Promoting the Co-Existence Approach of Carnivore Conservation in Human dominated landscape of Ethiopian Highlands, Guassa
About the project
The recently discovered African wolf (AW: Canis lupaster),was reported to be the most serious and dangerous livestock predator in the Ethiopian Highlands. Because of this, over 80% of households held negative attitudes towards the AW. This indirectly affects the endangered Ethiopian (EW: Canis simensis) through interference Competition (Gutema et al. 2018b). However, our recently study revealed that despite their negative impacts through sheep predation, AW contribute to the Ecosystem service through rodent pest management. The aim of this study is to raise community awareness toward the value of carnivores in ecosystems service as means of human-wildlife conflict management.
1) Ethiopian wolf’s conservation: The main objective of this project is minimizing competition between EW and AW which can contribute to conservation of EWs. Though the community has positive attitudes toward the EW and the conflict is low, the negative attitude of the community toward the AW intensifies the interference competition between the two species (Gutema et al 2018) which indirectly affects EW survival. Ethiopia currently has the fastest-growing human population in Africa.
In the Ethiopian Highlands, these rapid changes create complex challenges for the wolves and other species due to habitat loss. Recently, we documented the interference competition between AWs and EWs which is escalated by habitat loss. AWs prefer areas in proximity to human settlement, however, the current human population growth around the protected areas is pushing them to the core (intact habitat), where EWs prefer (Gutema et al 2018). Educating the communities can promote human AWs oexistence, that can contribute in mitigating the conflict between the wolves.
2) African wolf:The study of African wolf den site selection and characteristics is crucial to determine the population of African wolves and help for the future development of a conservation management plan for both EW and AW. In addition, understanding the character of AWs’ dens site contribute to human-carnivore conflict management in the area.
3) Spotted Hyena: This project also contributes to increasing the knowledge of the community toward other scavengers value in ecosystem service, such as spotted Hyena.
In the AW behavioural ecology project, collaboration with several researchers with extensive experience in the EW and Ethiopian afro-alpine conservation including Nils Chr. Stenseth, University of Oslo, Claudio Sillero-Zubiri, University of Oxford, Peter J. Fashing, California State University and Anagaw Atickem, Addis Ababa University.
This project is funded by the Rufford Foundation
UiO Project number: 690570
01.01.2020 - 29.06.2021