Indigenous Knowledge, Major Threats and Conservation Practices of Medicinal Plants by Local Community in Heban Arsi District, Oromia, South Eastern Ethiopia

Gemedi Abdela


Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Heban Arsi district was conducted to document medicinal plants, related indigenous knowledge, major threats and conservation practices. Ethnobotanical data were obtained using Household Survey, Key informant interview and market survey from October 12, 2014 to January 12, 2015. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics using Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Science. Accordingly, the result of study revealed a Pearson correlation test indicated a positive and significant (r =0.409, p<0.001 and α=0.05) correlation between age group and the number of medicinal plant species reported by the household respondents in the study area. A Pearson correlation test indicated a negative and significant (r =-0.299, p<0.001 and α=0.05) correlation between a level of education and the number of species reported. Agricultural expansion (41.96%) stood first as a factor threatening medicinal plants, followed by firewood collection (33.04%) and overgrazing (25.00%). To support local people effort on in-situ conservation and ex-situ conservation, further research is needed to identify population structure of medicinal plants in the study area. The average number of medicinal plants reported by males was 4.97± 3.38 whereas that of females was 2.90±1.52 (mean ±SD). There was significant difference between male and female in their knowledge of medicinal plants (t= 2.767 and p< 0.009). Lastly Indigenous knowledge should be encouraged and current threats to medicinal plants should be urgently resolved

Keywords/phrases: Threats, Conservation, Medicinal plants, Heban Arsi district


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