Protected Areas


 Areas Protected


Terrestrial and Inland Water



Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage

Not Applicable

Area protected or conserved,
as per WDPA

Key species

Ethiopia is home to an estimated 6,000 species of higher plants of which 10% are endemic. The country has 284 species of wild mammals and 861 species of birds. Data on other wild animals are scanty; and the number of reptile, fish, amphibian and arthropod species identified so far are 201, 200, 63 and 1,225, respectively. Of these faunal resources, 29 wild mammal, 18 bird, 10 reptile, 40 fish, 25 amphibian and seven arthropod species are endemic to Ethiopia, such as the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis). Ethiopia also has a wide diversity of microbial biodiversity, which is hardly explored.

Pressures and Threats

The main direct threats to Ethiopia’s biodiversity include: habitat loss and degradation due to expansion of agriculture and settlements and encroachment of invasive species; unsustainable utilization of biodiversity from overgrazing, overharvesting, and unregulated hunting; proliferation of invasive species; and pollution. Indirect causes of biodiversity loss in the country are demographic change, poverty, and lack of awareness and coordination. Long-term, climate change represents challenges, particularly by shifting growing seasons.

Ethiopia is one of the top 25 biodiversity-rich countries in the world, and hosts two of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, namely: the Eastern Afromontane and the Horn of Africa hotspots. It is also among the countries in the Horn of Africa regarded as major centre of diversity and endemism for several plant species. The Ethiopian flora is estimated at 6,000 species of higher plants of which 10% are considered to be endemic.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


 Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


 (AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Ethiopia

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