Extent and Awareness to Use Animals for Traditional Medicine and Attitudes towards Ethnozoological Knowledge among Communities of Menz Keya Gabriel District, North Ethiopia

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Debre Berhan University, Ethiopia


Traditional medicinal knowledge has played an important role in identifying living organisms that are endowed with medicinal values for treating human and livestock health problems. This study explores the existing extent and awareness to use animals for traditional medicine and attitudes towards ethnozoological knowledge among communities of Menz Keya Gabriel District, North Ethiopia. The data were collected through questionnaires and interviews from three selected kebeles of the district with 70 respondents. The majority (88.6%) of the local people knew animals that were used as traditional medicine for human and animal disease. Also, local people enforced the use of animals for traditional medicines due to different reasons such as economical reasons (30%), effectiveness (24.3%), sociocultural reason (20%), insufficient or lack of modern medicine (14.3%) and availability and accessibility of medicinal animals around the area (11.4%). Most respondents perceived that traditional medicinal animals are used sometimes (38.6%), while 35.7% and 25.7% use in situational and always manner, respectively. The main threat for medicinal animals in the area arises from habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, firewood and charcoal production. Whereas threats that erode and put the continuity under the question of ethnozoological knowledge emanate from the disinterest of the young generation, and unwillingness, secrecy and oral-based knowledge transfer of healers. Therefore, to avoid erosion of this knowledge and to sustain animals, awareness creation should be given to healers and local people. Further biological researches on medicinal animals should also be conducted.