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.
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.
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.