Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. So AWF has defined areas across the continent that are critical to conservation. These Priority Landscapes can cover public and private lands alike and often cross borders.
221,962 hectares (857 sq. mi.)
Bale Mountains National Park
Tullu Dimtuu Mountain
Located southeast of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the Bale Mountains are truly special—with so much diversity in geography and wildlife, it’s no wonder it has been named to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. This undulating landscape ranges from glacial lakes and swamps to volcanic ridges and peaks—and is inhabited by endemic species like the gelada baboon, the Walia ibex and the endangered Ethiopian wolf.
A steadily expanding Ethiopian population is placing considerable strain on the Bale Mountains. Overgrazing is one of the most formidable threats, with livestock grazing ranges imposing on habitats for key species like the Ethiopian wolf, and destroying essential highland vegetation.
As more and more humans have settled in and around the Bale Mountains, they have brought domestic dogs with them. This poses a significant threat to the Ethiopian wolf—the world’s rarest canine—as dogs pass on diseases like rabies and canine distemper. Outbreaks of disease have dramatically reduced the Bale Mountains’ wolf population, which is the largest in the world.
Our solutions to safeguard this essential diversity:
Community-owned and operated tourism facilities provide local populations with an alternative source of income, reducing their dependence on environmentally exploitative practices. Through a loan from AWF’s African Wildlife Capital, the Bale Mountain Lodge is helping communities appreciate the economic value in protecting local flora and fauna, while simultaneously raising the bar for national tourism standards.
As part of our Urgent Response Fund efforts, AWF is engaging local communities as “Wolf Ambassadors” via the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. In this role, community members will monitor wolves, introduce a report system to understand the causes of livestock predation by carnivores, and undertake rabies vaccinations for domesticated dogs to prevent disease outbreaks from spreading to the Ethiopian wolves.
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