Oliberté teams up with the African Wildlife Foundation

Oliberté joins forces with the African Wildlife Foundation to aid in the ongoing efforts of the Simien Mountains Ranger Program. 


Earlier this year, Oliberte and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) teamed up to make a special donation to the mountain ranger program based in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. These rangers provide the vital service of patrolling and observing the remote Simien Mountains, home to some of the rarest and most endangered animals on Earth. The biodiversity of the Simien Mountains is so unique, it was named the first natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.  Despite this designation, the park requires constant supervision to ensure that the fragile ecosystem can resist the negative effects of agricultural expansion and poaching.

oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers

The brave Simien rangers have made it their duty to protect the park and its inhabitants from these threats, and for that they need rugged and reliable gear as they traverse some of Ethiopia’s highest and most remote peaks on their patrols. To address this need, Oliberte collaborated with the AWF’s Landscape Manager Zeleke Abuhay to design a boot that could withstand the extreme conditions encountered in this almost otherworldly landscape, and so the Rango boot was born. With temperatures fluctuating wildly throughout the day, and a long rainy season bringing challenging weather, the Rango had to be able to provide comfort on the long patrols to support the Rangers on their mission. oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers The Simien Ranger’s main goal is the preservation of the unique wildlife that calls that ecosystem home. Currently there are three species who require the most attention, as they are only found in the Simien Mountains, and thus their fate is inextricably linked with them.

The “Bleeding Heart” Monkeys

oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers Named after the red hairless strip on their chests, these monkeys (or “Geladas”) are only found in the Ethiopian highlands, where they make use of their incredible climbing ability and the plentiful caves along the cliff sides to live safe from predators.  Without the availability of this habitat, this species would surely struggle to maintain their current numbers.

The Walia Ibex

oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers These endangered mountain goats can only be found within the park boundaries, and a large part of their continued success has been attributed to the growth of the protected area by the Ethiopian government. As the park expands, the goat’s numbers have grown from 150 to more than 900, with trends expecting steady growth.

The Ethiopian Wolf

oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers This elusive carnivore is one of Africa’s most endangered. Their home territory exists on the side of Ras Dashen Mountain, Ethiopia’s highest peak. There numbers are currently estimated to be as low as 25, making them incredibly difficult to track to all but the most dedicated rangers. With such a precarious existence, we must work as hard as possible to preserve this vital part on the food chain. oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers In 2014, tourism accounted for 9.3% of the Ethiopian GDP, bringing in $4.3 billion dollars into local economies. For areas like the Simien Mountains, tourism like this is a lifeline for the locals, and is necessary for the continued protection of the region. Rangers also play an important part in ensuring that the area remains welcoming and beautiful for tourism to continue to flourish. For this reason, we have donated a custom pair of Oliberte Rango boots to every Simien Mountain ranger, and we created a consumer version for our customers to enjoy as well. For each pair of Rango boots sold, 10% of profits go directly to the African Wildlife Foundation to ensure that this region remains protected and beautiful not only for eco-tourists, but for the animals who call it home. RANGOshop   oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers oliberte african wildlife foundation rangers

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