THE SENKELLE SWAYNE'S HARTEBEEST SANCTUARY
Currently, two species of hartebeest are recognized: LICHTENSTEIN’S HARTEBEEST Alcelaphus lichtensteinii (monotypic) and HARTEBEEST Alcelaphus buselaphus (with 7 subspecies). One of the subspecies of the latter, Swayne’s Hartebeest A. b. swaynei, is endemic to Ethiopia; there is a small wildlife sanctuary (56 km²) at Senkelle near Shashemene in SW Ethiopia for its protection.
Jan Koeman, emeritus professor of toxicology from Wageningen in the Netherlands, has been deeply involved in the development, management and improvement of this project.
A new visitor centre and souvenir shop are being established in order to make the reserve more attractive to eco-tourists. This will improve the finances of the sanctuary and help provide income for the local Ethiopian people. The aim is also to raise the interest and nature awareness of the local population, for instance by organising school class visits.
Jan Koeman commissioned me to make a series of paintings which will be shown on information boards in and around the centre as well as on their brochures. Depicted are the eight African species and subspecies of Hartebeest as well as some of the other mammals of the area. Since a vulture feeding station will be set up near the centre, all seven species of vultures found at Senkelle are also illustrated.
Both species of hartebeest together: fourth from the left is the species LICHTENSTEIN’S HARTEBEEST, the others are the seven subspecies of HARTEBEEST. Of these the Bubal from N-Africa (third from left) is extinct and the Tora from Sudan-NW Ethiopia (first from right) probably extinct; third from the right is the threatened subspecies Swayne’s Hartebeest.