World Rabies Day: Saving wolves, saving people, saving mountains

28th September 2021
Categories: One Health, Threats
Health has been central to our work in Ethiopia for many years. In protecting Ethiopian wolves against diseases, we learn that success requires simultaneously addressing the health of wolves, of the local communities and their domestic animals, and of the mountain ecosystems that sustain them all.


Conservation Councils: coming together to protect the land of the wolves

31st August 2021
The Ethiopian highlands support a diverse array of endemic animal and plant life but also boast vital natural resources for local communities, including firewood, pastures, water, medicinal plants and building materials. Achieving sustainability in the use of these resources is vital to ensuring resilient livelihoods and an alternative to land conversion to agriculture, the main threat of the survival of the endangered Ethiopian wolf. With this vision in mind, the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) implements the Biodiversity Friendly Futures project, promoting alternative local livelihoods that create additional income source while reducing the community’s pressure on the Afroalpine environment. This cannot be achieved without strong community connections and outreach efforts.


International Wolf Day 2021

13th August 2021
Canis simensis: A wolf in fox’s clothing

Ethiopian wolves may not look like the first animals you think when you hear the word wolf, but these rare canids are as much a wolf as any other. One of previously four Canis species in Africa (now just two following the recent reclassification of black-backed and side-stripped jackals), they are readily distinguishable from jackals by their larger size, relatively longer legs, distinctive reddish coat and white markings. Although often called the Simien fox or red fox (ky kebero in Amharic, Jeedala Faarda in Oromic), DNA phylogenetic analysis has revealed that the Ethiopian wolf is more closely related to the grey wolf and the coyote than to any African canid. Most likely, the Ethiopian wolf evolved from a grey wolf-like ancestor that crossed to northern Africa via land bridges from Eurasia as recently as 100,000 years ago, when Afroalpine habitats in Ethiopia covered vast extensions.


Spotting Leopards in Ethiopia's Highlands

13th July 2021
Ethiopia has no shortage of charismatic animals. From the small and strange giant headed mole rats to the elegant mountain nyala, the highlands are home to many captivating mammals. Among the more elusive is the leopard – but thanks to our camera traps, we still have the chance to “spot” them.


A New Chapter for Terefe the lucky survivor

31st March 2021
We are delighted to bring you news from the Simien Mountains we have all been hoping for: Terefe, the world's first rehabilitated Ethiopian wolf, is a lone wolf no longer! Not long into the New Year, we heard from Chilot Wagaye, a local community guard who has been keeping a look out for Terefe since he settled near Shehano village after his release. Chilot got in touch to tell us he had recently seen Terefe in the company of another wolf, one he believed to be female! EWCP monitors Jejaw and Andualem, led by team leader Getachew Assefa, quickly set out for Shehano, keen to confirm the sighting and learn more.


Breeding brings hope for North Ethiopia’s wolf population

7th December 2020
The Abune Yosef massif is one of the largest Afroalpine areas in Northern Ethiopia. Here, Ethiopian wolves roam in mountaintops surrounded by steep escarpments, spreading agriculture and sacred churches.


Helping communities helps habitats thrive

19th November 2020
Ethiopia is home to an astonishing 70% of Africa’s Afroalpine ecosystem, with an exceptionally high diversity of rare and endemic species such as the endangered Ethiopian wolf, gelada monkey and walia ibex. Fewer than 500 Ethiopian wolves remain in a shrinking and increasingly fragmented mountaintop habitat, living in small, isolated populations. Ethiopia’s growing human population, which currently numbers over 110 million, live mostly in the highlands, exerting immense pressure on their natural resources. The need for sustainable use is urgent to ensure that Afroalpine ecosystem services and unique wildlife persist in the future.   


First evidence for Ethiopian wolf captivity?

26th October 2020
Today, Ethiopian wolves are only found in the wild, perched high up in the Ethiopian highlands – none are kept in captivity. This may have always been the case, as so far no records of wolves ever kept in captivity have been found – but historical evidence has arisen that could change this idea.


Terefe's Travels - an update on our 'Lucky Survivor'

7th October 2020
Categories: Animal welfare
Earlier this year, we experienced a world first for Ethiopian wolves in the story of Terefe. In the Simien Mountains, a badly injured wolf was rescued, nursed back to health, and successfully released back into his home territory. Thanks to a satellite collar, we’ve been following Terefe’s journey after his return to the wild.


