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Project team

Scott Forbes - Principal Researcher

Scott is a biologist who has managed a diverse range of wildlife conservation projects from mammals to reptiles and insects. He has worked with African wild dogs in Zambia and Red foxes and Arabian wildcats in Saudi Arabia. Sea turtle projects have ranged from the Caribbean, Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. More recently though, he tries as often as possible to return to Semuliki to create the special recipe of fermenting bananas required to attract the maximum number of butterflies. He completed his PhD 'The ecology and conservation of a fruit-feeding butterfly assemblage in a Ugandan lowland rainforest' in 2018.

Justice Oribokiriho - Associate Field Researcher

Justice has been a UWA ranger for over 15 years. At Semuliki he can identify over 400 bird species and their calls and is internationally famous for his birding skills. Since collaborating with the fruit-feeding butterfly project since its inception he has become the foremost Ugandan lepidopterist. He has recorded and identified numerous records of new butterfly species for the park. Previously he was a highly regarded chimpanzee tracker at Semliki-Toro Wildlife Reserve before working at Semuliki. He now works at Kibale National Park but is always available to work with the project when required.

Justice Oribokiriho


On November 14th Justice unexpectedly died at a hospital near Kibale National Park. The foremost Ugandan Lepidopterist and a dedicated conservationist, he will be missed not only for his skills in birding, chimpanzee tracking and butterfly guiding but the friendship and guidance he offered to so many people. He influenced numerous Ugandans to follow in his passion for butterfly research and conservation. His presence at Semuliki was always huge and will not be forgotten.

Joachim Muteibisa - Associate Field Researcher

Joachim is a community elder of the Bakonjo tribe and lives near the local trading centre of Ntandi where he runs a local guesthouse. He joined the project in 2014 and has contributed to all field research activities. He is now an expert in identifying Ugandan lowland forest fruit-feeding butterfly species in the field and helps logistically with finding the local skills necessary to maintain or replace equipment. He is also available for private tours around Semuliki, Semliki Valley and the Rwenzoris.

King Geoffrey Nzitu - Field Assistant

Geoffrey is recognised as the traditional Batwa King in the Semuliki Forest area. He has worked with the project since its inception and sets the canopy traps and can locate any piece of missing equipment in the field with ease. His stories in the field of the Batwa's forest traditions are legendary. He also provides private tours of Semuliki (along the Batwa trail) which includes presenting the ancestral heritage of the Batwa and their close historical association with Semuliki National Park.

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