Ethiopia – Gura-Ferda

Conservation of natural forest in Ethiopia 

Afromontane rainforest in Ethiopia is predominantly found in the Southwest of the country. Forests in this region are under increasing pressure with settlements, farmland and coffee plantations expanding rapidly. The larger area has been declared part of the “Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot” due to its rich fauna and flora, with many species endemic to the region. In 2018, BINCO worked for six weeks in the Gura-Ferda forest complex, near Biftu, which is not under any forest management plan. We assessed the diversity of larger mammals (using spore and camera traps), birds, amphibians and reptiles across the larger area. This included sampling in natural montane forest, medium-altitude natural forest, coffee forest and the woodland and grassland mosaic directly adjacent to agricultural areas and settlements. Prior to the expedition of BINCO, biodiversity knowledge was mainly limited to plants.

With this expedition we aimed to gain basic information on the diversity, occurrence and distribution of threatened and/or range-restricted species. In this project we worked mainly with amphibians that have a high endemism in this region. Little is known about amphibians in this region and several species are expected to be here based on climate and ecosystem preferences. We specifically looked to identify areas of high biodiversity value and gain information on possible threats to these areas. On the long run our aim is to increase awareness regarding the biodiversity value of this area and help the recognition as a Key Biodiversity Area.

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Publications

  • Soon to come

Collaboration

Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute

Contact

Dr. Matthias De Beenhouwer (Belgium)

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