Biodiversity Status & Conservation Challenges of Protected Areas of Ethiopia: Awash & Nechsar National Parks in Focus

Fitsum Temesgen


Protected areas particularly parks are the main home of biodiversity worldwide. The Awash and Nechsar National Parks are among the protected areas of Ethiopia under the category of Somalia-Massai Regional Center of Endemism in Africa with Acacia-Commiphora woodland. Awash park was established in 1966 while Nechsar was in 1974 and supporting high levels of species richness & endemism. In Awash National Park, ~78 mammal species, 472 bird species (6 endemic) & 43 species of reptiles have been recorded. Similarly, the Nechsar national park harbors 37 mammals (one endemic) & 350 (3 endemic) bird species. Furthermore, the parks are an important source of rivers, lakes and recognized plant biodiversities. In spite of the great potential of the areas, agricultural land is expanding rapidly, grazing areas are heavily degraded, forests are being cleared, charcoal production, habitat conversion, conflict between settler and park manager for natural resources and water systems disrupted. There is no effective resource responsible body and the communities are taking advantage as open access resource management regimes in the areas. Consequently, the flora & wild mammal species richness and diversity of the parks are gradually declining from time to time. To solve the problems action taken for conservation of the park resources are minimal from the government and other stalk holders. Therefore, awareness creation and Strengthen capacity building on protected areas sustainable resource conservation should be mandatory.

Keywords: Biodiversity, PAs, conservation challenges, Awash & Nechsar national parks

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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