The Uganda National Insect Collection is a repository of the arthropod collections of the National Insect Museum and Herbarium situated at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories Kawanda (NARL), under the National Agricultural Research Organization. This is the oldest and largest insect collection in the East and Central African regions holding specimens of agricultural and scientific importance.
The collection, estimated at over 20,000 insect specimens, dates back to the 1900s and represents a valuable historical record of agricultural pests in the country and the world at large. It was started by C.C. Gowdey who was a Government Entomologist at the then Department of Agriculture from 1909 to 1921. During his 12 years in Uganda C.C. Gowdey, G.L.R. Hancock, G.D.H. Carpenter, and other co-workers discovered more than 50 new insect species. The collection, therefore, serves as the reference for all insects in Uganda and is the only place where insect taxonomic activities are conducted.
Despite its importance, the existence of this insect collection is relatively unknown. In 1994 the national agricultural research sub-sector was made autonomous and research activities were reorganized from discipline-based to commodity (crop or livestock) based. This led to the shortage of funding for its conservation activities and the museum suffered neglect. A recent initiative by the Biotechnology and Biodiversity Program at NARL is working towards reviving this facility through digitization. Later on, collections from other NARO institutes will follow suit.
Uganda National Insect Collection. Occurrence dataset (ID: 9b16dd33-d70f-4578-9519-07ee60f1d62c) https://ecdysis.org/content/dwca/NARO_DwC-A.zip accessed via the Ecdysis Portal, ecdysis.org, 2023-12-01).