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Building barriers to safeguard the Mountain Nyala

Building barriers to protect the Mountain Nyala and prevent livestock from degrading their habitat.

Ethiopian Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni)

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The Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) is endemic to the Bale massif in Ethiopia. Having such a restricted distribution makes it very vulnerable. Here are two males on the Gaysay plains in Bale Mountains NP.

Mountain Nyala is endemic to the Ethiopian highlands and categorized by the IUCN red list as endangered and with this grant, we aim to safeguard the Mountain Nyala, by constructing a barrier to reduce livestock overgrazing and human-wildlife conflict. 

The initiative is earmarked for the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) in southeastern Ethiopia, which covers an area of 2,150 km².  The proposed idea is to build a barrier to prevent livestock from degrading Mountain Nyala habitat and reduce the incidence of Nyala crop raiding adjacent to the BMNP.

What sets the Bale Mountains apart is its scale, complexity, and good conservation status by the standards of the remaining afro-montane and the afro-alpine regions. For all the threats, the natural wealth of the Bale Mountains is still thriving. New species are being discovered on a regular basis. The linkages between the afro-montane, the afroalpine and neighboring forests and grasslands are still functionally intact.

The project team is extremely happy with the quality of construction of the barrier.  The stone walls are solid and aesthetically pleasing and will require minimal maintenance in years to come.  They managed to complete 501m completed to date, but there are gaps, and the livestock and wildlife can still move freely between the park and community land.

The project team hopes to complete the barrier during the next phase of the initiative.   They will use the remaining grant from the MBZ Fund as well as matching funding which they hope to secure in order to complete the project.


Project lead by

Dr Peyton West

Frankfurt Zoological Society - U.S.

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