Mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 212528222
Protection of the endangered Mountain Nyala in Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
The overall goal of this project is to conserve a valuable population of endangered Mountain Nyala, a rare antelope endemic to the Ethiopian highlands. Specifically, this grant will support the construction of a barrier on the edge of Bale Mountains National Park to prevent livestock from degrading Mountain Nyala habitat and reduce the incidence of Nyala crop raiding adjacent to the park.
The Gesey grasslands and associated swamps of Bale Mountains National Park are an important area of high-biodiversity, natural, afro-alpine habitat with remnants of Juniper/Hagenia woodlands on the slopes to the North and South. This is the ideal habitat for the endangered Mountain Nyala and several other wild herbivores and carnivores. However, this area is surrounded, particularly on the western side, by communities that farm crops right up to the park boundary. Because there is no barrier, there are two key problems. First, livestock incursion onto the Gesey is degrading the Mountain Nyala habitat through overgrazing and trampling, as well as increasing predation of calves by the accompanying dogs. Second, Mountain Nyala are attracted to the increasing crop production taking place at the boundary leading to increased tensions with the local community over conflicts between conservation and livelihoods. With no park border, communities are left to devise their own means of protecting their crops, including rope traps and wire snares. The construction of a simple barrier not only prevents damaging livestock incursions and risks to crop-raiding nyala but will also provide employment and income to local communities, increasing the value they gain from living adjacent to the park.
Project 212528222 location - Ethiopia, Africa