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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
Categories:
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
Categories:
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
Categories:
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
Categories:
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
Categories:
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
Categories:
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).

 

Girma Eshete successfully completes his PhD at Leiden University

7th September 2017
Categories:
We have the pleasure to announce that Girma, from the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, successfully defended his thesis at Leiden University on Tuesday 6th of September.

 

Measuring success: Mid term review of the National Action Plan

28th August 2017
Categories:
Five years after its creation, a mid-term review was carried out to determine the level of implementation and success of the National Action Plan for the conservation of Ethiopian wolves , and to adapt objectives and actions for the next five years. The review involved an external consultant and a meeting with key stakeholders in Adama in July 2017.

 

A year in EWCP's life

3rd May 2017
Categories:
"It is always a pleasure to put together the annual report, because it makes us feel proud of our devoted team and of the diverse activities we are implementing to save this wonderful species from going extinct" Jorgelina Marino

 

A New Dawn for Ethiopian Wolves

31st December 2016
Categories:
A wolf family lost in a sea of "guassa" tussocks in the Simien Mountains National Park.

Thanking all our partners and supporters from around the world for helping EWCP help the last surviving Ethiopian wolves.

 

Let’s save the wolves of Delanta

25th September 2016
Categories: Disease control
By Jorgelina Marino

The news reached us swiftly thanks to EWCP’s early alert system, with the involvement of our local Wolf Ambassadors: several dead Ethiopian wolves had appeared in Delanta, a small Ethiopian wolf enclave in the Wollo Highlands. After a swiftly arranged field trip, and lab confirmation of rabies in some of the brain samples collected, an emergency response to vaccinate the few remaining wolves unleashed. As we speak, an EWCP team led by Eric Bedin is fighting to contain the disease. Over the past week they captured and vaccinated a young female wolf and one adult male.  These two vaccinated wolves might hold the key for the persistence of the Delanta population.

 

Oral vaccines to the rescue - why research is important

15th September 2016
Categories: Disease control
By Claudio Sillero

An important scientific paper has just been published in the Vaccine journal, reporting on the trials EWCP has been undertaking of an oral rabies vaccine in to protect Ethiopian wolves form rabies. With permission from our government partners we have tested bait preferences and the delivery of the vaccines in a few wolf packs in the Bale Mountains.  This is the first trail of its kind. Never before the SAG2 rabies vaccine had been tested on wild populations of an endangered species, even though this same oral vaccine has helped to eradicate rabies in red foxes and raccoons over vast areas of USA and Europe.

 

First test of oral rabies vaccine brings hope to the world’s rarest canid

1st September 2016
Categories:
Research published this week in the journal Vaccine reports field trials of the oral vaccine SAG2 in Ethiopian wolves, Africa’s most threatened carnivore and the world’s rarest canid.

 

EWCP annual report 2016 at a glance

10th July 2016
Categories:
For the full report click here

The EWCP has expanded on various fronts during the last 12 months, including new personnel, more Wolf Ambassadors, and site-specific projects addressing emergent conservation needs outside EWCP’s base in the Bale Mountains. The priority, however, was to sustain a strong presence in Bale, where we weathered one of the most devastating outbreaks of CDV among Ethiopian wolves. Thirty-four wolf carcasses were found between September 2015 and March 2015, and another 31 adult wolves were unaccounted for in 17 focal packs in the Web Valley, Sanetti Plateau and East Morabawa. On average these populations declined in size by 52%, with respect to the previous year. In a positive spin, at least 28 pups outlived the outbreak bringing hopes for a population recovery. Our fight against infectious diseases included the vaccination of over 5,000 domestic dogs, in and around Bale Mountains National Park; the successful completion of an oral wolf vaccination trial; and a pilot of a CDV vaccine for Ethiopian wolves. With our partners in the federal government, park authorities and NGOs we have drafted an integrated disease control plan which is pending approval. 

 

Canine distemper outbreak in Bale leaves wolves in a fragile state

1st June 2016
Categories:
By Eric Bedin

When I started working in Bale in January 2014, Ethiopian wolf numbers were at their peak in three sub-populations monitored by EWCP for more than 20 years. Everybody was happy. I also remember, however, alarm bells ringing, with the certainty that wolves at high density are more vulnerable to disease infection - a pattern observed over and over.

 

A long-lasting and widespread distemper outbreak

25th May 2016
Categories:
By Eric Bedin and Alo Hussein 

In the Bale Mountains, September marks the onset of the wolf breeding season. After a frantic mating period, finely synchronized within each subpopulation, this is the time when wolf monitors look for signs of denning behaviour and pregnancies. This time round their schedule changed dramatically. On 30th September, our guards in Web Valley camp alerted us of a young wolf that had died the previous night. Three days later another carcass was found nearby. Our team conducted detailed post-mortem examinations and collected samples, and by early October the Animal and Plant Health Agency in the UK confirmed canine distemper virus (CDV) as the cause of these two deaths.

 

Coming to terms with the impact of the last die off: How many wolves are left in Bale?

24th May 2016
Categories:
By Jorgelina Marino and Eric Bedin

EWCP has monitored Ethiopian wolves in the Bale Mountains since 1987 and, as result, this is one of the best known populations of any threatened carnivore in the world. Following standard protocols, and after investing many hours observing selected packs (over 2,380 hours of observations by seven monitors in the last 12 months), we get to know the composition of some 20 focal packs in three core populations extremely well. By calculating annual changes in the size of these populations, we build time series that help us visualize long-term trends (see time line ). We also follow other 30 peripheral packs in Bale, at lower intensity.  

 

Saving fuel, saving wolves: Two new fuel-saving stove producers near wolf range

7th October 2015
Categories:
By Fekadu Lema and Jorgelina Marino

The uncontrolled extraction of ‘charranfe’ bushes, dominant Afroalpine vegetation north of the Rift Valley, is degrading wolf habitat in several populations. Firewood collection, a task mostly performed by women and children, is as a result becoming more time consuming, increasingly occupying time available for other activities. It was with great excitement that last year we announced our ‘Fuel Saving Initiative’ to promote the use of MIRT® stoves, which consume half of the firewood required by traditional cooking methods.These stoves also cook faster, and reduce indoor air pollution.

 

Emergency intervention to control rabies in the Bale Mountains

7th October 2015
Categories:
by Claudio Sillero and Eric Bedin 

EWCP intervened quickly to avoid widespread mortality among Ethiopian wolves in Bale, thanks to the early detection of infected wolves. As soon as rabies was confirmed in brain samples from the carcasses found in Sanetti Plateau (by the EPHI and APHA laboratories in Ethiopia and the United Kingdom respectively), an action plan with immediate actions to tackle the outbreak was developed and authorized by the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Authority (EWCA). The plan followed policy and routine methodologies identified in the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) Management Plan and the National Action Plan for Ethiopian Wolf Conservation. The most immediate response was the vaccination of wolves around the infected packs, using 2ml of Merck’s Nobivac Rabies vaccine.

 

Tracking the outbreak

5th October 2015
Categories:
By Eric Bedin and Jorgelina Marino

Also see the route of rabies in our Wolf Mapper

The monitoring team found the first Ethiopian wolf carcass in the Sanetti Plateau in July 2015, within the range of the BBC pack –which we started monitoring 20 years ago. Monitoring intensified and in August we found two dead juveniles in nearby Garba Gurracha pack, which finally testified to the beginning of a rabies outbreak, kick-starting the emergency vaccination intervention that followed.