- ItemOpen AccessDemographic observations of mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni in a controlled hunting area, Ethiopia(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2015) Evangelista, Paul, author; Young, Nicholas, author; Swift, David, author; Wolde, Asrat, author; OMICS International, publisherThe highlands of Ethiopia are inhabited by the culturally and economically significant mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni, an endemic spiral horned antelope. The natural range of this species has become highly fragmented with increasing anthropogenic pressures; driving land conversion in areas previously considered critical mountain nyala habitat. Therefore, baseline demographic data on this species throughout its existing range are needed. Previous studies on mountain nyala demographics have primarily focused on a confined portion of its known range where trophy hunting is not practiced. Our objectives were to estimate group size, proportion of females, age class proportions, and calf and juvenile productivity for a sub-population of mountain nyala where trophy hunting is permitted and compare our results to recent and historical observations. We collected four years of demographic data using direct point counts in a controlled hunting area and summarized the data using the R statistical software. Our results show that estimated proportion of females (0.63; 0.56-0.69) was similar to recent studies of non-hunted populations, but group size (3.74; 3.34-4.13), juvenile productivity (0.47; 0.35-0.62) and age class proportions (calves: 0.17 juveniles: 0.19 adults: 0.64) were considerably different. Our results are more similar to historical accounts than those in a national park. We demonstrate that the mountain nyala's population structure and health varies across its range and may relate to the different management strategies and policies. We recommend using similar methods for remaining under surveyed sub-populations of mountain nyala to inform conservation actions at the landscape scale.
- ItemOpen AccessLocal knowledge of plants and their uses among women in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2013) Luizza, Matthew W., author; Young, Heather, author; Kuroiwa, Christina, author; Evangelista, Paul, author; Worede, Aserat, author; Bussmann, Rainer W., author; Weimer, Amber, author; Botanical Research Institute of Texas, publisherWomen's local ecological knowledge (LEK) is noted by many scholars to be unique and important for local conservation and development planning. Although LEK integration is inherent to ethnobotanical research, in Ethiopia, the knowledge-gender link has not been fully explored, and few studies focus on women's distinct plant knowledge. We catalogued rural women's knowledge of a wide range of plant uses in south-central Ethiopia, conducted through picture identification of 337 local plants. Fifty-seven plant species were identified, constituting 38 families, with the top five families being Lamiaceae, Solanaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae, and Pteridaceae. An array of uses were identified ranging from food, livestock and wildlife forage, to honey production and cosmetics. The most prevalent use noted (nearly 70%) was human medicine. This study reveals the important contribution of rural women's plant knowledge in the Bale Mountains, and the potential benefits of including this gender-distinct understanding of local flora in community-based conservation planning.
- ItemOpen AccessAssessing habitat quality of the mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2012) Evangelista, Paul H., author; Norman, John, III, author; Swartzinki, Paul, author; Young, Nicholas E., author; Current Zoology, publisherPopulations of the endangered mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni are significantly threatened by the loss of critical habitat. Population estimates are tentative, and information on the species' distribution and available habitat is required for formulating immediate management and conservation strategies. To support management decisions and conservation priorities, we integrated information from a number of small-scale observational studies, interviews and reports from multiple sources to define habitat parameters and create a habitat quality model for mountain nyala in the Bale Mountains. For our analysis, we used the FunConn model, an expertise-based model that considers spatial relationships (i.e., patch size, distance) between the species and vegetation type, topography and disturbance to create a habitat quality surface. The habitat quality model showed that approximately 18,610 km2 (82.7% of our study area) is unsuitable or poor habitat for the mountain nyala, while 2,857 km2 (12.7%) and 1,026 km2 (4.6%) was ranked as good or optimal habitat, respectively. Our results not only reflected human induced habitat degradation, but also revealed an extensive area of intact habitat on the remote slopes of the Bale Mountain's southern and southeastern escarpments. This study provides an example of the roles that expert knowledge can still play in modern geospatial modeling of wildlife habitat. New geospatial tools, such as the FunConn model, are readily available to wildlife managers and allow them to perform spatial analyses with minimal software, data and training requirements. This approach may be especially useful for species that are obscure to science or when field surveys are not practical.
- ItemOpen AccessPlant use in Odo-Bulu and Demaro, Bale region, Ethiopia(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2011) Bussmann, Rainer W., author; Swartzinsky, Paul, author; Worede, Aserat, author; Evangelista, Paul, author; BioMed Central, publisherThis paper reports on the plant use of laypeople of the Oromo in Southern Ethiopia. The Oromo in Bale had names/uses for 294 species in comparison to 230 species documented in the lower reaches of the Bale area. Only 13 species was used for veterinary purposes, or as human medicine (46). Plant medicine served mostly to treat common everyday ailments such as stomach problems and diarrhea, for wound treatment and as toothbrush-sticks, as anthelmintic, for skin infections and to treat sore muscles and. Interestingly, 9 species were used to treat spiritual ailments and to expel demons. In most cases of medicinal applications the leaves or roots were employed. Traditional plant knowledge has clearly declined in a large part of the research area. Western style health care services as provided by governments and NGOs, in particular in rural areas, seem to have contributed to a decline in traditional knowledge, in part because the local population simply regards western medicine as more effective and safer.