EWCP at the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo

7th October 2020
Categories: Events
Join us on October 10 & 17 at the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo!

The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) protects endangered wildlife by supporting conservationists who ensure wildlife and people coexist and thrive. An incredible community of conservationists, supporters and staff all united by our passion for life.


Conservation in a pandemic: when a species can't wait

16th September 2020
Categories: One Health, Threats
As Covid-19 continues and we all wait for a safe return to normal, the less obvious effects on wildlife become more of a concern.

Wildlife has been a major focus of conversations surrounding the pandemic, from its origins to its impacts and lessons for the future. We have seen some animals flourish where human activity has dwindled, while others have been less fortunate and may be at risk where tourism has vanished. Conservation action has of course also been affected, as a wide range of activities are no longer possible due to the risks of spreading infection. Our own work has been significantly disrupted in Ethiopia since April as a result of Covid-19.


Terefe, the lucky survivor

20th August 2020
Found seriously injured in Simien Mountains in May. Now reunited with his pack after an amazing recovery.  Read about Terefe’s fate – the first Ethiopian wolf ever to be nursed back to health and released to the wild. 


Making the most of lockdown - research continues despite pandemic

18th June 2020

2020 has so far seen a lot of disruption to our work, just as it has for many organisations. We’ve limited our fieldwork to ensure the safety of our teams and the local communities we work with, and international staff are unable to travel to Ethiopia. Fortunately, there are many tasks we can work on from home and we’ve taken advantage of the time to focus on our research outputs, aided greatly by the addition of researcher Beth Preston.


Meddling with dens puts puppies at risk

10th June 2020

We are used to responding to large-scale threats to the wolves, like habitat loss and disease, but the acts of individuals can have a real impact, both good and bad. We have recently seen a worrying resurgence in behaviours that can threaten wolf survival.


Walking with Wolves: humans may have roamed Afroalpine mountains for at least 40k years

3rd June 2020

An exciting discovery was recently made in the Bale Mountains, home to the largest Ethiopian wolf population.

An international team of researchers, supported by EWCP, visited the Fincha Habera rock shelter at the edge of the Web Valley, where their excavations revealed evidence of human occupation dating as far back as 47,000 years ago! This makes their finding the world’s oldest occupation of a residential site at high elevation, in this case an astonishing 3,469m above sea level.


Joining forces to expand a community conservation area and protect more wolves

28th May 2020

The Amhara region encompasses most of Ethiopia’s highlands north and west of the Rift Valley. Here you can find the source of the Blue Nile, Lake Tana, and the breath-taking Simien Mountains, but also a less well-known Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area (MGCCA). This highland plateau is diverse in wildlife and home to many animals found only in Ethiopia, such as the Ethiopian wolf, the gelada baboon, and several rodent species.


From Vienna to the Bale Mountains - Short but unforgettable work experience with the Ethiopian wolf Vet team

5th May 2020
Categories: One Health
By Clara Buxbaum

In March 2020 I had the privilege to spend a week with the EWCP team in the field, in the Bale Mountains National Park. I have been to several African countries before and Ethiopia proved to me again that each country is, without a doubt, uniquely special. I was fascinated by the Afroalpine landscape, amazed by their local cuisine and overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people I met. 


Wolves Bounce Back from Extinction in Delanta - Part 2

27th April 2020
When it comes to conserving the endangered Ethiopian wolf, we never give up. In Delanta, where wolves have recently returned after devastating outbreaks of disease, we have been working with local communities to promote ways of earning an income that is compatible with protecting the environment and its wildlife.


EARTH DAY 2020 - Protecting Endangered Mountain Species from a Changing Climate

22nd April 2020
The Ethiopian wolf is a charismatic endemic species, only found high in the mountains of Ethiopia above 3000m. These highlands are known as the “Water Towers of Africa” and for good reason; the sources of many rivers can be found here, supplying water to both the swathes of native grassland, swamps and peatbogs that form the Afroalpine ecosystem and the ever-expanding landscape of crops and grazing livestock in the lowlands below.


