Skip to main content

Ethiopian Wolf

Despite looking quite foxy, the Ethiopian Wolf (or Abyssinian Wolf, Abyssinian Fox, Ethiopian Jackal, etc) is actually.. A wolf. Canus simensis in fact. They are endemic to only a few small mountainous pockets in Ethiopia. This canine has become seriously endangered with the rise of high altitude agriculture, which brings with it humans and domestic dogs, which compete for food and carry disease. 
Image from the EWCP

The disease issue has been especially troubling in recent years, with 90 wolves dying of rabies in 2003, and 40 dying to distemper in 2008. Another rabies outbreak also hit in 2008. Vaccination campaigns have been underway in order to save the species, which numbers only around 500 individuals. This is especially alarming when one finds out that not only have these wolves never been bred in captivity, but there don't seem to be any in captivity in the first place. Those 500-ish wolves are the only ones we've got.

Ethipian wolves differ in many ways from their Grey and Red Wolf cousins. First off, they are much, much smaller. This is one of the reasons why they were for so long considered to be a fox or jackel. Where Grey Wolves can easily weight upwards of 80lbs, with red wolves a bit smaller, Ethiopian wolves rarely exceed 45lbs. They also differ in their diets and hunting techniques. Where Grey Wolves work cooperatively to take down large prey, the Ethiopian Wolf hunts alone, feeding of a diet that is over 95% small rodent. (Red Wolves also hunt alone, but cooperation has also been documented) They have been limited to such small meals because there are simply no large prey animals to be found in their high altitude habitat.

The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme is working hard to protect this species by educating the locals, providing the aforementioned vaccinations, monitoring the number of individuals, preventing inbreeding with the domestic dog populations, and protecting their natural habitat. 


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent