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Alatish National Park

Gondar, Ethiopia

Alatish is a newly established national park that is located in Quara woreda of Northern Gondar Zone. It was established in 2006 and derives its name from the Alatish River that has its source in the park and flows in a westerly direction to the Sudan. The park shares its boundaries in the south with Benishangul - Gumuz Regional State, in the west with the Sudan, in the east with Bembaho Kebele, in the northeast with Gelego Kebele and in the north with Mahdid Kebele. 

The vegetation of the park is classified asCombretum-Terminalia broad-leaved deciduous woodland. Dominant grass species include Cymbopogon spp., Hyperhenia filipendula, Echinochloa sp, Pennisetum spp. There are 26 larger mammals (excluding rodents) and 143 recorded bird species. The ornithology of the area requires more investigation but estimates based on habitat diversity show that there could by anything between 250-400 species of birds representing various status. Alatish is found in an arid and semi-arid ecological zone. It forms an ecotone between the high mountains of the Simen and the Sahel zone in the Sudan. As a result, the biological attributes of the park are believed to be diverse and rich. Alatish also has a number ofhistorical and cultural assets. Of these, a large Baobab tree at Omedla and the ethnic composition of the area made up of Felata and Gumuz communities are important tourist attractions.

This area has recently been set aside as a national park by the Amhara Region. The park is believed to conserve a major proportion of Sahelian and Sudan-Guinea biome birds and other organisms. It serves as a migratory route for Elephants, which traverse from Dinder National Park in the Sudan. As a result, its role is significant in the formation of a transboundary park between Ethiopia and neighbouring Sudan. The various rivers that drain into Sudan from Alatish are important tributaries of the Nile.

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