Wolves Bounce Back from Extinction in Delanta - Part 1

16th April 2020
By Girma Eshete


Delanta is a small isolated Afroalpine flat south of Abune Yosef and Aboi Gara, home for 16-19 estimated wolves before 2016. Human settlement, farming and the encroachment of domestic animals, especially dogs, caused a canine distemper outbreak in 2017 that sadly decimated all the wolves of Delanta. After this disastrous event EWCP continued monitoring the habitat remotely with Wolf Ambassador Esubalew Milashu, hoping the area could serve as a potential wolf reintroduction site in future. Our Wolf Ambassadors are members of the community that act as ears and eyes in remote areas that are difficult for us to access regularly.


Updates from the Simien Mountains - Science Director Jorgelina recounts her February trip to Ethiopia

8th April 2020
It’s a long way to the Simien Mountains.

While slowly climbing the Ethiopian massif, in the north of the country, the world passes by my window. A land divided into infinite agriculture plots, dotted by small villages. Most crops have already been harvested and the fields are now ploughed. It’s the season for green peas, which later at our campsite are offered to us, toasted and accompanied by cloudy corofe, a local drink made out of barley.


Giving Tuesday - Giving Ethiopian wolves a future

3rd December 2019
Categories: Help us
Ethiopian wolves are the jewels of the African highlands. In their mountain reign, wolves live with communities who need nature as much as wolves do, so they need people on their side. With the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme you are building a future for people and nature, by promoting sustainable livelihoods that encourage the care and protection of natural resources. We are making a special pledge to scale up initiatives that create more and healthier habitats for the wolves. Donate this end of year and a generous donor will match up contributions up to US$10,000


A step closer to a canine distemper vaccine for wolves

8th October 2018
Categories: One Health project
A note as I re-emerge from 10 days in the Bale Mountains, supporting our team in the remote Chafadalacha swamps on the edge of the Sanetti Plateau. We camped at nearly 13,000 feet (a small settlement of 20 people and 17 tents). We workedroudn the clock to capture Ethiopian wolves, the final step in a pilot of a vaccine for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). 


Five wolf packs vaccinated using oral baits in the Bale Mountains

22nd August 2018
After many years of research, field trials, and awareness work, EWCP is now vaccinating Ethiopian wolves as a preventive measure against recurrent rabies outbreaks. 

With no more than 500 Ethiopian wolves left in the world in half a dozen populations, all exposed to domestic dogs that carry deadly diseases, it is paramount/essential? to stop them from getting infected. After successfully testing Virbac’s SAG2, an oral vaccine widely used to eradicate rabies in Europe , we can now protect the wolves without the need of manipulation and thus deliver protection before outbreaks happen.


News from the field - Better project management for EWCP!

22nd February 2018
When I joined EWCP 20 years ago our small team would meet almost every day, either in our cosy wooden cabin in the forest (still our base), or in the Web Valley or the Sanetti Plateau camps. We were a small tem working mostly in one mountain range. Today, it takes various flights, long hours on the road, and much organization, to gather the full team in one place.


Join the HOPE campaign!

7th December 2017
This is the time of the year when we look back, take stock, and project into the future; when we feel grateful for the good things that took place and commit to new ones. As 2017 comes to an end, we bring you a message of hope.


For Giving Tuesday, give HOPE to the Ethiopian wolves

28th November 2017
Keep alive the hope for the survival of Ethiopian wolves: become a supporter and help us protect the rare Ethiopian wolf.

There are only 500 Ethiopian wolves in the world and all live in the highlands of Ethiopia. Right now, new born litters leave their dens for the first time at 4,000 meters in the Sanetti Plateau. These pups renew our optimism.


EWCP at the Wildlife Conservation Expo in San Francisco

3rd October 2017
On 14th October I will be in California attending the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo at the Misison Bay Centre in San Francisco. It is hard to believe that the Wildlife Conservation Network started its good work 15 years ago. The Expo has become one of the key dates in the wildlife conservation calendar, and WCN an important player in conservation funding supporting a growing number of dedicated conservationists. We are very fortunate to be part of the WCN family from the very start. To date WCN supporters have raised over US$1,500,000 for Ethiopian wolves and I want to extend our gratitude to them and urge them to continue to support our work.


The eventful lives of wolf packs: news are good!

15th September 2017
Our Wolf Monitors work tirelessly, following wolf packs day after day, tracking every event in the life of these close-knit families. In the Bale Mountains a team of eight monitors, under the experienced leadership of Alo Hussein, track over 20 focal packs, some known to us for up to 30 years (the BBC pack has been monitored since 1987).