This paper presents an analysis of the costs of protected areas (PAs) management in Ethiopia, specifically those managed by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. The authority is managing a network of protected area (PA) systems covering an area of about 29,950 km2. Primary and secondary data were used. A total of 3,045 rangers are required to effectively control illegal activities. The estimated number of rangers at basic level management ranges from 70 in Senkelle to 459 in Babile sanctuary with a mean (±SD) of 243.75 (± 6.52). The actual mean (±SD) patrol range covered by a single ranger is 53.2 (± 15.08), ranging from 1.22 km2 in Senkelle to 161.72 km2 per ranger in Geralle National Park. At basic level management the mean (±SD) patrol range covered by a single ranger is 8.81 (± 1.31), ranging from 0.8 km2 in Senkelle to 15.5 km2 in Halledighe. The total annual management cost was estimated between $10.5 million to $21.5 million. The mean (±S.D) annual expenditure for basic level management is $404.45/km2 (±164.32); ranging from $2333/km2 in Senkelle to $166/km2 in Halledighe. Cost Benefits Analysis showed the mean (±SD) return of investment was $129 (±41.42) for every $1 invested.
Key words: Budget, cost benefits analysis, management cost, protected area, rangers.
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