The Wildlife Society of Ethiopia (WSE) is a non-governmental organization established by senior Ethiopian conservation practitioners to support efforts to conserve and sustainably utilize the wildlife resources of the country. Its foundation is based on the former local NGO, Wildlife for Sustainable Development (WSD). WSD, founded in 2008, achieved remarkable wildlife conservation and management both at Awash National Park and Babille Elephant Sanctuary. It was forced to come to an end due to the financial shortages that it has faced as a result of the restrictive laws that existed in the country.
Now, since things are changed and the legal frameworks are improved, the formation of WSE has become realized. The Certificate of Registration, bearing the number 4156 as a local organization, has been issued to WSE in accordance with the new provisions of the Organizations of Civil Societies Proclamation No. 1113/2019.
The organization’s membership consists of a wide range of people interested in the conservation of wildlife. The Board is the highest authoritative body for the organization and it consists of the chairperson, co-chairperson, secretary, an auditor, accountants, cashiers, and other members. The regular duties and responsibilities of WSE are closely governed and executed by its executive director and his/her staff.
Protected areas, wildlife diversity and abundance
High variation in topography and climate has formed favorable environments for the occurrence of a wide variety and abundance of wildlife in Ethiopia. The endemic wildlife includes 31 species of mammals, 16 birds, 14 reptiles, 23 amphibians, 6 fish, 7 arthropods and 720-900 species of plants.
The wildlife resources of the country range from the desert lowland in Dallol depression (110 m b.s.l.) to the highest Afroalpine environment in the Simien (4,600 m a.s.l.) and Bale Mountains. The Rift Valley and the peripheral lowlands of the country have been identified as areas with high wildlife abundance and diversities.
Areas that support wildlife in Ethiopia can be categorized as protected and unprotected in status. Ethiopia designated wildlife protected areas (WPAs), form different categories. In order to protect and conserve the wildlife resources of the country, the government has committed to designating 16.5% of the total land as WPAs. These include 27 national parks; 3 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 wildlife reserves, controlled hunting areas, 9 community conservation areas, and 5 biosphere reserves.