Ethiopia to Conduct Headcount of Endemic Wild Animals

By Staff Reporter  

Waliya-Ibex-EthiopiaAugust 30, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Ethiopian Wild life Conservation Authority will conduct headcount on the country’s endemic animals mainly the Waliya Ibex, Simien fox and the Gelada "baboon" as of next month, official of the authority said.

The second round counting of the endemic animal is to catch on their population size and follow up their well-being, Abebaw Azanaw, head of the authority told reporters on Friday.

The Waliya ibex is an endangered endemic animal in Ethiopian highlands. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Alpine ibex. Threats against the species include habitat loss, poaching, and restricted range. Only about 500 of this species survived in the mountains of Ethiopia, concentrated in Semien Mountains

The Simien fox also known as Ethiopian wolf is a native to the Ethiopian Highlands. It is like the coyote in size and build, and is distinguished by its long and narrow skull, and its red and white fur.

The Gelada, sometimes called the bleeding-heart monkey or the gelada "baboon", is a species of old-world monkey found only in the Ethiopian Highlands, with large populations in the Semien mountains.

The head counting comes after a wildfire ravaged at least more than 100 hectares of Ethiopia’s Simien Mountain national park, threatening the lives of several native animal species there, including the Waliya Ibex, the Ethiopian wolf, and the Gelada baboon.

The world heritage park in northern Ethiopia is known for its striking terrain including escarpments, deep valleys and high plateaus, home to rare Waliya ibex and Gelada baboons.

In 2017, the World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow decided to remove Simien national park from the list of world heritage sites in danger, in recognition of the improvements made in its management, and the measures taken to reduce overgrazing and visitor impact.

The head counting will help recognize the damage on the endemic wild lives after the fire mishap, identify their mortality and morbidity rate, feeding, habitat and distribution as well as potential threats they might face in the future.

About 150 experts will be deployed for the head counting which will take place in the national park and five surrounding districts. The head count will take place in 130 identified areas and will be supported by global positioning system.

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