The Harenna Forest in southeastern Ethiopia • Earth.com

Last update: April 14th, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Harenna Forest, a highland forest region of the Bale Mountains in southeastern Ethiopia.

The Harenna Forest is tropical rainforest located at high altitudes of 4,600 to 10,500 feet above sea level. 

The forested ecosystems change along with the altitude, including areas where bamboo, tree heather, fig, fern pines, hagenia, and wild coffee can be found.

In collaboration with Global Forest Watch, a team of scientists at the University of Maryland analyzed data collected by Landsat satellites to investigate tree cover loss in the region.

The study suggests that there was significant deforestation along roads and stream valleys in Hawo, Kumbi, Likimisa Bokore, and Soriba between 2000 and 2019. 

Deforestation in this area is associated with charcoal production, firewood collection, and clearing for agriculture. 

According to NASA, loss of forest cover in this region could affect some distinctive cultural practices. For example, the Harenna Forest is one of the few places where wild arabica beans are still harvested to make coffee. 

The Harenna Forest also supports an abundance of exotic wildlife, including monkeys, baboons, bushbucks, warthogs, lions, and leopards.

The photo was captured on February 5, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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