Population status, threats and conservation of the blue-winged goose in Ethiopia

Yihenew Aynalem

The blue-winged goose is an endemic waterfowl species, and the only member of the genus Cyanochen. It has a small declining population, roughly equating to 3,000-7,000 mature individuals, within a tiny distribution range in the highlands of Ethiopia. The study aims to estimate the population density, distribution patterns and potential conservation threats of the species in Sululta plain, Central Highlands of Ethiopia, through line transects, point counting, focal-flock observations and scan-sampling techniques. Questionnaire-based surveys, semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions will be employed to assess the possible conservation threats. This study is a timely opportunity to provide novel insights and up-to-date scientific information to gain a better understanding of the ecology and conservation of the species. It is expected to enhance awareness, increase public understanding about the threats and conservation significance of the species and habitats. The study aims to provide baseline information to help develop an effective conservation action plan and habitat protection strategy to support a stable population of blue-winged goose in its native habitat.