Little is known on wild animal threats and their relative severity in most biospheres reserves of Ethiopia. This study was conducted during the period of May 2015 to June 2015 and was aimed at documenting relative severity of current threats of Yayu Biosphere Reserve, Southwestern Ethiopia. One hundred farmers in and around Yayu biosphere reserve were interviewed. The most relatively severe threat factors were conversation of land use, deforestation and degradation, grazing, firewood and investments. This study evaluates the degree of pressure and threats from human activities on wild animal in Yayu biosphere reserve. Five Kebeles of Yayu biosphere reserve were randomly selected as representative sample sites, namely Achebo, Wabo, Bondewo, Geji, and Witaetia. Primary data was collected through rapid assessment and prioritization of biosphere reserve designed through semi-structure questionnaire, recommended for evaluation of management effectiveness of biosphere reserve. All sites of biosphere reserves were severely threatened by logging, unsustainable use demand and exploitation of natural resource by the local communities surrounding the biosphere. Thus, these findings emphasize the biogeographical importance of this biosphere reserve within the Biodiversity Hotspot, and the need for more study. With increasing human encroachment at its door-step, it is time for policy makers to upgrade this reserve to a higher level of protection.
Key words: UNESCO, unsustainable use, wild animal threats, Yayu biosphere reserve.
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