Mountain Nyala Conservation
To study and promote the survival of mountain nyalas in Ethiopia
Historically, the mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) roamed throughout the highlands of southeast Ethiopia, but in the last three decades the land available to them has become more and more restricted as a result of human encroachment, agriculture and sport hunting. Nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturists on the fringes of Bale Mountains National Park, and even in some cases within the park, are of major concern for conservation of the mountain nyala and its unique highland habitat. Over 70% of the remaining mountain nyalas live outside of Bale Mountains National Park, so this species' survival depends heavily upon the attitudes and engagement of people in community areas.
The objectives of the project are:
- Support research activities that will provide information on mountain nyalas in the Bale and Arussi mountains.
- Using information learned through research, identify priority conservation areas for mountain nyalas and develop a national mountain nyala conservation strategy.
- Support the education and research of emerging conservationists and researchers and thereby build capacity for conservation in Ethiopia.
- Support the Social Empowerment through Group and Nature Interaction (SEGNI) programme in the Bale Mountains and seek partners to expand the SEGNI programme to other areas of conservation concern in Ethiopia.
- Engage local community members in conservation activities for mountain nyalas.
- Support the annual Mountain Nyala Day to raise awareness locally and nationally of the importance of conserving the mountain nyala and its habitat.
- Provide seed funding for grass roots conservation groups that are initiated by community members, such as the Bale Beauty Nature Club.
WAZA Conservation Project 10004 is implemented by Saint Louis Zoo's WildCare Institute Centre for Conservation in the Horn of Africa, with support provided by Riverbanks Zoo, Brevard Zoo and Frankfurt Zoological Society. Other stakeholders involved in the project include MELCA Mahiber, African Biodiversity Network, Arsi Bale Rural Development Project, Bale Beauty Nature Club, Bale Mountains National Park, Conservation des Espèces et des Populations Animales, Conservation International, Engender Health, Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, Oslo University, Bale Eco-Region Sustainable Management Programme of FARM Africa and SOS Sahel Ethiopia, Gaia Foundation, Planet Action Fund, Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Development Association of Ethiopia and Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations.
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