The park is made up of a rocky massif, which slopes down to grasslands – the massif is cut by streams and gorges. The national park has three general botanical regions. The lower slopes have been cultivated and grazed, while the alpine regions (up to 3600m) were forested, although much of it has now disappeared. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. The park was created primarily to protect the Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat, and over 1000 are said to live in the park. Also, in the park are families of the Gelada Baboon and the rare Simien fox. The Simien fox, although named after the mountains, is rarely seen by the visitor. Over 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simien mountains.