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02 June 2014


Book: The Ethiopian Wolf: Hope at the Edge of Extinction


The Ethiopian Wolf: Hope at the Edge of Extinction

This insightful and gorgeously illustrated book is the result of a partnership between Rebecca and Will and the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. 50% of profits from every book sold will be donated to EWCP. 
By Will Burrard-Lucas and Rebecca R Jackrel, 
Text by Jaymi Heimbuch (Hard cover, 152 pages)

The Ethiopian wolf hangs precariously close to extinction with fewer than 450 individuals left on the planet. However, the little-known species also offers us one of the greatest stories of hope for successful conservation today. The problems faced by the wolves for survival are solvable, if we act. Photographers Will Burrard-Lucas and Rebecca R Jackrel traveled to the highlands of Ethiopia to document the lives of these elegant canids and the work the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme is doing to preserve the species for future generations. Witness the intimate pack lives of the wolves, enjoy the beautiful landscapes they call home, and learn how these wolves are becoming a symbol for what can be accomplished by dedicated individuals set on saving a species from extinction.

Order now!

23 April 2014


Eric Bedin - New Field Coordinator

Last January Eric joined the EWCP Team as the new Field Coordinator. Originally from Tarbes in the French Pyrenees, and after studies in livestock production and agriculture, Eric spent seven years working on the reintroduction of Arabian oryx in Saudi Arabia. This was followed by a stint of four years as the technical adviser of the Gile National Reserve in Mozambique.

Eric has a broad experience on conservation issues, from captive breeding to reintroduction to law enforcement, and is particularly interested in community-based projects. His passion for wildlife and the last remaining wilderness naturally led him to join the EWCP and to offer his broad experience to help us conserve one of the rarest canids in the world. Eric loves his rugby, scuba-diving, wildlife photography and good food. Three months on Eric is still wondering whether he likes the cold weather of the Bale Mountains.


Help wolves, buy a 'ky kebero' T-shirt

The Ky Kebero online t-shirt store opened in August 2013, administered by volunteer Alyson Baker from New Zealand, and hosted by the custom t-shirt platform Spreadshirt. All proceeds from the store go to EWCP


Hope for wolves in the new Borena Sayint National Park

By Jorgelina Marino & Gebeyehu Rskay
Away from the traditional tourism route, the highlands of South Wollo are amongst the most remote and less studied. Thanks to centuries of protection these highlands preserve one of the last relicts of continuous natural habitats, from Afroalpine grasslands and Erica forests to biodiversity-rich montane forests. And the good news is that the existing Denkoro Forest Reserve was recently expanded into the Borena Sayint National Park (BSNP), which now encompasses all Afroalpine habitats and the wolves they sustain.
In October 2013 we conducted a comprehensive survey in collaboration with the park, involving EWCP staff from Bale and North Ethiopia, including the two local, young and enthusiastic, Wolf Ambassadors. In teams of two we walked 83km over 5 days and sighted 14 wolves of a vibrant red.
The BSNP has an abundant prey base that could sustain up to 40-50 wolves, more than what we had predicted a decade ago. But there is no room for complacency. Habitat loss and fragmentation are significant, as agriculture carves out the increasingly narrow habitat corridors, and uncontrolled firewood extraction degrades wolf habitat. Newly built roads with increasing traffic run along corridors and ridge tops.
The survey helped cementing EWCP's relationship with BSNP, and for the coming year we plan further training and equipment for park experts, research on land use impacts, and the development of a resources management strategy to ensure that wolves and people can continue to share these remote mountains.


