Omo National Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Omo National Park
Map showing the location of Omo National Park
Map showing the location of Omo National Park
Location in Ethiopia
LocationSouthern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, Ethiopia
Coordinates6°0′N 35°50′E / 6.000°N 35.833°E / 6.000; 35.833Coordinates: 6°0′N 35°50′E / 6.000°N 35.833°E / 6.000; 35.833
Area4,068 km2 (1,571 sq mi)

Omo National Park is a national park in Ethiopia founded in 1980. Located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region on the west bank of the Omo River, the park covers approximately 4,068 square kilometers, about 870 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa; across the Omo is the Mago National Park and the Tama Wildlife Reserve. Although an airstrip was recently built near the park headquarters on the Mui River, this park is not easily reachable; the Lonely Planet guide Ethiopia and Eritrea describes Omo National Park as "Ethiopia's most remote park."[1]

The lower reaches of the Omo river were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, after the discovery (in the Omo Kibish Formation) of the earliest known fossil fragments of Homo sapiens, which have been dated circa 195,000 years old.

There is virtually no tourist infrastructure within the park and little support for travellers. It was reported in 1999 that none of the tourist agencies within or outside Ethiopia would arrange tours in the park.[2] The Walta Information Center announced on 3 October 2006 that US$1 million had been allocated to construct "roads and recreational centres as well as various communication facilities" with the intent to attract more visitors.[3]

Fauna[edit]

Region on the west bank of the Omo River, the park covers approximately 4,068 square kilometers, about 870 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa; across the Omo is the Mago National Park. The park offers excellent opportunities to view wildlife with 73 species of mammals and 312 species of birds.

Mammal[edit]

Omo National Park is home to large herds of buffalos, zebras, elands, beisa oryxes, tiangs, Lelwel hartebeests, dik-diks, bushbucks, reedbucks, and Grant's gazelles. Other mammals that are elusively rare to find include elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, bushpigs, African wild dogs, giraffes, oribis, klipspringers, greater kudus, hyenas, black rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, and warthogs.[4] Primates such as the Mantled guerezas, Olive baboons, and De Brazza monkeys also live within forested areas.

Avifauna[edit]

Bird species of this park consist of ostriches, eagles, egrets, herons, barbets, honeyguides, kingfishers, Secretary birds, woodpeckers, parrots, shrikes, and weavers also thrived here.[5]

Herpetofauna[edit]

Omo national park is also home to nile crocodiles, Black mambas, African spurred tortoises, Black-necked spitting cobras, Rhombic Night Adder, puff adders, and rock pythons that are common here.[6] [7]

Native people and the Omo Park[edit]

The Mursi, Suri, Nyangatom, Dizi, and Me'en are reported in danger of displacement and/or denial of access to their traditional grazing and agricultural land. This follows the demarcation of the Park boundaries in November 2005, and the recent management takeover of the Park by the Dutch African Parks Foundation[8] (also known as African Parks Conservation). This process threatens to make the Omo people 'illegal squatters on their own land.[9]

There are reports that these tribal peoples have been coerced into signing documents they could not read by Park officials.[10]

In October 2008 African Parks Network (APN) announced they were giving up the management of the Omo National Park and leaving Ethiopia. APN stated that sustainable management of the Ethiopian parks is incompatible with ‘the irresponsible way of living of some of the ethnic groups. The organization has trouble dealing with the indigenous population trying to continue its traditional way of life within the park borders.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matt Philips and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Ethiopia and Eritrea, third edition (n.p.: Lonely Planet, 2006), p. 211
  2. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" Archived 2011-05-28 at the Wayback Machine The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 29 January 2008)
  3. ^ African Parks reorganizing Omo National Park with over 1mln USD Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machine (WIC, accessed 6 October 2006)
  4. ^ Renaud, Pierre-Cyril. “Omo National Park Report for the Wet Season Aerial Survey.” African Elephant Database, African Parks Conservation, https://africanelephantdatabase.org/system/population_submission_attachments/files/000/000/013/original/svyFEETOMO2007AS.pdf. (June 2007)
  5. ^ “Omo National Park Bird Checklist - Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World.” Avibase, https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?region=ETsn04. Accessed May 27 2022
  6. ^ Renaud, Pierre-Cyril. “Omo National Park Report for the Wet Season Aerial Survey.” African Elephant Database, African Parks Conservation, https://africanelephantdatabase.org/system/population_submission_attachments/files/000/000/013/original/svyFEETOMO2007AS.pdf. (June 2007)
  7. ^ A Glimpse at Biodiversity Hotspots of Ethiopia (PDF). Ethiopian Wildlife & Natural History Society. p. 79-80. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-16.
  8. ^ African Parks Foundation
  9. ^ Omo People in danger of denial of access or displacement Archived 2006-12-07 at the Wayback Machine Native Solutions to Conservation Refugees website
  10. ^ Anthropologist David Turton's comments on the Mursi and the Omo Park situation
  11. ^ "Why African Parks Network is pulling out of Ethiopia"

External links[edit]