- Ethiopian Wolf
name = Ethiopian WolfMSW3 Wozencraft | id=14000779]
image_width = 220px
status = EN
trend = up
status_system = iucn2.3
status_ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Sillero-Zubiri & Marino|year=2004|id=3748|title=Canis simensis|downloaded=
5 May 2006Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is endangered]
phylum = Chordata
genus = "
species = "C. simensis"
binomial = "Canis simensis"
binomial_authority = Ruppell, 1840
range_map"'_width = 220px
range_map_caption = Ethiopian Wolf range (OBS: Contrary to this map, its range does not extend into E.
The Ethiopian wolf ("Canis simensis") is a carnivorous
mammalof the family Canidae. It is also known as the Abyssinian wolf, red jackal, red fox, Simien fox or Simien jackal). The numerous names reflect previous uncertainty about its taxonomic position, but it is now thought to be related to the wolves of the genus" Canis" rather than the foxes it superficially resembles. The Ethiopian wolf is found in the Afro-alpine regions of Ethiopia, about 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level. It is the most endangered canid,cite web | title = Animal Info - Ethiopian Wolf | work = | publisher = animalinfo.org| url = http://www.animalinfo.org/species/carnivor/canisime.htm | accessdate = 2008-04-23] with only about seven populations remaining, totalling roughly 550 adults. The largest population is found in the Bale Mountainsin southern Ethiopia, although there are also smaller populations in the Simien Mountainsin the north of the country, and in a few other areas. Claudio Sillero-Zubiriat the University of Oxfordis the zoologistmost closely associated with efforts to save this species of wolf, particularly with his work for an oral rabies vaccineto protect them from the diseasepassed from local dogs. His work is supported by the Born Free Foundation. A rabies outbreak in 1990 reduced the largest known population, found in the Bale Mountains National Park, from about 440 wolves to less than 160 in only two weeks.
Taxonomy and evolution
Initial molecular evidence suggested that the Ethiopian wolf is a descendant of the
grey wolf. [cite journal
last = Gotelli
first = D.
coauthors = C. Sillero-Zubiri, G.D. Applebaum, M.S. Roy, D.J. Girman, J. Garcia-Moreno, E.A. Ostrander, R.K. Wayne
title = Molecular genetics of the most endangered canid: the Ethiopian wolf "Canis simensis"
journal = Molecular Ecology
volume = 3
issue = 4
pages = 301–312
location = Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, UK
date = 1994
url = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7921357
accessdate = 2008-03-31
doi = 10.1111/j.1365-294X.1994.tb00070.x] More recent evidence suggests that this is not the case; although the Ethiopian wolf is closely related to other wolves, it probably diverged some three or four million years ago. [cite journal | author = Lindblad-Toh "et al." | year = 2005 | url = http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7069/pdf/nature04338.pdf | title = Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog | journal = Nature | volume = 438 | apges = 803-819 | pages = 803 | doi = 10.1038/nature04338]
The Ethiopian wolf is a medium sized canid resembling the
coyotein size and conformation, having long legs and a narrow pointed muzzle.cite web | title = Ethiopian wolf | work = | publisher = Canids.org| url = http://www.canids.org/species/Ethiopian_wolf.pdf | accessdate = 2008-04-23] It weighs 11-19 kilograms(24-42 pounds), with males being 20% larger than females. The skull has a flat profile with a thick, narrow and low neuro-cranium which is almost cylindrical in shape. The coronal ridge is linear and the inter- parietal boneslightly developed. The teeth are small and widely spaced, an adaptation to their rodent heavy diet. The dental formula is 3/3-1/1-4/4-2/3=42. The back molars are occasionally absent. The canine teeth are sharply pointed and average 19 millimetresin length. The ears are pointed and broad, sporting thickly fringed pinnae. The front feet have five toes, while the back have four.
The coat is ochre to rusty red on the face, ears and upper portions of the body and white to pale ginger on the underparts. Small white spots are present on the cheeks, as well as a white ascending crescent below the eyes. The contrast of red and white markings increases with age and social rank. Females tend to have paler coats. The back of the tail has a short, rufus coloured stripe which ends in a thick brush of black guard hairs on the tip. The pelt has short guard hairs and thick underfur which protect the wolf from temperatures as low as -15 degrees.
Although the Ethiopian wolf is primarily a
solitaryhunter of rodents, it lives in packs that share and defend an exclusive territory. This differs from most larger social carnivores that live in groups for the purpose of hunting cooperatively. In areas with little human interference, packs may average 6 adults, 1-6 yearlings, and 1-7 pups. Typically, packs are an extended family group formed by all males born into the pack during consecutive years and 1-2 females. One study showed that the sex ratio of adult pack members in optimal habitat was biased toward males by a ratio of 2.6:1.
Social gatherings among different packs are more common during the breeding season, and take place in close proximity to the den. Ethiopian wolves become highly vocal during these interactions, which invariably end with the smaller group retreating from the larger. Males do not disperse from their natal pack, while females will leave at the age of two years, joining another pack should a breeding vacancy occur.