Saving fuel, saving wolves

By Fekadu Lema
Most Ethiopians still rely on traditional forms of energy, such as firewood, unwittingly causing deforestation, soil erosion and creating health problems. For the people in the northern highlands the main source of energy is a bush locally known as 'charranfe'. Charranfe heaths dominate many Afroalpine landscape in North Ethiopia, offering important habitat for rodents andf wolves.
After registering alarming levels of firewood extraction in threatened wolf populations, we started a Fuel Saving initiative in two areas: Delanta-Gubalaftu in Wollo and Mt Guna in Gondar. With funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and in collaboration with the Energy Coordination Office of GIZ, a German NGO, our team conducted socio-economic assessments, broad consultations with local stakeholders, and awareness campaigns. We are now busy with the next step, which is establishing micro-enterprises for two selected members of the community who will produce fuel saving stoves locally. The stoves they will produce can reduce firewood consumption by half, and have been amply tested by GIZ in the Ethiopian highlands. We are very excited with this project and we look forward to introduce you to the stove makers in the near future.


EWCP's parades for World Rabies Day

By Zegeye Kibret
Last September the world joined again to raise awareness on the importance of rabies prevention. Rabies is the oldest and deadliest disease known to mankind, and also the most immediate threat to the survival of Ethiopian wolves. EWCP partnered the Global Alliance for Rabies Control to supported World Rabies Day in Bale for a sixth consecutive time. We gathered in Gamataja School in a village adjacent to the Ethiopian wolf strongholds, where the students prepared poems, a quiz and posters with ingenious mottos and slogans. Some 400 children participated of a short parade shouting 'stop rabies', 'vaccinate your dogs' and 'protect the Ethiopian wolf'. Children are a great vehicle to persuade their families to combat this terrible disease, so that wolves and their livestock are protected. In her speech Dr Tigist Belete from the Goba Animal Agency, sent a clear message: 'help us to help save all of us, especially to save the endangered Ethiopian wolf from a brink of extinction'. On behalf of EWCP I would like to thank everyone who made this event possible, and in particular Gamataja School and the Goba Woreda administration.

09 March 2010


Fun and games (and no rain) at the 12th annual Wolf Day in Dinsho.

Anne-Marie Stewart

On Sunday the 7th of March, we held our 12th Wolf Day in Dinsho, and all anyone could think about was, “Please let the rain hold off!”

For the past two weeks it hasn’t stopped raining here – the normally tranquil streams have turned into raging rivers that are in danger of breaking their banks, while the roads and dirt tracks in town are slippery mud slides that threaten to send you sliding headlong into a puddle. So understandably we were all concerned that Wolf Day could turn into a mud bath!

However, the weather, for once, was on our side, and although the rain clouds gathered ominously over the mountains, in Dinsho we were treated to patches of blue sky and sunshine.

The day opened with a blessing from the village elders, and then the Bale Beauty Nature Club presented us with a cake they had baked, marking the 12th Wolf Day for EWCP (the cake didn’t last very long, as the invited guests and dignitaries were keen to sample the best of Bale baking!).

Numerous sports matches were held during the day, with the EWCP Wolf team facing the Dinsho Club in the football finals. Unfortunately EWCP went down one-nil, but all the players did very well while having to deal with a horribly sodden pitch. Two volleyball matches, the final of the primary school football league, and the 5000m race concluded the sporting part of the day. We were also treated to various plays and singing competitions, as well as an art display from the Dinsho Primary School. A pot-smashing game and a raffle brought the proceedings for the day to a close, and all the EWCP staff breathed a sigh of relief. Another successful Wolf Day, the rain stayed away, and the community came together once again to celebrate the Ethiopian wolf and the afroalpine. A big thank you to all the EWCP staff who ensured that the day ran smoothly.

