Saving the Endemic Threatened Birds of Southern Ethiopia
This project funded by British Birdfair, has the goal of increasing the survival status of southern Ethiopia’s endemic birds. Ethiopia’s avifauna is proportionally high in endemics and most are found in the highland of north, northwestern and southeastern parts. The lowlands of Ethiopia are relatively poor in bird endemism with the exception of the southern Borana rangelands. The Borana rangelands extending from Negele in the east to Yabello in the west and Mega in the south comprise of extensive Combretum_Terminalia & Acacia-Commiphora woodland that is rich in a unique set of avifauna.
This area which is also known as the Southern Ethiopia Highlands Endemic Bird Area, is estimated to have a total area of 30,000 sq km. Species including the Ethiopian Bushcrow, White-tailed Swallow, Liben Lark, Prince Ruspoli’sTuraco and Salvadori’sSerin are key species that inhabit these lowlands. These rangelands are co-inhabited by a growing number of people and their cattle.
This project has the objectives of saving these threatened birds by undertaking intensive targeted research on six species of endemic birds, developing species action plans for the sustained conservation of endemics, raising substantial amount of funds for the long-term protection of endemic threatened species, conducting sensitization campaigns to raise awareness of importance of the southern highlands EBA as critical habitat for birds and also promoting avitourism in the area. Besides these objectives the project also has components that will build capacity of local partners at EWNHS and Yabello. This project has officially ended in 2014 but with an approved no-cost extension will end in December 2015.