Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary

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Stresemann's bushcrow in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary

Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area and wildlife sanctuary in southern Ethiopia. It is located in the Borena Zone of the Oromia Region west of the town of Yabelo, having an area of 2,500 square kilometers and elevations ranging from 1430 to 2000 meters above sea level with a latitude and longitude of 4°55′N 38°25′E / 4.917°N 38.417°E / 4.917; 38.417Coordinates: 4°55′N 38°25′E / 4.917°N 38.417°E / 4.917; 38.417.

The area of the sanctuary is notable for its red soils which have little organic matter. The general vegetation-type is Acacia savanna, the major trees being A. drepanolobium on black cotton soil, and A. brevispica and A. horrida on the slopes. There are also patches of Balanites aegyptiaca, and several species of Commiphora and Terminalia at the lower altitudes. The higher parts of the hills were formerly covered with forest dominated by Juniperus procera and Olea europaea cuspidata.[1] Endemic species of birds found in this protected area include Stresemann's bushcrow and white-tailed swallow.[2]

Yabelo reportedly suffers from a great deal of deforestation, and illegal hunting of the spotted cats and ostrich is common. Some ex-servicemen have also settled within the sanctuary boundaries.[3]


  1. ^ "Important Bird Area factsheet: Yabello Sanctuary, Ethiopia", BirdLife International website (accessed 31 August 2009)
  2. ^ Philip Briggs, Ethiopia: The Bradt Travel Guide, 5th edition (Chalfont St Peters: Bradt, 2009), p. 503
  3. ^ Federal Republic of Ethiopia, National Action Programme to Combat Desertification (Addis Ababa, 1998), p. 35