The Science Saving Ethiopian Wolves

Written by: Clare-Anne Canfield  

Published on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 at 1:51 pm EDT

Written by: Clare-Anne Canfield


The world's rarest canid. Photo Credit: Charles J. Sharp

Ethiopian wolves are one the world's most endangered canids (mammals of the dog family) and researchers worldwide have been working hard to save them from extinction. Only 500 Ethiopian wolves remain in the wild and Oxford's Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme hope to change that via rabies vaccinations. 

It's not easy to catch, vaccinate and release wolves, so oral vaccines are incorporated into meat left overnight for the wolves. Researchers will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccines, but it's a positive move forward for the species.
Ethiopian wolf.  Photo Credit: Laika AC

The rabies virus can kill entire wolf packs in a short amount of time. Symptoms of rabies infection include pica, hydrophobia, seizures, aggression and paralysis. Prognosis: death. By the time symptoms are obvious, it's too late. Thank you to the hard work of WILDCRU and scientists working to save endangered animals.
Illustration of rabies virus. Photo Credit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention