Many people are not aware that there is wolf species that is specific to Africa. It looks very different than the typical gray wolf that everyone is so familiar with. Some have described it's looks as resembling that of part wolf and part coyote. They live in the high altitude areas of Ethiopia and are very rare. There are currently only 450 wolves that live in small populations. They are currently in danger of being wiped out.

The main threat to their existence is the transmission of disease from domestic dogs - and in this case, rabies. Many Ethiopians have herds of goats and sheep and use dogs to help them work the herds. Most of these dogs are unvaccinated and can and do come down with rabies. Since the wolves share the same land that is being use for grazing they can come into contact with these domesticated dogs. Being exposed to rabies not only means death to the one wolf but also to the entire wolf population of that area.

To stop this from happening, there is an organization called The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program that is working against great odds to eliminate this threat. They have gotten approval from the Ethiopian government to begin several programs to help eliminate this threat to this wolf population.

The first step was to try to vaccinate the country's domestic dogs against rabies. Not an undaunting task to say the least since there are 65,000 dogs in the country. This involved educating the herders, raising the funds to get the vaccinations and then actually getting to the thousands of dogs. But this was only the beginning.

The second step was to vaccinate the wolves themselves without really disturbing them during the process. In order to do this the method of baiting had to be used. Since the rabies vaccinations can be given orally, the plan was to leave out bits of the drug with the hope that at least 40% of the pack would be vacinated in case an outbreak would start. The vaccine is also effective for up to 3 year.

The last step in protecting this rare wolf is to protect it's environment so that it can continue to thrive. But also by protecting the environment for the wolf including their fresh water supply, the human population of 85 mllion also benefited from this.

Finally the Ethiopian Wolf Project is teaming up with the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program and will be documenting these beautiful and rare wolves this November and the efforts made by the EWCP to protect them from becoming extinct. With a little bit of luck and and a whole lot of work, the hope is that the Ethiopian wolf will be around forever.

Responses to "Efforts to save the Ethiopian Wolf"

  1. Anonymous says:

    That looks like our coyotes!

  2. Spring Sparrow says:

    They look more like our friend the Trickster, the American Coyote! Very handsome animal I hope that they are helped & allowed to grow their population!

Write a comment