Wildlife Census for Quota Setting in Arba Gugu Controlled Hunting Area, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia

Teyiba Amano


Oromia, due to its altitudinal and geographic variations, is endowed with diverse wildlife and a large number of endemic species that provide a unique opportunity for tourist (sport) hunting. There are a number of charismatic flagship species, most notably the gelada, (an endemic genus Theropithecus gelada and the world’s only grazing primate) and mountain Nyala, both of which can be hunted on a quota basis in Oromia. Hunting can be practiced in Controlled Hunting Areas; but it is not permitted in the National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Wildlife Reserves. The Game Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck, Leopard, Duiker and Klipspringer are the most commonly hunted wild animals. Oromia is an exclusive and ideal place where one can enjoy the hunting of three Endemic mammalian species, namely, the Mountain Nyala, Menelik's Bushbuck and Gelada Baboon from all around the World. Trophy hunting is a specialized form of game utilization, where adult males are selected for their trophy value. The business is typically and strictly controlled, monitored and regulated where safari must apply for government-issued permits for the number of animals permitted in quota setting. The number of animals to be hunted is decided based on the data from a wildlife census taken prior to hunting year. Trophy hunting is managed by the Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority and Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise together with the concessionaires who need to abide by a hunting quota. Accordingly, the objective of this study is to assess wild animals’ population structure and set hunting quota in Arba Gugu Controlled hunting area. Point sample and line transects were used to conduct the wildlife census as per the habitat nature of the area. Six point sampling count fixed sighting radius of 1km was used for all of the sample points. Similarly six lines transect ranging from 0.8km to 2.19km were randomly selected covering 10.36km length in total. In this case perpendicular sighting distance of 500m on both sides of the line transects covering 1Km in total was used to count forest and thicket animals. All larger mammals encountered along the line transects were counted and recorded on the census sheet. Counts were made every morning hours from 6pm to 10pm and from 3pm to 6pm in the afternoon hours. Regarding the distribution of the wild animals, Mountain Nyala, Klipspringe, colobus Black and White and Leopard are naturally protected by deep and rugged landscape and recorded only in point samples; whereas Grey duiker and Menelik’s Bushbuck were recorded in both point samples and line transects. Regarding to Age Structure the number of young and juvenile observed were low and the number of adult were high On the subject of the age and sex structure of the recorded wild animals the male to female ratio is more or less fairly represented except in the case of Mountain Nyala, Colobus Black and White and Anubis Baboon where the number of females is about double of the males. Population estimate of the recorded wild animals shows that Mountain Nyala is a relatively at a good population number with an estimate of 1082, followed by Menelik’s Bushbuck, Colobus Black and White, Annubis Baboon and Klipspringer having 636 , 407, 318 and 191 respectively. The unfavorable human activities like deforestation, Overgrazing and expansion for agriculture would have a greater impact on the abundance and distribution of wild animals in the controlled hunting area. It is therefore advisable to all the stake holders to take immediate actions to solve the problems and make sure the wellbeing of the wild animals in the area. Additionally, wildlife conservation awareness program should be further strengthened by concerned stake holders to get the overall support of the community.

Keywords: Census, Qouta setting, Arba Gugu Controlled hunting area, sport hunting

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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