Vast grasslands, lakes and woods are spread over more than 10,000 square kilometres, making it an important flyway for migratory birds. But the massive reserve is under threat. The population has exploded, putting pressure for new croplands on this area tucked away by the Ethiopian border. Human encroachment disturbs the park’s wildlife in other ways too. Hungry villagers often harvest wild honey from the park’s woods, lighting fires to create smoke to ward off the bees, in breach of park rules. Rangers patrol the rugged terrain in search of violators, who can face hefty fines or up to six months in prison depending on the offence. But all is not lost. The park’s wildlife research chief says sightings of hyenas, lions and smaller cats like genets and servals remain common, particularly at night. By day, visitors can see African buffalo and several species of gazelle as well as an array of birdlife, both resident and migratory.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
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