Wildlife Authority to protect national parks from human & livestock encroachment

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (WIC) – The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority said it is working in partnership with stakeholders to protect parks from human and livestock encroachment.

Authority Public Relations Information Directorate Director, Elfinesh Woldeyes, told WIC people and livestock are affecting wildlife by entering illegally in some protected areas.

Accordingly, the authority in collaboration with stakeholders is doing its level best to ensure that wildlife species have safe places to live in, she said.

There are 15 national parks across the country where 31 mammals, 17 birds, 17 birds, 14 reptiles and 4 fish endemic to Ethiopia live in, Elfinesh indicated. The country is also a home for 284 mammals, 862 birds, 150 fish, 63 amphisbaenas and 120 reptile species, she added.

To alleviate the problems related to national parks, the authority has been carrying awareness raising campaign and the drive is bearing positive results, she said.

According to Elfinesh, the authority secured 26 million birr from the 45,000 foreign and domestic tourists who visited the parks this Ethiopian budget year.

With a view to increasing the income from the parks, the authority has been expanding facilities and constructing tourist interpretation and reception centers at the national parks, she said. A tourist lodge built in Awash National Park has so far begun rendering service.

Owing to the integrated efforts of the authority and the community, the number of Walia Ibex, red fox and Gelada Baboon has been increasing significantly, she said.

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