In northern Ethiopia lies the Abuna Yosef massif, peaking at 4,260 m-high with Mount Abuna Yosef. There, a small Ethiopian wolf population—around 30 individuals—lives surrounded by people and agricultural lands.
“When I was a child, I hated wolves, but then I learned how rare they were. Now, every time I see one, it excites me. The wolf is my life.” – Dessiew Gelaw, EWCP Wolf Monitor
In Abuna Yosef, EWCP wolf monitor, Dessiew Gelaw, keeps a close eye on three small wolf packs, Qey gedel, Rim gedel and Atimata. The wolf population in Abuna Yosef declined in the past few years, but although now small, it is relatively stable. Habitat loss is however a constant threat. In addition to wolf monitoring, EWCP also actively supports community projects aimed at fostering sustainable alternative livehoods that benefit both people and wildlife, such as guassa gardens and highland honey. Planting guassa, a native grass species, prevents habitat degradation by reducing the harvest of wild grasses, brings additional income to families while providing food and shelter for small rodents, increasing prey availability for wolves. Highland honey, a traditional product from the Ethiopian highlands, protects native Erica vegetation, which flowers are used by the foraging bees.
As for many other wolf monitors and EWCP staff, Dessiew’s dedication to protecting the wolves is as strong as ever. Read Dessiew’s lastest feature Paw Patrol in Selamta, the Ethiopian Airlines inflight magazine.