Spatial Ecology and Conservation of the Endangered Beisa Oryx (Oryx beisa) in Omo National Park, Ethiopia

10 Jan 2024 Omo National Park, Ethiopia, Africa Habitats | Mammals

Melkam Getachew Gebru

Beisa Oryx is a mammal grouped under the family of Bovidae. Due to its restricted distribution and assumed decline in number, the species has been listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List. Home range size, habitat use, and activity pattern are important parameters in conservation planning. So, the aim of this project is to investigate spatial ecology of endangered Beisa Oryx (Oryx Beisa) in Omo national park, Ethiopia. To simultaneously collect information about spatial distribution and activity patterns of the Beisa Oryx, radio-collars (Vectronic Aerospace GmbH, Germany) will be used, which equipped with VHF (very high frequency) beacon sender, a GPS (global positioning system) device and two bidirectional motion sensors. 20 adults individual of Beisa Oryx will be collared. The collars will be scheduled to record several GPS locations each day and to continuously record activity data that will be summed over 5- minute intervals. The analysis will be conducted with total location points from 20 collared animals. Focal observations will be carried out on collared Beisa oryx to assess activities and habitat use.

The result of the study could be vital to conservation activities aiming to restore or rehabilitate the species habitat requirement. This could help to meet the favourable conditions in which the animals can realize maximum fitness.

This project also aims to involve local communities, especially youth and teenagers, in conservation activities of Beisa Oryx. I target this group because they make up 70% of Ethiopia's population. This project will educate and empower youth local communities around Omo national park to protect endangered species and to promote conservation education among secondary school students in the vicinity of Omo national park, one of the most biodiverse and endangered areas in Ethiopia. The project will include workshops and training sessions on conservation of endangered species mainly beisa oryx. Additionally, I will create printed content for teenagers and youth, such as newsletters and brochures, to disseminate information and raise awareness about the importance of Beisa orx conservation.

By raising public awareness and supporting youth local communities, this work hopes to improve the survival prospects of the Beisa oryx and restore its population in the wild.

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