his knowledge and passion by mentoring hundreds of Ugandan and international students over the years.  He is also generous of his time and knowledge with tourists to the parks in which he works.

James Kalyewa
Research Assistant

James Kalyewa is UCP’s senior research assistant, based primarily in the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. He is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of the park’s predators, while also assisting Dr. Siefert in darting, radio collaring, and animal health assessments. In addition, James supports the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s human-wildlife conflict mitigation activities, including reporting on illegal activity within the park and working with the communities on wildlife conservation and other related education efforts.

James has been involved in numerous wildlife interventions, including rescuing and relocating lions and leopards and removing snares from elephant, buffalo, and warthog. He has also assisted in the translocation of waterbuck and Jackson’s hartebeest from Murchison Falls National Park to Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, as well as the translocation of giant forest hogs from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.

More recently, James led our survey of community attitudes in Muhokya and Kahendero villages, and is working with local teachers on conservation education outreach in community schools.

In his spare time, James offers his expertise to the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Experiential Tourism initiative in Queen Elizabeth National Park.  James goes out with tourists into the park, where he shows them how predator tracking is performed while providing them with first-hand knowledge of the challenges involved in research and conservation by introducing them to the area’s wildlife and people.

James earned a certificate and a diploma in wildlife and allied natural resource management from the Uganda Wildlife Training Institute, and also has a certificate in predator-human conflict management from the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.

Kenneth Mugyenyi
Community Scout

Kenneth Mugyenyi is UCP’s community scout, coordinating all community activities throughout the villages where UCP works. He responds to human-wildlife conflict events, identifies methods to prevent them in the future, maintains the ecological monitoring program, works with village teachers on creating environmental curriculum, and assists in developing sustainable community enterprises. Kenneth also manages the village scout program.

Kenneth was born in Kisongora village, located on the northern border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. He obtained a certificate of education in geography and economics from Kasese Secondary School. Due to financial difficulties, however, he was unable to progress further in his studies. Unwilling to give up, he started volunteering for the Kisongora Women’s group, and is now their general secretary. He is also the volunteer general secretary for the Kisongora Cattle Keepers Association.

​According to Kenneth, “growing up in an area where most communities are often enemies to wildlife simply because of the high rate of human-wildlife conflict, my goal as a UCP community scout is to create coexistence between man and nature. This shall be achieved through community and school education on the environment, ecological data collection, and wildlife and livelihood improvements, which I’m doing with the help of the UCP staff. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and hope to help UCP meet its intended goals.”

Michael Schwartz
Research assistant & Scientific advisor.

Mike Schwartz is UCP’s research assistant and scientific advisor. His focus with UCP is large carnivore ecology (spotted hyena, leopard, lion) and human-carnivore conflict mitigation and prevention. Mike helps on anything from technical reports to field research, carnivore monitoring, presentations, and fundraising. He has also assisted in the field with lion radio collaring and responding to reports of livestock depredation.

Mike has a double bachelor (BSc in biology, BA in communications), and an MA in African Studies. Previously, he wrote for the National Geographic Society under the guidance of his now-retired editor, David Braun, often traveling to different countries throughout East and Southern sub-Saharan Africa to document various wildlife conservation issues and initiatives, which is how he originally met the UCP team. It was Uganda that Mike kept returning to most often as his interest in natural history and observations/questions began a transition from wildlife journalism to scientific research.

Mike believes that successful carnivore conservation requires working with, understanding, and involving local people as much as researching lions or spending time in wildlife-rich habitats. He also believes in facing challenges and setbacks with patience and resolve, both in life and when it comes to the greater goal of ensuring a future for large carnivores.