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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2018, Article ID 5193460, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5193460
Research Article

Impact of Livestock Encroachments and Tree Removal on Populations of Mountain Nyala and Menelik’s Bushbuck in Arsi Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

1School of Wildlife and Eco-Tourism, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia
2Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon
3Department of Biology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Correspondence should be addressed to Zerihun Girma; moc.oohay@57urez

Received 26 December 2017; Accepted 21 February 2018; Published 28 March 2018

Academic Editor: Daniel I. Rubenstein

Copyright © 2018 Zerihun Girma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The study is aimed at investigating how livestock and human encroachments affect the population distribution and abundance of mountain nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck in Arsi Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Across four dominant habitat types (Afro-alpine, Erica, natural forest, and mixed plantation forest) 5 × 20 (100 m2) plot was used to assess populations of the ungulates, wood harvesting, and livestock grazing through counting the fresh scats of both livestock and wild mammals and stumps of trees. There was significant negative correlation between the scat count of mountain nyala and livestock dung scat count during both dry (, ) and wet (, ) seasons. However, there was significant negative correlation between the scat count of Menelik’s bushbuck and livestock dung scat count only during dry season (, ). Season (wet versus dry) had significant effect on scat count of mountain nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck, and livestock. The study has clearly indicated that livestock outcompeted the endemic ungulates. Furthermore, the result of the study has indicated that tree removal reduced the wildlife habitat quality affecting the populations of wildlife. As a result, there is an urgent need for controlling the free-roaming domestic mammals, wood collection, and other human disturbances.