ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Rare animal species particular to Ethiopia and once considered at risk of extinction have been successfully protected and have increased in numbers, according to a census unveiled Friday.
The Horn of Africa nation is known for a wide variety of animal species, but many have been threatened with extinction due to large-scale poaching and loss of their natural habitat due to human activity.
A recent census, however, has revealed that the numbers of the endemic walia — a chestnut-coloured wild goat — the Ethiopian wolf and the Gelada baboon at Semien National Park have increased dramatically.
“Their numbers in the Semien National Park have increased beyond expectation,” park official Yohannes Mekuria said in a statement.
According to the census, the number of walias in the park has risen to 751, up from 50 in 1992, Yohannes said.
“We feared that they were close to extinction, but the census has come up with a surprising figure,” he added.
The Ethiopian wolf population has also seen its numbers rise, with 84 specimens counted in the park, up from only 15 two decades ago, he said.
Yohannes said the number of baboons have risen to 15,000, a significant increase after a previous drop owing to hybridisation with other monkey species”.
He attributed the increase to “sound park management and education of the local human population”.