Project Yabelo: status of the Ethiopia bush crow and white-tailed swallow

Sandy Philip Watt

The Ethiopian Bush-crow and the White-tailed Swallow both have remarkably restricted ranges in southern Ethiopia and are currently classified as vulnerable. Despite their restricted range and relatively small population size, there is almost a complete absence of data on the status of the white-tailed swallow and only a recent, limited study of the bush-crow's status. The latter indicated that the bush-crow's population was rapidly declining and should be considered an urgent conservation priority. Importantly, this recent study also suggested that the Yabelo Sanctuary, which is the only protected area within the bush-crow's range, may not be providing this species with its preferred habitat, further increasing its vulnerability. Therefore, there is a very clear need to obtain further objective data on the population distribution and ecology of these two vulnerable species. The aims of this project are to assess the status, distribution, and habitat preferences of these two endemic birds as well as any factors which may be affecting them. This will allow the development of realistic conservation strategies and provide a basis for future monitoring and study. The avifauna of the Yabelo Sanctuary will also be surveyed.