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.