Bogol Manyo is in the Genale river basin in El Kere Zone, and close to the junction of the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Somalia borders. The area is crossed by the track from Negele to Dolo on the border with Somalia. The site covers the area from c.30 km north-west of Bogol Manyo (towards Filtu), to Dolo, south-east of Bogol Manyo on the border with Somalia. The area is dry, with an annual rainfall of around 200 mm, most of which falls in April or May. The underlying rock and outcrops are limestone. Small trees (3–4 m high) and shrubs cover much of the area, but for most of the year the plants are leafless and the ground has little cover. This apparent bareness and uniformity hides a considerable diversity in the flora, much of which is unique to this area of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. For example, one of the most important groups in the area is Commiphora, the diverse group of trees that produces gums and resins such as kerbie or myrrh. In many species the resin is heavily scented and burnt as incense, although in some it is poisonous and used on arrows or to remove external parasites, particularly ticks, from cattle. The Somali peoples that inhabit the area are pastoralists, depending on camels, cattle, sheep and goats. The other major economic activity in the area is the collection of gums and resins from the various Commiphora and Boswellia species.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The site holds the only known population of Mirafra degodiensis. The species was described from birds collected in 1971 at a site 11 km east of Bogol Manyo on the road to Dolo, and small numbers have subsequently been found 15 and 17 km east of Bogol Manyo. Streptopelia reichenowi occurs along the Genale river, but is uncommon, and Sylvietta philippae, known from only three locations in Ethiopia, is considered rare, having been seen only two or three times at this site. Somali–Masai biome species found at this site include Ploceus dichrocephalus, Merops revoilii, Turdoides aylmeri, Tmetothylacus tenellus and Nectarinia nectarinioides. Colius leucocephalus, Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and Spreo fischeri are all known from the Dolo area. Burhinus vermiculatus is expected to occur in the site along the Genale river.
Non-bird biodiversity: The lower Genale river basin supports a diverse endemic flora.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The extreme dryness and absence of permanent water has probably prevented the expansion of settlements in the area. However, pastoralists and their herds use it extensively, which, in combination with the growing demand for fuelwood and particularly charcoal from the urban centres (as well as the refugee camps) is expected to have a negative effect on the ecological balance of the whole area. Acacia is preferred for charcoal and could be cut out, and the trees supplying gums and resins could be over-exploited. It is likely that this fragile ecosystem would not be able to recover if it was once destroyed. There is currently no conservation action being taken in the area. Further fieldwork is needed to determine the range and status of the poorly known Mirafra degodiensis and other threatened bird species.