Drama on Wolf Day

A very soggy field

2nd place trophy for the Wolf Team

10 November 2009


Field trip to northern Ethiopia

By Anne-Marie Stewart & Chris Gordon

We are spoilt in Bale, not only with wolf sightings, but with the relative lack of steep mountains! This was our impression after returning from our first field trip to the north of Ethiopia, two weeks ascending mountains and trekking through wheat fields, visiting the Ethiopian wolf populations in these areas. EWCP works with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) to monitor the wolves here and to educate school children and community members about the importance and benefits of Afroalpine conservation.
Our team spent five days camped in Abuna Yoseph, an area in North Wollo where we estimate there to be a population of approximately 20 wolves, and then a further five days in the Simien Mountains National Park, where the third largest population of Ethiopian wolves is found. Abuna Yoseph does not lie within a protected area, and the effects of rapid human expansion can be all too easily seen. Cattle and goats graze high into the Afroalpine, and we encountered barley fields at over 4,000m asl! However the wolves do persist in these areas, and we were lucky enough to have five sightings of adult wolves during our stay. We also had the chance to train two FZS para-ecologists – members of the local community who will help us to collect valuable environmental data.
The local people we met in Abuna Yoseph expressed their desire to see the wolves survive, and the challenge for us lies in reconciling the needs of a growing human population in the Afroalpine, with the increasingly urgent need to conserve these areas.

In Simien we were confronted with a similar scenario, with a growing human presence and agriculture expansion evident both within and surrounding the Park. However, there are many areas of good wolf habitat and we did manage to spot three adult wolves while monitoring in the Park, as well as various other fascinating endemic species, such as the walia ibex and the gelada baboon. The local people living within the Park were very positive about the wolves, realizing their value and the potential benefits they could bring as a tourist attraction.

07 October 2009


Rabies Day 2009 in Dinsho

We are against rabies! Dhukkuba saree ni balaaleffanna!” A small band of demonstrators is marching towards us, placards waving, fists raised. It’s not quite a G8 protest, but this group is equally fervent about their cause. Rabies must be eradicated in their town!

It’s September 28th, Rabies Day 2009, and the Dinsho Primary School, situated on the boundary of the Bale Mountains National Park, has organised a demonstration to show their commitment to stamping out rabies in the area in order to protect the endangered Ethiopian wolf. The children, ranging in age from eight to 15 years old, made their own posters and banners highlighting the cause, and after marching through the town chanting their slogans, ended up in the grounds of the school where a presentation had been organised by some of the other pupils. This included a poetry reading by one of the students, as well as a play written and acted out by three pupils to highlight the dangers of rabies within the community and the threat the disease poses to the Ethiopian wolves.

Rabies is transmitted by domestic dogs from the villages surrounding and within the National Park, and is fatal to the wolves. Outbreaks have occurred in 2003, 2008 and most recently in May 2009, and have caused significant losses to the wolf population in the Bale Mountains. The Rabies Day event, coordinated by the EWCP education officer, was attended by local community administrators and elders, as well as other EWCP staff and school pupils. Not even a sudden downpour could dampen the enthusiasm of the children, and they made sure that everyone understood their message: “Save the Ethiopian wolf! Jeedala fardaa haa kunuunsinu!

Anne-Marie Stewart

EWCP Field director

10 September 2009


After the outbreak: Post–intervention monitoring

Following on from the recent Ethiopian wolf vaccinations during May and June, life has settled down somewhat in the Bale Mountains. The EWCP monitoring team has been deployed to Sanetti (the vaccination site) and back to Morebawa (the outbreak site). We also have a constant presence in the Web Valley (the October outbreak site). The good news is that no wolf carcasses have been found since the end of vaccinations in June. The two carcasses found on the Sanetti Plateau during the vaccinations tested negative for rabies. As they were both juveniles, they most likely died naturally – this time of year sees high mortality in wolves of this age, due to them being independent and struggling to find food.

We have had repeated visits to the packs where we were vaccinating in Sanetti. All wolves except one have been observed since they were vaccinated. This is an exceptionally high return rate, a great effort by the monitoring team.

We recently had further good news on the return of the team from Morebawa. During the outbreak, the team had only seen 26 live wolves, and so it was feared that as many as 70 were dead or missing. However, we have now sighted 32 live wolves, and we know that seven of the eleven packs still have an adult male and an adult female. Retaining this breeding pair will be crucial for ensuring a rapid recovery of wolf numbers in this area.

All the monitoring team have worked exceptionally hard, and we are lucky to have such dedicated and skilled staff.

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