The Ethiopian Wolf

The Ethiopian Wolf is found only in the Ethiopian highlands, mainly the Bale Mountains and the Semien Mountains. As the top predator in these areas, it plays a vital role in the local ecosystem and references to it can be found in Ethiopian literature dating back to the 13th century.

But this wonderful and important species is the world’s most endangered Canid. Less than 500 adult Ethiopian Wolves remain in the wild and pressures such as frequent rabies outbreaks and habitat conflicts threaten those few remaining individuals. Currently, no Ethiopian Wolves are in captivity anywhere in the world.

Field Research into the reproductive biology of the Ethiopian Wolf

Time is running out for the Ethiopian Wolf and IBREAM is striving to help the efforts to save it. To do this, we are working alongside WildCRU, whose scientists have been studying the Bale population of southern Ethiopia since 1988, and have acquired a great deal of knowledge on the behavioral and population ecology, genetics and disease of the species.

With so few adult Ethiopian Wolves remaining, we believe that assisted reproductive technologies can play a role in the survival of the species. But we do not currently know enough about the complexities of Ethiopian Wolf reproduction to allow us to carry out such a program.

To combat this, we are working in collaboration with WildCRU, to study the reproductive biology of the Ethiopian Wolf to gather vital information and develop tools that would allow us to regenerate the species using assisted reproduction techniques.

A backup plan for the Ethiopian Wolf: Gamete Banking

Since the Ethiopian wolf population is so low, preservation of the biodiversity of the species is also an urgent priority. We are therefore working on a semen banking program to obtain and preserve gametes from individual wolves. This provides a fail-safe resource, which can be used as a last resort to regenerate the species. We aim to do our first semen banking expedition during the upcoming breeding season, and more support for this crucial initiative are very welcome!! This initiative will be established together with our Ethiopian partner, Dr. Alemayehu Lemma from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

Time is running out for the Ethiopian Wolf and our work requires YOUR support, especially for the planned banking expedition planned in the summer of 2010!! Please click here to help us preserve this magnificent species.

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Background and highlights

Team members

monique

Monique Paris

IBREAM Research Director

freya

Freya Van Kesteren

IBREAM PhD Student, University of Oxford

wenche.farstad

Wenche Farstad

IBREAM Advisory Board member, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

linda.penfold

Linda Penfold

IBREAM Advisory Board member, SEZARC

damien.paris

Damien Paris

James Cook University

Alemayehu Lemma

Alemayehu Lemma

Ethiopian based project partner Addis Ababa University

Gedlutessera

Gedlu Tessera

Field Assistant

muzeyenturkee

Muzeyen Turkee

Field Assistant

Antennahgirma

Antennah Girma

Field Assistant

TamamMohammed

Tamam Mohammed

Field Assistant

Collaborators: WildCRU, Addis Ababa University

Sponsors: IMV, WWF Netherlands