Mammal inventories are essential tools for direct conservation strategies and management practices. Large mammals are often key stone species that maintain ecosystem stability and biodiversity. So, their inventories are very important to design planned conservation strategies and management practices. A study was carried out to assess population status and species diversity of wild large mammals in Ensessa kotteh wildlife rescue center from September 2018 to December, 2019.Transect method and questionnaires were used for data collection. The survey was conducted in six (6) stratified blocks and three selected kebeles. From the study area, a total of 11 mammal species belonging to three orders were recorded by direct and indirect evidences. The species recorded includes: Olive baboon, Grivet monkey, Common bushbuck, Minilik bush buck, Common warthog, Duicker, Spotted hyena, Colobus gureza, Caracal, Leopard and Common Jackal. The dominant species recorded in the study area was Olive baboon and followed by Grivet monkey. On the other hand, Caracal, Leopard and Common Jackal were recorded as least in the study area.
There was no significant difference between adult male and adult female during dry season (?2=0.294, df=1, p>0.05), However the difference was significant in wet season (?2=0.00, df=1, p<0.05).The highest mammalian diversity was recorded in plantation and grassland (H’=0.36) and lowest species diversity was observed in natural forest (H’=0.165). The greatest species evenness was observed in wooded grass land (J’=0.086) and the least was observed in natural forest (J’=0.064). More similarity index was observed between wooded grass land plantation and grass land (SI=0.8), whereas lowest similarity index was recorded between plantation and grass land and natural forest (SI=0.18). The main purpose for the establishment of Ensessa kotteh wildlife rescue center was to prevent rescued animals from illegal trading. Beside this role the center became the shelter for different types of large mammals that entered with own to the center.
Keywords: Conflict, diversity, Ensessa kotteh, large mammals, species