Within the pack, the dominant female discourages attempts to mate with her from all but the pack's dominant male, though she is receptive to any wandering male from a neighboring group. Up to 70% of all matings involve males from outside the pack. All members of the pack assist in caring for the pups, with subordinate females sometimes assisting the dominant female in suckling the pups. Females breed no more than once annually and give birth to litters usually consisting of 2-6 pups which are born after a 2 month gestation period. Females give birth in a den dug on open ground, under a boulder or within a rocky crevice. Adults will regularly shift pups between dens, up to 1300 m (4300') apart.
The diet of the Ethiopian wolf is almost exclusively composed of diurnal rodents. One study revealed that rodents account for 96% of all prey, with the endemic
giant mole ratbeing the main food item. In areas where the giant mole rat is absent, the wolf will primarily subsist on the East African mole rat. Other recorded prey species include the black-clawed brush-furred rat, Blick's grass rat, various vlei rats, the yellow-spotted brush-furred rat, young birds, the Ethiopian Highland hare, the Cape hyraxand young of the common duiker, mountain reedbuck and mountain nyala. Sedge leaves are sometimes eaten to aid digestion.
There are two recognized subspecies of this canid:
Canis simensis simensis"; Occurs north-west of the Rift valley. Its nasal bones are shorter than those of the southern race.
Canis simensis citernii"; Occurs south-east of the Rift valley. Its coat is redder than that of the northern race.
Relationships with humans
Unlike the grey wolf, the Ethiopian wolf is barely touched upon in the folklore or tradition of the human cultures with which it coexists, though the species is mentioned in Ethiopian literature dating back the
13th century. Currently, the Ethiopian wolf is a national symbol, having been used in two stampseries. There are not many traditional uses for the Ethiopian wolf, though its liver may be used for medicinal reasons in the northern regions of the country.
Though in the past the Ethiopian wolf was feared as a livestock predator, today it is not usually considered a major threat to livestock, to the point where sheep and goats are sometimes left unnattended in areas where wolves occur. In the southern highlands, losses caused by wolf predation are mostly dismissed due to the rarity of such events when compared to predation by the
spotted hyenaand jackals.
Although officially a protected species, wolf killings increased in frequency during Ethiopia's period of instability due to the increased availability of firearms. Ethiopian wolves are not usually exploited for fur, though there was an occasion in
Wolloin which wolf skins were used as saddle pads.
*The New Encyclopedia of Mammals "edited by"
David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press, 2001; ISBN 0-19-850823-9
*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/mammals/Canis_simensis/ images and movies of the Ethiopian wolf "(Canis simensis)"]
* [http://www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/pdf/i0076-3519-485-01-0001.pdf "Mammalian Species: Canis simensis"] from the
American Society of Mammalogists
* [http://www.ethiopianwolf.org/ Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP)]
* [http://www.wildcru.org/research/es/ewolf.htm WildCRU - Conservation of Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis)] of the
University of OxfordDepartment of Zoology
* [http://www.canids.org/SPPACCTS/ethiopn.htm IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group - Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis)] from the
World Conservation Union
* [http://www.bornfree.org.uk/animals/ethiopian-wolves/ Born Free Foundation - Supporting The EWCP]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Ethiopian wolf — noun An African wolf, Canis simensis. Syn: Abyssinian fox, Abyssinian wolf, red fox, red jackal, Simien fox, Simien jackal … Wiktionary
Wolf hunting — is the practice of hunting grey wolves (Canis lupus) or other lupine animals. Wolves are mainly hunted for sport, for their skins, to protect livestock, and in some rare cases to protect humans. Wolves have been actively hunted since 12,000 to 13 … Wikipedia
Ethiopian Dwarf Mongoose — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) … Wikipedia
Wolf (disambiguation) — Wolf or wolves may refer to: Animals Canids* Gray Wolf, commonly referred to simply as the wolf , which has numerous subspecies including: ** Arctic Wolf ** Eastern Wolf ** Eurasian Wolf ** Japanese Wolf, extinct **Hokkaido Wolf **Honshū Wolf **… … Wikipedia
Ethiopian Highlands — The Ethiopian Highlands are a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, Eritrea (which is sometimes referred to as the Eritrean Highlands), and northern Somalia (Somaliland) in the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian Highlands form the largest continuous… … Wikipedia
Wolf Leslau — (November 14, 1906 November 18, 2006) was a scholar of Semitic languages and one of the foremost authorities on Semitic languages of Ethiopia. LifeBorn in Poland, he studied Semitology at the University of Vienna and Sorbonne. When Nazi Germany… … Wikipedia
Ethiopian literature — writings either in classical Geʿez (Geʿez language) (Ethiopic) or in Amharic (Amharic language), the principal modern language of Ethiopia. The earliest extant literary works in Geʿez are translations of Christian religious writings from… … Universalium
Maned wolf —  A captive maned wolf at Beardsley Zoo Conservation status … Wikipedia
Gray Wolf — Taxobox name = Gray Wolf fossil range = Late Pleistocene Recent status = LC status system = iucn3.1 trend = stable status ref =IUCN2006|assessors=Mech Boitani|year=2004|id=3746|title=Canis lupus|downloaded=2006 05 05 Database entry includes… … Wikipedia
LESLAU, WOLF — (1906– ), U.S. Semitics scholar and philologist. Born in Krzepice, Poland, Leslau was educated at the University of Vienna and at the Sorbonne in Paris. He taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris and the Ecole des Langues Orientales. In… … Encyclopedia of Judaism