Mountain Nyala

Mountain nyala

It is a large antelope species, only found in a small part of mountainous Ethiopia. It is shy towards humans, and is usually seen in small herds of 4-5. Tending to live between heights of 3000m to 4000m. Human populations are forcing them higher, with current populations generally found above 3400m.

Around half of the current population is found in Bale mountains national park, is a small specific area. It is mostly a browser, though may on occasions change to browsing of the mountain nyala include illegal hunting, habitat destruction, predation of calves by dogs, encroachment for both cultivation and grazing of livestock as well as construction of various things at high altitudes (like villages). in the 1960s as much as 12,500 remained, but by the 1980s this had fallen to just 2000-4000, and it is still falling today. The current estimate is around 2500.

The animal is hunted for its horns and meat – not sustainably. The meat is utilised in local medicine and for making nipples for traditional milk bottles. Despite trophy hunting, in theory being a sustainable use, little attention is given to the current numbers of wild members when setting quotas. As such, far from being sustainable, hunting is pushing them closer to extinction. If well regulated, trophy hunting could play an important role in the long term management of this species, but things need to change first.

They are featured on one of the Ethiopian coins, and live 15-20 years. It was not first described until 1920.

Their main predator is Leopard.

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