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The massive disappearance of plant and animal species is a worldwide problem. In the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia, scientists are fighting for the survival of a unique ecosystem with incredible biodiversity.
A spectacular mountain landscape, the rarest wild dog species on earth and gigantic plants: The Bale Mountains National Park in the highlands of Ethiopia is extraordinarily rich in diverse species. The mountain range rises to almost 4400 meters above sea level and is the largest remaining Alpine habitat on the African continent. Bale is a window to the past - this is what the high mountains of Africa looked like before man changed these areas on a grand scale. And extremely rare Ethiopian wolves still hunt in the vast grasslands. Only about 500 of these animals still exist in the wild - all in Ethiopia. Many endangered animal and plant species can only be found in the Ethiopian highlands. They live as if on an island in the middle of a continent plagued by crises and problems. However, the national park is also very important for the local population, because several rivers have their source there. The Bale Mountains provide water throughout the year to about 12 million people in the southern Ethiopian lowlands, Somalia and parts of Kenya. But the mountains can only fulfil their function as water reservoirs if the last remaining forest is not also eroded. But more and more people are pushing into the mountains and clearing the last areas for pasture and arable land. And so, a fierce conflict has broken out over the jewel of the Bale Mountains. Whose rights are more important - those of the rural population or those of the wild animals?